Harold W. Scheffler Papers


Date: 1957-1958 | Size: 0.25 Linear feet

Background note

Harold Walter Scheffler was born on October 24, 1932, in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended Southeast Missouri State College in 1952 and transferred to the University of Missouri the following year. His studies were interrupted by military service with the United States Army, 1954-1955, after which he returned to the University of Missouri and received a B.A. degree in anthropology and sociology in 1956. Scheffler then went on to the University of Chicago for graduate work in anthropology, receiving an M.A. in 1957. He continued in the doctoral program at Chicago and, with the assistance of a Carnegie Corporation Tri-Institutional Pacific Program grant (1958-1960) and a Fulbright grant (1960-1961), conducted eighteen months of fieldwork (1958-1961) on the island of Choiseul in what was then called the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1963, having submitted a dissertation entitled "Kindred and Kin Groups in Choiseul Island Social Structure" (later published in 1965 as CHOISEUL ISLAND SOCIAL STRUCTURE.

Scheffler studied social structure and kinship on Choiseul Island between November 1958 and April 1961. He spent most of his time in the village of Voza in the Tepazaka District, but also lived on the opposite side of the island in Ogo village in the Varisi District and made trips to Simbo Island. Scheffler learned and conducted his research in the Varisi dialect. After returning from Choiseul, Scheffler taught at the University of Connecticut (1961-1962) and Bryn Mawr College (1962-1963). He joined the Yale University faculty in 1963, and has remained there throughout his career. Post-doctoral fellowships and grants from the National Science Foundation enabled him to return to the Solomon Islands. Between 1967 and 1968, Scheffler conducted research on the island of Rendova as the principal investigator in a study entitled "Revitalization Movements in the British Solomons," which compared religious movements in three locations. This project examined the separatist Christian Fellowship Church on New Georgia Island (fieldwork conducted by Frances Harwood), the South Seas Evangelical Mission in the Langalanga lagoon area of Malaita (fieldwork conducted by Matthew Cooper) and the participation of people on Rendova Island in revitalization movements (fieldwork conducted by Scheffler).

Scope and content

Field notes, genealogies, and an unpublished manuscript relating to the Plains Ojibwe, work done while at the University of Chicago and before his work on Pacific Islanders began.

Digital objects note

This collection contains digital materials that are available in the APS Digital Library. Links to these materials are provided with context in the inventory of this finding aid. A general listing of digital objects may also be found here.

Collection Information


Donated by Harold W. Scheffler in 2007.

Processing information

Processed by Brian Carpenter in 2016.

Indexing Terms


  • Anishinaabe
  • Chippewa Indians
  • Ojibwa Indians
  • Ojibwa Indians -- Canada
  • Ojibwa Indians -- History
  • Ojibwa Indians -- Kinship
  • Ojibwe people

Detailed Inventory

 Comparative chart of Plains Ojibwe kinship terms
 Field Notes: Plains Ojibwa, U.S. + Canada
Summer 1957 

2 field notebooks, with notes on interview with multiple people regarding ceremonies, kinship, and history. Notes were taken at multiple locations, including Keeseekoowenin and Waywayseecappo in Manitoba, and Turtle Mountain in North Dakota.

 Field Notes: Plains Ojibwa
Summer 1957 

Typewritten notes regarding interview with multiple people on ceremonies, kinship, and history. Notes were taken at Long Plain and Waywayseecappo in Manitoba, and Turtle Mountain in North Dakota. Includes 1 photograph.

 Group portrait
July 8, 1956 

Black-and-white group portrait of 32 Plains Ojibwe men, women, and children, many in regalia or traditional dress, on rodeo grounds. Writing on back of photo: "July 8, 1956, at Russell, Manitoba. Angus Merrick, Long Plain Reservation, Manitoba."

Access digital object:

 "Social Change on the Northwestern Prairie"
Spring 1958 11 page(s)

Typewritten draft of essay, with handwritten notes and corrections.