Henry Usher Hall Sierra Leone Expedition Records
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives [Contact Us]3260 South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104-6324
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Henry Usher Hall was an American anthropologist who joined his first expedition in 1914. He traveled down the Yenisei River to the Kara Sea in Siberia with Polish anthropologist Maria Antonina Czaplicka. They were accompanied by ornithologist Maud Doria Haviland and artist Dora Curtis.
Hall served as curator of the General Ethnology section of the Penn Museum from 1915 to 1935. He was responsible for the establishment of the African section at the Museum.
Hall had profound interest in prehistoric archaeology and conducted early research at Dordogne, France in the summer of 1923 while a student at the American School of Prehistoric Research. He followed up in this field with special work in London in 1933.
Following his retirement from the Penn Museum, Hall conducted research on the continent of Africa in Sierra Leone into the Sherbo people. On his return from Sierra Leone, Hall publishedThe Sherbro of Sierra Leone in 1938. This book included an account of the secret Poro society of the Sherbro men.
Hall was a frequent contributor to the Museum Journal.
Henry Usher Hall was an American anthropologist who joined his first expedition in 1914. He traveled down the Yenisee River to the Kara Sea in Siberia with Polish anthropologist Maria Antonina Czaplicka. They were accompanied by ornithologist Maud Doria Haviland and artist Dora Curtis.
Hall served as curator of the General Ethnology section of the Penn Museum from 1915 to 1935. He is noted for the establishment of the African section at the Museum. Following his retirement, Hall took on an expedition to Sierra Leone to study the Sherbro people.
The Henry Usher Hall collection is stored in five archival boxes and is divided into two series, research notes and publication drafts and printed material. The majortiy of the collection is devoted to notebooks of research notes. These also include diaries and daily living descriptions.
Hall prefaces his notebooks with the preparatory chores for the trip and correpondence with colleagues and the necessary people in Sierra Leone. In addition to his notes and research, Hall includes a vocabulary notebook, annotated map and an index to the phototgraphs. The notebooks are labeled in sequence with either lower case or upper case letters; one group "a" to "j", the other "A" to "F." Xerox copies of the notebooks are a part of the collection.
- Czaplicka, Maria Antonina, b. 1886-d. 1921
- Hall, Henry Usher, b. 1876-d. 1944
- Haviland, Maud D., b.1889-d.1941
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