Alexander Street Announces Release of Margaret Mead Papers | Alexander Street

Alexander Street Announces Release of Margaret Mead Papers

June 5, 2017

Alexander Street is thrilled to announce that over 6,000 pages of Margaret Mead’s previously unpublished fieldwork are now available on the Alexander Street platform. 

These materials are published in partnership with the Library of Congress and the Margaret Mead Estate as part of the landmark Anthropological Fieldwork Online collection, which brings the fieldwork underpinning the great ethnographies of the early 20th century into the digital world.

Mead took her first field trip to Samoa in 1925-1926. The Samoa expedition was the first of three major fieldwork trips Mead undertook throughout her career. It is the only research trip she conducted by herself, and it resulted in a trove of materials around gender roles. This initial release of pages contains field notes, subsequent analyses, manuscripts and documents that led to her first and seminal ethnography, Coming of Age in Samoa.

Alexander Street will continue to launch additional sets of Mead’s papers every few weeks for the next several months, with over 40,000 pages anticipated live by the end of the summer—just in time for your fall classes!

Coming Soon: The next release will contain materials from Mead’s second field trip, which she conducted jointly with anthropologist Reo Fortune in Papua New Guinea between 1928 and 1932.

Content is published in original finding aid order, with each box and folder containing the full set of contents wherever possible. Visit the Margaret Mead Archival landing page for more information about which boxes from the archive are included.

Content highlights:

  • Original field notebooks containing Mead’s notes and observations on gender roles.
  • Original field notebooks documenting detailed linguistic notes and analysis, documenting the Samoan language as it existed nearly a century ago.
  • Correspondence between Mead and her contemporary peers, including prominent anthropologists like Bronislaw Malinowski.

Continued dialogue around Mead’s research is healthy, honest and necessary, as today’s anthropologists take on the responsibility of unraveling and grappling with broader questions around ethics and the inherent colonial undercurrent of early anthropological studies. By opening access to the original primary sources at the heart of the debate, we can enable that dialogue to grow in informed and enhanced ways.

The Margaret Mead papers are now available on the Alexander Street platform as part of the landmark Anthropological Fieldwork Online collection. Anthropological Fieldwork Online is available for purchase or annual subscription. Librarians and faculty may request a free 30-day trial at


About Alexander Street, a ProQuest Company
Alexander Street pairs exclusive streaming video, audio, and curated full-text with cutting-edge online tools to transform the way people research, learn, and teach in virtually every discipline. Learn more at

Contact for Media Inquiries/Reviewer Access:
Lauren Casula, Product Marketing Manager
Alexander Street, a ProQuest Company
3212 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Toll Free: 800.889.5937

BBC Studios’ Video Library Now Available Through ProQuest

December 4, 2018

Thousands of educational, documentary, and news films come to Academic Video Online, simplifying research workflows

Learn More

New Videos Prepare Incoming Students for College Life

October 4, 2018

“Student Success” series from ProQuest, based on Cognella books, tackles topics like stress management, health, relationships

Learn More

36,000 Alexander Street Streaming Videos Now On OASIS® Platform

September 27, 2018

For the first time, libraries can purchase single video titles through ProQuest’s search, selection and ordering platform

Learn More