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John W. Bennett Papers

Identifier: WUA-03-wua00067

This collection is comprised of correspondence, reprints, publications, and documents that detail Bennett’s research.


  • Creation: 1929-2002


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


7.00 linear feet

7 boxes

Biographical Information

John W. Bennett was founder and first chair of the Department of Anthropology at Washington University. He died in St. Louis on February 1, 2005, at the age of 89.

Bennett earned a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1946. He taught sociology and anthropology at Ohio State University and started as professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis in 1959. He was one of the co-founders of a separate Department of Anthropology in 1967 and became its chair in the same year, continuing to serve in that capacity for 20 years. In 1987 he became Distinguished Anthropologist in Residence.

Bennett’s scholarly work spanned many fields ranging from archeology, sociology, East Asian studies, government and academic services, and ecological and agrarian development. In his later career, he focused on studies of American Indian groups, the social practices of Hutterites, and Euro-Canadian-American settlements.

In 2004 Bennett received the Bronislaw Malinowski Award from the Society for Applied Anthropology for his application of the social sciences to contemporary issues. In the same year, he received the David Plath Media Award from the Society for East Asian Anthropology for his book Japan 1948-1951: A Personal and Professional Memoir.

Method of Acquisition

Materials in Series 01 - Series 06 were donated to the University Archives by the Faculty of Washington University. Material in Series 07 were given to the University Archives by the Washington University East Asian Library in May 2013. Material in Series 06, Folder 66 were donated to the University Archives by David Browman in March 2015 (WUA2015-050). Additional materials donated by Webster University Library in July 2018 (WUA2018-078).

Accruals and Additions

Accruals are interfiled or added at the end of the collection.

Related Materials

The Ohio State University Rare Books and Manuscripts has a John Bennett Collection which includes personal and professional papers, correspondence, publications, and photographs. The inventory for this material is available online at

Doing Photography and Social Research in the Allied Occupation of Japan, 1948-1951: A Personal and Professional Memoir by John W. Bennett is available online at

Processing Information

Processed by Jay Kempen and Leela Pandey in September 2005. Biographical Note revised by Margarita Tschomakoff in February 2012. Series 07 processed by Torry O'Connor in May 2013. Series 06, Folder 66 processed by Sarah Schnuriger in July 2016. Updated by Sarah Schnuriger in June 2019.

John W. Bennett Papers
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 March 22: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the University Archives Collecting Area

Sonya Rooney
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495