Skip to Content

Jules Henry Papers

Identifier: WUA-03-wua00098

This collection contains the working papers of Jules Henry, including publications, his teaching materials, and materials from his anthropological studies of the Kaingang and Pilaga Indians.


  • 1933-1959


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.)


21.50 linear feet

Biographical Information

Jules Henry (1904-1969), was born Jules Blumensohn, November 29, 1904 in New York.  He received a bachelor degree from College City New York in 1928, and a doctorate in anthropology from Columbia University in 1936. Dr. Jules Henry was a professor of anthropology and sociology at Washington University in St. Louis from 1947 to 1969, specializing in social anthropology and linguistics. He died in St. Louis in 1969.

At Columbia University Jules Henry studied anthropology under Franz Boas, Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict; and linguistics with Hans Uldall. In 1932, as a graduate student, he traveled to Santa Catarina, Brazil and lived with the Kaingang Indians (Xokleng Laklãnõ). Living among the community he learned to speak their language, and in 1934 wrote his doctoral dissertation on Kaingang grammar. His first monograph, Jungle People published in 1941 built upon this field research.

He married Zunia Henry in 1935, and in 1936 together they traveled to Argentina to live for fourteen months with the Pilaga Indians in the Gran Chaco. Both Jules and Zunia learned the complex Pilaga language solely by cultural immersion. From this field research came numerous articles and the co-authored book Doll Play with Pilaga Indian Children (1944).

During his career Henry served with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and held various teaching posts at Columbia University, Institute Politécnico Nacional, Mexico, and the University of Chicago, before joining the faculty of Washington University. A highly prolific author, his most widely acclaimed written work, Culture Against Man (1963), is thought by many experts to be one the most penetrating studies in American culture to date. Likewise, his books Jungle People (1941) and Pathways to Madness (1971) are often regarded as the most thorough and compelling works of their kind.

Sumia (Zunia) Lottie Gechtman Henry (1903-1998) was a gifted and professionally trained musician, who attended classes in the Department of Anthropology and the School for Social research at Columbia University. A close associate in her husband’s research endeavors, Zunia Henry was asked by the anthropology department to accompany Jules on field work to Argentina, where she recorded observations of Pilaga childhood and language. After Jules Henry’s death, Zunia Henry worked to complete his final manuscript, Pathways to Madness published in 1971. She died in St. Louis in 1998.

Source: Jules Henry Biographical Information File, University Archives


The collection is divided into nine series:

Series 1: Publications (arranged alphabetically by title)

Series 2: Book Drafts (arranged alphabetically by title)

Series 3: Galley Proofs (arranged alphabetically by title)

Series 4: Washington University Class Lecture Notes (arranged by class number)

Series 5: Washington University Class Subject Files (arranged alphabetically by subject)

Series 6: Hospital Service (arranged alphabetically by subject)

Series 7: Personal and Professional Materials (arranged by subject)

Series 8: Kaingang Indian Material (arranged alphabetically by subject)

Series 9: Pilaga Indian Material (arranged alphabetically by subject)

Method of Acquisition

This material was donated to the University Archives by Sumia Lottie (Zunia) Henry (Jules Henry’s wife) in October 1988 and by Phyllis Kingsmill (Zunia’s daughter) in April 1986.

Related Materials

Library of Congress, Margaret Mead Papers, Box C3, E-M Correspondence American Philosophical Society, Franz Boas Papers J. Henry: Notes on the Mescalero Apaches 1931, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian.!siarchives&uri=full=3100001~!87117~!0#focus Zunia Henry interview, 1988, from the "History of Anthropology" series produced by the University of Florida.

Processing Information

Processed by Jay Kempen in July 2002. Revised by Sarah Pabarcus in January 2006. Updated by Sarah Schnuriger in July 2016.

Jules Henry Papers
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 May 21: 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