Last changed 27 March 2006
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Laves correspondence and mentions in Elkin papers

The Elkin collection, University of Sydney Archives includes letters from Laves, with some lists of artefacts, and a genealogical chart. The letters contain linguistic observations.

University of Sydney Archives -- catalogue extract:

Personal Archives Group

 ELKIN Adolphus Peter [1891-1979]

Group Number: P.130
Faculty: Arts
Specific area: Anthropology
Quantity in shelf metres: 27
Guide available [does not mention Laves]

The relevant part is
Series 40. ANRC papers.
Box 159. Items 53 - 54.
Correspondence 15/2/1929-17/10/1932.
The papers are on Open access.
There may be relevant photographs in the collection, but the Elkin collection photographs are mostly "unprocessed" with no caption list. A search of the database for the miscellaneous photographs revealed nothing on Laves.

Laves correspondence

The correspondence is mostly between Laves and Professor Radcliffe-Brown.

• 4/1/53 [1929-1930]
The first letters and telegrams are planning the trip from Chicago, beginning with Laves' introductory letter of 15/2/1929.
Laves' agreement with ANRC signed 13.IX.29
Laves' letters to Radcliffe-Brown dated 18 April 1930, 13 May 1930, 8 August 1930, 11 September 1930, etc

• 4/1/54 [1921-1932]
The last letter is a carbon copy of Radcliffe-Brown's to Laves is dated 17/10/1932, congratulating Laves on his marriage.

The last letter from Laves is dated 1/9/1931, on board ship from Auckland to Suva.

A search of the index of correspondents revealed no other mention of Laves.

Other mentions of Laves

Laves' progress is mentioned in the reports of the Committee on Anthropological Research (Series 40, Item 81, 161/4/1/81), 1929-32, with the most information in the report for 1930.
The "Report for the twelve months ending 31st July, 1929." simply lists (on page 4) "App. No. 38  Gerhardt Laves: General study of Australian linguistics and ethnology. £750 Work not yet started."

In 4/1/40, Elkin to Radcliffe-Brown, 6 February 1930, Elkin suggests areas for Laves in northern WA.  "I hope to see him either next Thursday or a few days later." (thanks to Geoff Gray)

Excerpts © University of Sydney Archives made available with their kind permission.

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