Papers of Oscar Lewis, professor of anthropology (1948-70) and Ruth Maslow Lewis, his wife and research associate (1918-2008), includes correspondence, publications, manuscripts, reviews, interviews, drafts, maps, genealogical charts, and tapes relating to research in anthropology, American Indians and New York (including Harlem), as well as North Indian, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban villages and culture, and in particular, the culture of poverty. The interviews, psych tests, writing, and field notes of Ruth Lewis and numerous field workers are also included. Their papers also include correspondence, reviews, typescript, galley proofs, continuity notes on edited tapes and copies of edited tape recordings of personal interviews used as source material for The Children of Sanchez (Random House, 1961); reviews and tape recorded interviews used as source material for Pedro Martinez, A Mexican Peasant and his Family (Random House, 1964) and the manuscript and galley proofs for La Vida: A Puerto Rican Family in the Culture of Poverty - San Juan and New York (Random House, 1966). The series includes also French, Danish, Swedish, Portuguese and Japanese editions of La Vida, The Children of Sanchez, Five Families and Tepoztlán. Also included is material on the Children of Sánchez controversy with the Mexican Geographical and Statistical Society, a drawing of a house interior (most likely Mexican) with locations in the house labeled and a drawing inside the home of a sewing machine and the decorations around it, an original government document from 1923 Spain: "Servicio de Castastro de la Riqueza Rustica" (rural wealth cadastre service) of the province of Cáceres , rolodexes of Oscar and Ruth Lewis's contacts, magnetic tapes that include music lessons, Rorschach responses from the 1960s, a speech of Lopez Mateo, release of Jesus Sanchez and Bertha for movie, part of Luis' day at the market used in "A Thursday with Manuel," Luis Hernandez impressions, and Lewis singing Hebrew melodies. Unknown to most, Oscar Lewis was an accomplished singer performing for friends and family and routinely sang Yiddish songs harking back to his ancestry. In 1951 he did a private recording of some of the old Yiddish songs (Ashkenazi and Sephardic), a few of which may be difficult to find elsewhere. A CD of these songs donated by Diane Gottheil is included; it is unknown whether the songs on the CD are the same as on the magnetic tape. Included is also a rubber stamp with Oscar Lewis's name and position at the University of Illinois.
Additional accessions were added in 2021 and 2023.
THIS SERIES HAS ACCESS RESTRICTIONS; PLEASE CONTACT AN ARCHIVIST.
Access to the materials requires agreement to a conditions of use form; please contact the Archives
to request a copy of the form. Note that boxes 98 is restricted from access until 2030.