University of Chicago Library

Guide to the James Silverberg Papers 1941-1994

© 2008 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Silverberg, James. Papers




27 boxes (14.5 linear feet)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


James Silverberg, Professor of Anthropology department at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. As a graduate student he accompanied Gitel P. Steed on the Columbia University Research in Contemporary India Field Project. The bulk of the papers are related to the India Field Project. Additionally, there are files regarding the creation and organization of the Steed archive. There is also a small collection of Silverberg's writings and correspondence.

Information on Use


Series VI contains financial material that is restricted until 2039.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Silverberg, James. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

There are few biographical materials housed in the James Silverberg Papers. He worked with Gitel P. Steed as a graduate student, traveling with her to Gujarat, India, as part of the Columbia University Research in Contemporary India Field Project. He was accompanied by his wife, Donna. Silverberg later taught at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. He died in 2001.

Scope Note

The James Silverberg Papers contain 14.5 linear feet of material and roughly cover 1941-1994, though the bulk of the materials were generated between the late 1940s and late 1970s. The collection consists largely of Silverberg's research materials, which include: field notebooks, quantitative data, surveys, maps, reports, interview transcriptions, etc. These materials relate exclusively to his work in India, though they do cover several different research trips. Much of the qualitative data should prove useful and interesting to researchers interested in 20th century India and, especially, the Indian caste system.

In addition, the Papers house a small collection of writings and correspondence. The former contains typescript and reprint copies of Silverberg's work, both published (articles) and unpublished (talks, conference papers), as well as related correspondence. The latter contains a mix of personal and professional correspondence. The James Silverberg Papers also include a series of general files in which materials unrelated to the established taxonomy of the collection can be found.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:


Gitel Steed. Papers

Subject Headings


Series I: Writings

Subseries 1: Dissertation, "Peasant Behavior and Its Caste Relevancy: the Kolis of Kassandra"

Box 1   Folder 1

Correspondence, notes, partial draft typescript, 1957-1961

Box 1   Folder 2

Partial copy, notes, undated

Box 1   Folder 3-5

Complete copy, 1961

Box 1   Folder 6-7

Chapter one, "General Setting: The Land, the Village Community, and the Koli Castes," typescript, notes, undated

Box 1   Folder 8

"Multiplicity and Cross Caste Duplication of Koli Economic Roles - First Draft (Second Copy)," typescript, notes, undated

Box 2   Folder 1

"Kolis as Service Recipients," typescript with commentary, undated

Box 2   Folder 2

"Koli Production Roles," typescript, notes, undated

Box 2   Folder 3

"Koli Proprietary Roles," typescript, notes, undated

Box 2   Folder 4-7

Typescript titled "Koli Social Roles," undated

Box 2   Folder 8-9

Typescript titled "Kolipatel Political Roles," notes, undated

Box 3   Folder 1-4

"Probably Chapter 4 or 5: Political Roles," typescript, notes, undated

Subseries 2: General Files

Box 3   Folder 5

"Background Chapter - First Part (1953)," typescript, notes, 1953

Box 3   Folder 6

"Diverse Field Techniques in India," meeting of CSAS, Urbana, IL, 1953

Box 3   Folder 7

"Caste in the Village," University of Wisconsin - Madison, notes, correspondence, syllabi, 1955

Box 3   Folder 8

"Caste-Ascribed ‘Status’ versus Caste-Irrelevant Roles," Man in India, publication, 1959

Box 3   Folder 9

"Eye-witnessing Modes of Production in Indian Villages in Order to Introduce a Solar Energy Technology," 10th International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, typescript, 1978

Box 3   Folder 10

Lecture re development and the role of personality in an historical-functional context, delivered to Barrett’s culture-personality class, notes, undated

Box 3   Folder 11

Notes for talk delivered to the Asia Club, undated

Box 3   Folder 12

"Introductory Statement," typescript, notes undated

Box 3   Folder 13

Unidentified typescripts, undated

Box 4   Folder 1-6

Notecards for unidentified work, undated

Series II: Correspondence

Box 5   Folder 1

Correspondence, 1953-1997

Box 5   Folder 2-3

Correspondence regarding research in India, 1949-1952

  • SEE ALSO Series III: Research
Box 5   Folder 4-5

Correspondence regarding Gitel Steed papers and the preparation of a Steed biography, 1986-1987

  • Correspondents include: James Silverberg, McKim Marriott, Robert Steed, and Riva Berleant-Schiller
  • SEE ALSO Series I: General Files, Subseries II: Materials Related to Gitel P. Steed
Box 5   Folder 6

Marriott, McKim, correspondence regarding Steed-Columbia India Field Project Archive and Silverberg’s appointment to the University of Chicago’s Committee on South Asian Studies, 1988-1993

Box 5   Folder 7

Silverberg, Donna, 1952

Box 5   Folder 8

Steed, Gitel P., 1952-1971

  • SEE ALSO Series I: General Files, Subseries II: Materials Related to Gitel P. Steed
Box 5   Folder 9

Steed, Robert, 1971-1985

  • SEE ALSO Series I: General Files, Subseries II: Materials Related to Gitel P. Steed
Box 5   Folder 10

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Correspondence regarding Silverberg’s application for a sabbatical year and retirement, 1988-1990

Series III: Research Materials

This series contains materials related to Silverberg's research in India. The bulk of these materials were generated as part of the India Field Research Project, headed by Gitel P. Steed. They have been separated according to geographic region and theme: Bakrana, Kasandra, caste system, and unknown or general India. The first two Subseries are named for villages located in the state of Gujarat. Subseries III deals specifically with the caste system, a major theme in Silverberg's research. Finally, the materials whose geographical provenance is unknown or which relate to India generally have been housed together in Subseries IV, though it is probable that they were generated in either Bakrana or Kasandra. Researchers are advised to examine the materials in Subseries IV should they be interested in Subseries I, II or III.

Subseries 1: Field Research Materials - Bakrana (Gujarati Village)

Box 6   Folder 1-8

Transcripts of interviews conducted in Bakrana, 1950

Box 6   Folder 9

Field notes, 1950

Box 7   Folder 1-11

Field notes, 1950

Box 8   Folder 1-5

Field notes, 1950

Box 8   Folder 6

"India Gujarat Bakrana," computer disks, 1950

Box 8   Folder 7

Informant List, undated

Box 8   Folder 8

Notes on the Bakrana Census Code Book, general census notes, 1950, 1980-1981

Box 9   Folder 1

Photographs of Bakrana, 1979

Box 9   Folder 2-3

to archive on Bakrana, undated

Box 9   Folder 4

Description of curing ceremony, undated

Box 9   Folder 5

Notes housed in folder titled "Steed’s "Classified Index,"’ undated

Box 9   Folder 6

Genealogical map, notes, undated

Subseries 2: Field Research Materials - Kasandra (Gujarati Village)

Box 9   Folder 7

Notes on Kasandra, 1950

Box 9   Folder 8

Notes on caste subdivisions, 1950

Box 9   Folder 9-13

Notes on in visiting, out visiting, the ritual cycle, and the agricultural cycle, 1958-1959

Box 9   Folder 14

Notes and partial typescripts on social rules and behavior, correspondence, undated

Box 9   Folder 15

Maps, undated

Subseries 3: Field Research Materials - Koli Status and Caste System

Box 9   Folder 16-19

Questionnaires on Koli status in various areas of Gujarat, commentary on these questionnaires, related correspondence, 1950-1953

Box 10   Folder 1-6

Field notes on caste system in Gujarat, collected in multiple villages, typed on 5x7 note cards, 1952

Box 11   Folder 1

Field notes on caste system in Gujarat, collected in multiple villages, typed on 5x7 note cards, 1952

Box 11   Folder 2

Notes, interview transcript, list of contacts for Bucknow-Bombay trip, 1952

Box 11   Folder 3

Notes on Kolis in India, census data, 1952

Box 11   Folder 4-8

Notes on Koli social roles, related correspondence, charts, 1960

Box 11   Folder 9

Notes on Gitel P. Steed’s "Caste and Kinship in Rural Gujarat: The Social Use of Space," 1969

Box 11   Folder 10

Typescript titled "A Note on the Koli Status in Dhanpur Mahal," undated

Box 11   Folder 11-13

Notes on caste and Kolis, undated

Box 11   Folder 14

Notes on Koli ideological and intellectual roles, undated

Box 12   Folder 1-2

Notes on caste system in Bakrana, separated into the following categories: Rules & History, Dress & Hair-style, Occupations, and Miscellaneous, undated

Subseries 4: General Field Research Materials

Box 12   Folder 3-4

Census handbooks for Ahmedabad District, 1941, 1951, 1961

Box 12   Folder 5

Notes on psychological tests administered to villagers, 1949-1950

Box 12   Folder 6

Notes on logistics of research in India (number of researchers, hours needed, topics covered, etc.), 1950

Box 12   Folder 7

Inventories of clothing and equipment taken to India, itemized expense account, 1950-1951

Box 12   Folder 8

Abstracts from Silverberg’s field diary, 1950

Box 12   Folder 9-11

Field notebooks, 1950-1951

Box 13   Folder 1

Research notes on India, charts, graphs, drawings, 1950-1951

Box 13   Folder 2

Drawings, 1951

Box 13   Folder 3

Notes, both handwritten and typed, and bibliography on Gujarat, 1951-1952

Box 13   Folder 4

Census data for different areas of India, Silverberg’s notes on this data, 1951, 1971

Box 13   Folder 5

Field notebooks, 1952

Box 13   Folder 6

Slide list (no slides included) titled "156-326: Peoples and Cultures of South Asia," 1952, 1979

Box 13   Folder 7

Transcripts and cassettes of interviews, 1970

  • This item has been reformatted for access.
Box 13   Folder 8-9

Photographs of India, sent from Gitel Steed to Silverberg, 1971

Box 14   Folder 1-2

India: Research materials related to study of energy resources, in particular the use of solar energy: Interview notes, correspondence, photograph, reports, notes, articles, 1976-79

Box 14   Folder 3

Land utilization survey conducted in Adon, India, undated

Box 14   Folder 4

Notes on the conclusions of Silverberg's dissertation research, undated

Box 14   Folder 5

Notes on farmer conflict in Durban, undated

Box 14   Folder 6

Bibliography for dissertation research, undated

Box 14   Folder 7

Photocopy of unidentified field notebook, undated

Box 14   Folder 8

Notes on the Gujarati language, undated

Box 14   Folder 9

Notes on the Jajmani system, undated

Box 14   Folder 10

Unidentified kinship chart, undated

Box 14   Folder 11

Handwritten notes housed in folder titled "Historical Records (Khata Vati etc) for Village Study," undated

Box 14   Folder 12

Maps of peninsular Gujarat, undated

Box 14   Folder 13

Road map of Delhi Province, undated

Subseries 5: General Files

Box 15   Folder 1

One copy of Survey of India: Map Catalogue, 1945

Box 15   Folder 2

Collection of academic articles on various aspects of Indian culture and politics, notes, 1946-1957

Box 15   Folder 3

Newspaper clipping from The Times of India, 1952

Box 15   Folder 4

India map book, 1952

Box 15   Folder 5

Newspaper clippings of articles on India, 1958

Box 15   Folder 6-7

Materials regarding Camilo Torres, a Columbian Catholic priest turned guerrilla: Correspondence (including correspondence with Torres), newspaper clippings, one copy of The Catholic Worker (periodical), 1965-1973

Box 15   Folder 8

Map of the Valley of Puebla, Mexico, 1968

Box 16   Folder 1

One copy of Bibliography of World Applied Solar Energy Research (1940-1975), 1976

Box 16   Folder 2

One copy of Guide to the Albert Mayer Papers on India, 1977

Box 16   Folder 3

Collection of published writings related to agriculture in India, 1977-1978

Box 16   Folder 4

Notes on drug use in India, essays on drug use in India, floppy disks, 1988

Box 16   Folder 5

Notes on South Asian kinship, charts, undated

Box 16   Folder 6

Notes on E.O. Moe’s Indian Agriculture: Present Condition - Prospective Changes, undated

Box 16   Folder 7-8

Copies of chart detailing the Hindu religious calendar (based on M.M. Underhill’s The Hindu Religious Year), notes, undated

Box 16   Folder 9-10

Bibliography on India, undated

Box 17   Folder 1-2

Photocopied foreign-language (Gujarati? Hindi?) typescript, undated

Box 17   Folder 3

Unidentified notes titled "Borradaile," undated

Series IV: General Files

This series contains a miscellany of materials. The first subseries is devoted to

writings written by authors other than Silverberg. Subseries II contains materials

related to Gitel P. Steed. While materials pertaining to Steed can be found

throughout the James Silverberg Papers, the bulk of these materials have been

housed here. Subseries III includes materials that do not fit within the established

taxonomy of the collection: miscellaneous photographs, unidentified writings and

notes, and press items. Of interest in this subseries are the diaries of Silverberg's

wife, Donna. These diaries were written while Mrs. Silverberg was in India,

accompanying her husband on the India Field Research Project. Lastly,

Subseries IV contains several pottery items whose use and provenance are


Subseries 1: Others’ Writings

Box 17   Folder 4

Folklore Notes: Vol. I - Gujarat, 1914

Box 17   Folder 5

Review of Werner Levi’s Free India in Asia: Clipping, 1953

Box 17   Folder 6

Reprint copy of Margaret Mead’s "Manus Restudied: An Interim Report," 1954

Box 17   Folder 7

Village India: Studies in the Little Community ed. McKim Marriott, 1955

Box 17   Folder 8

Lore (publication of the Milwaukee Public Museum), 1958

Box 17   Folder 9-10

Papers from a symposium titled "Caste in India," abstracts, list of participants, correspondence, notes, name tag, 1958-1959

Box 18   Folder 1

Human Organization (journal), 1963

Box 18   Folder 2

Copies of Gerald D. Berreman articles published by the South Asia Series of the Center for South Asian Studies, University of California - Berkeley, 1966-1972

Box 18   Folder 3

Copy of A.M. Shah’s "Historical Sociology: A Trend Report," 1974

Box 18   Folder 4

Copies of publications put out by the Appropriate Technology Development Association (India), 1978

Box 18   Folder 5

Review of William L. Kolb’s "The Structure and Functions of Cities": Reprint, undated

Box 18   Folder 6-8

Reprints and photocopied papers, published and unpublished, 1959-1984

Box 19   Folder 1-6

Reprints and photocopied papers, published and unpublished, 1959-1984

Box 20   Folder 1-6

Reprints and photocopied papers, published and unpublished, 1959-1984

Box 21   Folder 1-2

Reprints and photocopied papers, published and unpublished, 1959-1984

Subseries 2: Materials Related to Gitel P. Steed

Box 21   Folder 3

Newspaper clipping of story on Gitel Steed, 1949

Box 21   Folder 4

Typescript copy of report prepared by Gitel P. Steed in relation to the Research in Contemporary India Field Project, 1950

Box 21   Folder 5

Gitel P. Steed’s data index as sent to Dr. Kardiner, 1952

Box 21   Folder 6-7

Transcripts of lectures delivered by Gitel P. Steed at Columbia University as part of "Sociology 311-312: Techniques of Psychodynamic Analysis of Culture: Illustrated by Aspects of Primitive and Contemporary Societies," 1953

Box 21   Folder 8

of India Archive (Steed Papers), as compiled by Silverberg, 1979-1980

  • SEE ALSO Series II: Correspondence
Box 21   Folder 9

Materials related to Silverberg’s bequest to the Gitel P. Steed Papers at The University of Chicago Special Collections: Request to view Gitel P. Steed Papers at The University of Chicago Special Collections, notes, correspondence, 1994

  • SEE ALSO Series II: Correspondence
Box 22   Folder 1-2

Materials regarding the India archives at the Regenstein Library’s Special Collections: Notes, inventories, 1994

  • SEE ALSO Series II: Correspondence

Subseries 3: General Files

Box 22   Folder 3

Notes on the organization of Silverberg’s research files, 1950

Box 22   Folder 4

Newspaper clipping of cartoon, 1950

Box 22   Folder 5-6

Donna Silverberg, diaries, 1950-1951

Box 22   Folder 7

Copies of feature story on Silverberg’s dissertation research, published by the University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1952

Box 22   Folder 8

Newspaper clipping of story on Silverberg, 1952

Box 22   Folder 9

Xth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences: Correspondence, notes, copy of Silverberg’s "Intercultural Communication among Anthropologists: Tower of Babel or Siblinghood of Humanity?" 1978

Box 22   Folder 10

Typescript titled "Notes from Public Opinion Quarterly, winter 1952-53," undated

Box 22   Folder 11

Unidentified photos, undated

Box 22   Folder 12

Unidentified photocopied excerpt, undated

Box 23   Folder 1-4

Unidentified miscellaneous notes, undated

Subseries 4: Pottery

Box 24

Brown shell/pod with a carved surface, undated

Box 24

Ceramic bell, painted in blue and green, undated

Box 24

Hollow coconut, filled with pottery fragments, undated

Box 24

Small ceramic bowl with painted exterior, undated

Box 24

Two smaller ochre ceramic goblet-shaped items with decorated surface and ashen interior, undated

Box 24

Wine skin

Box 25

Brown ceramic goblet-shaped item with ashen interior, undated

Series V: Oversize

Box 26

Notes on Koli vocabulary regarding kinship, diagrams, photographs, undated

Box 26

Hand drawn map of India, undated

Series VI: Restricted

Box 27   Folder 1-2

Materials related to research funding, [Restricted 50 years: financial records] 1978-1989

  • 12