Weston La Barre (1911-1996) was an anthropology professor at Duke University from 1946 to 1977. Prior to coming to Duke, La Barre worked in military intelligence in the U.S. Navy during World War II. The Weston La Barre Papers include correspondence, publications, lectures, committee materials, teaching materials, photographs, audio recordings, scrapbooks and other materials. La Barre's professional interests included cultural anthropology, religion, psychodelic drugs such as peyote, and psychology. Major correspondents include George Devereux, Allen Ginsberg, Alexander Morin, Richard Evans Schultes, and Howard Stein. English.
The Weston La Barre Papers include correspondence, publications, lectures, committee materials, teaching materials, photographs, audio recordings, scrapbooks and other materials related to the personal life and professional career of anthropologist Weston La Barre. The collection is arranged into 8 series. The first series, Personal, contains materials related to La Barre's family, friends, education, and Navy career during World War II. The next series, Correspondence, contains extensive chronological files of letters to and from La Barre's colleagues and friends. Several correspondents were filed by name, including George Devereux, Allen Ginsberg, Alexander Morin, Richard Evans Schultes, and Howard Stein. The following series, Publications, includes articles and books that La Barre wrote during his long career. It also includes drafts, editing notes, correspondence, and other materials related to the writings. Next, Lectures and Addresses includes the text of many speeches La Barre made across the country, as well as materials related to the conferences and events at which La Barre spoke.
La Barre's participation in conferences, committees, editing projects, and research is documented in the Professional Activities series. The Duke University series contains teaching materials like tests, quizzes, and syllabi. It also contains administrative information from the Department of Anthropology, and a scrapbook and memoir by La Barre recalling the controversy over a possible Nixon Presidential Library at Duke. The next series, Audio Recordings, contains a small selection of speeches and music on anthropological subjects. Finally, the Scrapbooks series contains a number of scrapbooks documenting La Barre's travels in the Navy, on anthropological and research voyages, and for vacation. There are also a large number of scrapbooks in which La Barre appeared to collect clippings of anthropological or psychological interest.
For several of the series (including Correspondence, Publications, Lectures and Addresses, Professional Activities, and Duke University), La Barre annotated the folders with comments about the events, people, and places described within the documents. Because these folders were physically deteriorating, the comments have been photocopied and placed in the front of the corresponding file. La Barre also occasionally annotated individual items, apparently years after the documents were originally created.