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Personal papers of F. Allan Hanson

Call Number: PP 597


Allan Hanson taught in the Anthropology Department at the University of Kansas for fifty years, 1966-2016. He started with a focus on Polynesia and later expanded his research into the relationships between modern Western culture and the self. This collection consists of maps, photographs, field journal notes, and other materials related to his dissertation research on the island of Rapa, and subsequent work on Tahiti and with the Maori of New Zealand.


  • Creation: 1961 - 1983


Language of Materials

English, French, Tahitian, Rapan, and Maori

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of F. Allan Hanson

F. Allan Hanson was born May 17, 1939, in Dixon, Illinois, and earned his bachelor's degree from Princeton University in 1961. His Masters (earned in 1963) and PhD (1966), both in Anthropology, were from the University of Chicago. He did post-doctoral work at Oxford University in 1970 and the University of Pittsburgh, 1972-1973. He married Louise Pekrol on June 16, 1963, and they had three children.

Hanson began his career at the University of Kansas in 1966, rising to Associate Professor in 1970 and Professor in 1976. He first specialized his research on the island of Rapa, a distant neighbor of Tahiti, but expanded his interests to include the rest of Polynesia; the Maoris of New Zealand; and, later, technology, culture, and testing in the United States. Among his 8 published books are Rapan Lifeways (1970), Counterpoint in Maori Culture (1983), and Testing Testing (1992).

In 2001 Hanson won the Balfour Jeffrey Award and the Higuchi/Endowment Research Achievement Award. Among his many other professional honors, he used a Fulbright Fellowship in 1980 to serve as a Visiting Professor in Denmark.

Hanson retired from the University of Kansas with the rank of Professor Emeritas in 2016.


3.25 Linear Feet (4 boxes + 1 oversize box, 1 oversize folder)

Scope and Contents

Hanson and his wife Louise lived on the island of Rapa in 1963 and 1964 while he did his dissertation research. Central to this collection is the typed field journals from Hanson's research, which had at one time been hardbound in several volumes at around 2,500 pages long. Unbound in order to be scanned, these pages document his highly detailed daily observations of Rapan culture as he witnessed it and have been foldered in their original order. Directly after the field journal files are subject files arranged alphabetically.

Although much of this collection is related specifically to the island and culture of Rapa, no effort has been made to re-arrange materials, or separate materials related to Tahiti or to the Maori. The collection therefore consists of a single series regarding Hanson's Polynesian research, with oversize materials--including maps and newspaper articles--stored separately.

Physical Location

PP 597

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, F. Allan Hanson, 2016.

Guide to the F. Allan Hanson Papers
Personal papers of F. Allan Hanson
Finding aid prepared by lmb. Finding aid encoded by lmb.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding Aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Personal papers of F. Allan Hanson, PP 597, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States