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Jack Tobin Papers Edit


Manuscript P 00061


  • 1920s - 2000s (Creation)


  • 14 Linear Feet (Whole)
    PRINTED MATERIALS (UNPUBLISHED): Six (6) linear feet of assorted research materials, dealing with Dr. Tobin’s work in Micronesia (primarily Marshall Islands, though not exclusively.) AUDIO-VISUAL MATERIAL: One (1) photo album, titled “Arno 1950”, including a DVD containing digital versions of all photos in album. Two (2) linear feet of photographs, including black-and-white photos in all sizes up to 8” by 10,” condition ranging from good to poor; negatives and 35mm color slides, primarily of Micronesian research subjects. In total, an estimated 1,500-2,000 images. Eleven (11) reel-to-reel audio recordings, on various topics. One (1) cassette recording, labelled “Enewetak briefing.” MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS: Two (2) model canoes. Two (2) painted Palauan storyboards. One (1) hawksbill tortoise shell.



  • Biographical / Historical

    Jack Adair Tobin, PhD, (June 15, 1920 – June 18, 2010) was an anthropologist who worked in the Marshall Islands.

    Tobin served in the United States Navy during World War II. After the war he attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa, earning a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. He accompanied his advisor, Dr. Leonard Mason, to the Marshall Islands in 1950 to work on the Pacific Science Board's Coral Atoll Project (CAP) -- an initiative meant to study the needs of atoll dwellers. Arno Atoll was chosen as the first CAP research site.

    Later in 1950 Tobin was hired as an anthropological field consultant by the Civil Administration Unit of Naval Operations. He served as the sole district anthropologist for the Marshall Islands until 1957.

    He attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he completed his doctorate in anthropology in 1967. His doctoral thesis was entitled “The resettlement of the Enewetak people; a study of a displaced community in the Marshall Islands.”

    From 1967-1975 he returned to the Marshall Islands, where he worked as a community development officer.

    Tobin moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, upon his retirement. In 2002, he released his best known book, “Stories from the Marshall Islands.”

    Jack Tobin died in Honolulu on June 18, 2010.

  • Scope and Contents

    The bulk of the collection comprises of approximately 6 linear feet of unpublished paper material. Almost all the material relates to Tobin's work as an anthropologist in the Marshall Islands, although there is some early material from his student days. Much of the contents are loosely grouped geographically by atoll, although others by topic. Most often covered are Majuro, Enewetak, Bikini, Rongelap, Ujelang, Arno, Kwajalein and Ebeye. It includes government reports, court documents, maps, genealogies, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and manuscripts both written by Tobin and by others.

    Most of the photographs that are part of this collection have been digitized and are available to view here:

    The collection also includes audio recordings and a few artifacts.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    The use of the oversized genealogies is governed by the April 1st, 2016 'Memorandum of Understanding' signed by Iroij Kotak Loeak. No copies may be made with the exception of permissions granted by the Council of Irooj for the purposes of court cases and other related matters. Otherwise these genealogies may only be viewed. No notes may be taken and no reproductions made including photography or any recording devices.


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