FAQS - Frequently Asked Questions


Where are the archives for Gregory Bateson’s unpublished material?

Gregory Bateson’s unpublished material includes drafts and earlier versions of published works, conference contributions, unpublished talks, correspondence, notebooks, photographs, films, filmed footage, audio tapes, and other materials.  

There are two main repositories of this material.  

Gregory Bateson’s work and correspondence after the middle 1940s is located at Special Collections and Archives at the McHenry Library at the University of California, Santa Cruz (http://guides.library.ucsc.edu/speccoll).  Some of Bateson’s earlier papers, notebooks, and photographs can also be found there.  

In addition, some Bateson family papers dating back to Gregory Bateson’s childhood and earlier are held by Special Collections at U.C. Santa Cruz.

Most, but not all of Gregory Bateson’s work and correspondence prior to the middle 1940s is included within the Margaret Mead papers and South Pacific Ethnographic Archives, 1838-1996, to be found in the Manuscript Division in the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.   Margaret Mead was married to Gregory Bateson from 1936 until 1950, and they collaborated often during 1930s and 1940s.

There are also Bateson family papers in the collection of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, including letters from Gregory Bateson as a boy. 

I would like to copy or publish materials from any of these archives.  Do I need to contact the Bateson Idea Group?

The Bateson Idea Group owns Gregory Bateson’s intellectual property rights and copyrights, including those to the kinds of unpublished materials mentioned above authored by Gregory Bateson.  The rights to correspondence by others to Gregory Bateson belong to the authors of that correspondence or their heirs.  

Photographs by Gregory Bateson belong to BIG; photographs taken by others belong to the person who took the photographs.

Anyone who wishes to publish any of the materials originating with Gregory Bateson, or to use them in media which they create, must gain permission in writing from the Bateson Idea Group before they can do so.  This includes citation of all sorts.

Contact Phillip Guddemi, President of BIG, at pguddemi@me.com to start the process of gaining permission to use these materials.

What relationship does the Bateson Idea Group have with the Institute for Intercultural Studies?  Doesn’t the IIS administer these rights?

The Bateson Idea Group is the legal successor organization to the Institute for Intercultural Studies as regards Gregory Bateson’s intellectual property.  BIG has no responsibility or authority for any work produced solely by Margaret Mead, but does own copyright regarding Gregory Bateson’s contributions to collaborative works.  The Institute for Intercultural Studies was dissolved in 2009.

I would like to show films made, individually or jointly, by Gregory Bateson, or excerpt footage from them.

At one time, Penn State Audio-Visual Services managed requests for DVDs and for negotiating the rights to show and excerpt from several films, mostly ethnographic in nature, made (individually or collaboratively) by Gregory Bateson.  This service has been terminated by Penn State.  BIG is currently negotiating with various repositories to do this work.  Contact Phillip Guddemi at pguddemi@me.com for updates and permissions for use of the materials.