The Oswald Werner Papers fill forty-one boxes and span the years 1959 to 2007. They are arranged into six major categories: biographical materials, correspondence, Northwestern University general files, Northwestern University teaching materials, grants files, and publications.
Biographical materials fill about one box. Included are items of a general nature, vitae, correspondence concerning Werner's Northwestern appointment, and files pertaining to his graduate education at Syracuse and Indiana.
Correspondence forms a considerable portion of the papers, about eleven boxes. The correspondence files are divided into three components: a straight chronological run which spans the period 1964-1994, a series of subject files (1962-1991), and a collection of Werner's letters of recommendation for students and colleagues. The recommendations date between 1976 and 1987.
Northwestern University files cover the period 1965-1992. General Northwestern files, more than three boxes, largely pertain to the administrative affairs of the Anthropology Department. Prominent among these files are materials relating to the 1989 departmental review and to the work of the Department's Futures Committee in the late 1970s. The activities of the Ethnographic Field School and of the Program in Ethnography and Public Policy also are documented here.
Werner's Northwestern teaching materials, filling more than four boxes and dating between 1965 and 1991, include curricular items such as syllabi, examinations, grade records, and student papers. Especially well covered are Werner's B15 and C61 courses relating to linguistic anthropology.
Grants files span the years from 1964 to 1989. Included are correspondence, notes and reports on Werner's funded research projects. The files occupy slightly more than six boxes.
Werner's publications files form the largest portion of the papers, more than fourteen boxes. The files date from 1962 to 1994 and include materials ranging from abbreviated notes to publication drafts. Occasionally found here are reprints and photocopies of Werner's published writings. Pertinent correspondence is sometimes included.