Hrolf Vaughn-Stevens was a traveler, adventurer, and collector of ethnographic materials for museums, who had a reputation as a teller of "tall tales" (Skeat and Blagden, Pagan Races of the Malay Peninsula, Vol.1, pp. xxvi-xxvii, 396-493, 1906). Between 1889 and 1893 he made a series of trips into the interior of the Malay Peninsula collecting artifacts and ethnographic information on indigenous groups for the Museum für Völkerkunde (now called the Ethnologisches Museum) in Berlin. This archive consists of photocopies of 667 pages of Vaughn-Stevens's reports and correspondence with the museum staff. Most of the documents are handwritten in English, but German scholars edited and published his findings in German-language journals (Skeat and Bladen pp. xxxviii-xxxix). The entire Vaughn-Stevens collection of artifacts and reports is housed in the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin and is available for study by scholars. The main challenges to interpreting this material are determining the locations and ethnic identities of the peoples studied and distinguishing the ethnographic "facts" from Vaughn-Stevens's fanciful elaborations.
The Orang Asli Archive thanks the Ethnologisches Museum of Berlin for permission to make these documents available to all interested scholars. Special thanks to Dr. Kirk Endicott for his assistance in making these materials accessible.
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