Outlets for the publication of results of scholarly research always are greatly in demand, particularly in the discipline of anthropology, where sources of data are copious and require preservation for later workers and where the true relevancy of much data on unfamiliar cultures may not as yet be initially understood. In recognition of these needs, a monograph series, entitled Viking Fund Publications in Anthropology, was begun in 1942 under the editorship of Professor Cornelius Osgood of Yale University.
Although the Foundation changed its name in 1951, it was decided to retain the series title because it had been in existence for nine years and, under two editors, had resulted in the publication of fifteen volumes. The editorship was rotated every five years in order to vary the specialties and inputs represented. The editors -- appointed by the President with Board approval -- and their terms of office are included in the complete listing of Viking Fund Publications in Anthropology.
When the series was first started, distribution was free of cost to almost 1,000 of the principal professional anthropologists and social scientists and primary libraries of the world. Later, as the numbers of professionals escalated, distribution was widened at a nominal charge. In 1979 the Viking Fund Publications in Anthropology were suspended.