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John Melton Hunter papers

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-17.314

Scope and Content

The John Melton Hunter papers contain extensive materials in the field of medical geography and health, demography, geography and cartography. It includes original text and map manuscripts and original field notebooks, correspondence, and some photographs of John Hunter. The focus of the collection is strongest on West Africa, in particular Ghana, but also ranges across other regions of Africa, and includes documents on British and Latin American geography.


  • Creation: 1950s-2000s


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

JOHN MELTON HUNTER. BA (Honors), Ph.D. Geography (Reading, U.K., 1954), Professor of Geography, African Studies, Institute of International Health, Michigan State University, 1967-1995. Retired, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus, 1995.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: British Army Service West Africa 1954-1957; University of Ghana, 1957-1964; University of Durham, U.K., 1964-1967; Michigan State University 1967-1995: Acting Chair, Community Medicine, 1972-1973, Director, African Studies Center, 1975-1977, Adjunct Professor of Anthropology, 1976-1982; Ghana Population Census Officer, 1959-1962; National Academy of Science, Committee on Lead in the Human Environment, 1978-1979; National Academy of Science, Board on Science and Technology (BOSTID) Panelist, 1986-1988; Consultant, World Health Organization, 1972-?; USAID, 1977. Chairperson, Association of American Geographers Medical Geography Specialty Group, 1983-1986. World Health Organization Commission on Health and Environment, 1990-1992.

HONORS: Fulbright-Hays, 1980, MSU Distinguished Faculty Award, 1982, Association of American Geographers Honors, 1984; Centennial Symposium Speaker, National Geographic Society, 1988. University Distinguished Professor (title), 1990.

RESEARCH INTERESTS: geography of Africa, world medical geography.

PUBLICATIONS: articles on childhood lead poisoning, river blindness, tuberculosis, leprosy, influenza, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), guinea worm disease, man-made lakes and disease, development and disease, women's blood pressure and economic development, bot fly infestation, clay eating in pregnancy, 19th century mental health, perinatal health care, loss of teeth in a peasant society, seasonal hunger, population pressure, population carrying capacity, social roots of settlement, spatial patterns of clans, migration of cocoa farmers, shifting agriculture, bauxite morphology, river capture, escarpment retreat, water pollution, environmental degradation, teaching methods.


46 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Legal Status note

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Property Rights: Michigan State University.

John Melton Hunter Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
M. Badgley Malone
September 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US