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Frank Spencer Papers

Creator:
Spencer, Frank, 1941-1999  Search this
Langham, Ian, 1942-1984  Search this
Names:
Dawson, Charles, 1864-1916  Search this
Hrdlička, Aleš, 1869-1943  Search this
Hrdlička, Aleš, 1869-1943  Search this
Keith, Arthur, Sir, 1866-1955  Search this
Extent:
40 Linear feet (94 boxes, 1 oversized box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Place:
Piltdown (England) -- early man site
Date:
1836-1999
bulk 1970-1999
Summary:
Frank Spencer was a historian of biological anthropology who began his career as a medical laboratory technician. His papers include correspondence, manuscripts, notes, research files, teaching materials, photographs, and audiotapes. Spencer's research on the Piltdown hoax as well as the Piltdown research of Ian Langham, whose work Spencer continued after his death in 1984, and Spencer's research on the life and career of Aleš Hrdlička for his dissertation are both represented in the collection.
Scope and Contents:
This collection documents the research and professional activities of anthropologist Frank Spencer through his correspondence, manuscripts, notes, research files, teaching materials, photographs, and audiotapes. As a historian of physical anthropology, Spencer did a great deal of archival research. Well-represented in the collection is Spencer's research on the Piltdown hoax as well as the Piltdown research of Ian Langham, whose work Spencer continued after Langham's death in 1984. Among the materials collected are negatives of Piltdown-related papers and negatives of Sir Arthur Keith's papers held at the Royal College of Surgeons. Spencer, who theorized that Keith was behind the Piltdown hoax, had organized his papers with a grant from Wenner-Gren. Also represented in the collection is Spencer's research on the life and career of Aleš Hrdlička for his dissertation. Although most of Hrdlička's papers and photos that Spencer collected are copies of materials held at the National Anthropological Archives (NAA), the collection does contain original correspondence between Hrdlička and his first wife, Marie Strickler; his childhood report card from 1869; and copies of family photos obtained from Lucy Miller, Hrdlička's niece. The collection also contains an audio recording of Hrdlička speaking at Wistar Institute. Spencer's 1975 taped interviews with Henry Collins, Harry Shapiro, Ashley Montagu, and Lucille St. Hoyme can also be found in the collection. Other projects represented in the collection include A History of Physical Anthropology: An Encyclopedia, The Origins of Modern Humans: A World Survey of the Fossil Evidence, and Fallen Idols, Spencer's unpublished book on the history of scientific attitudes towards human origins. In addition, the collection contains copies of Physical Anthropology News, which Spencer co-founded and edited. Photos in the collection include images of Frank Spencer as well as of the 1981 and 1988 annual meetings of the Association of American Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) and the 1980 symposium Spencer and Noel T. Boaz organized on the history of American physical anthropology.

Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged in 15 series: (1) Correspondence, 1864, 1910, 1920, 1972-1999 (bulk 1972-1999); (2) Piltdown, 1836-1997; (3) Ales Hrdlicka, 1866-1867, 1893-1942, 1971-1981, 1994-1999; (4) Encyclopedia, 1881-1891, 1911-1999 (bulk 1991-1998); (5) Projects, 1858-1884, 1897-1909, 1919-1929, 1939-1999 (bulk 1982-1995); (6) Human Antiquity Research, 1960-1980, 1991-1998; (7) Subject Files, 1863-1999 (bulk 1970-1998); (8) Coded Files, 1836-1983 (bulk 1970-1983); (9) University Material, 1959, 1973-1998; (10) Personal Papers, 1966-1975, 1985-1994; (11) Notebooks, 1976-1999; (12) Card Files, undated; (13) Photographs, 1885-1990 (bulk 1980-1990); (14) Audiotapes, 1942, 1961, 1975-1976, 1998 (bulk 1975); (15) Realia, undated
Biographical Note:
Frank Spencer was born in Chatham, England, on May 1, 1941. Best known as a historian of biological anthropology and for his book Piltdown: A Scientific Forgery (1990), Spencer began his career as a medical laboratory technician, publishing two books on medical laboratory procedures in 1970 and 1972. He immigrated to Canada, where he earned his BA in anthropology at the University of Windsor in Ontario in 1973. The following year, he enrolled at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with C. Loring Brace as his advisor. Spencer wrote his dissertation on the life and career of Aleš Hrdlička and was awarded his PhD in biological anthropology in 1979. That same year he joined the faculty of the Department of Anthropology at Queens College as an assistant professor and was soon promoted to department chair in 1984. Over the course of his career, he wrote and edited several books on the history of physical anthropology including A History of Physical Anthropology, 1930-1980 (1992), The Origins of Modern Humans: A World Survey of the Fossil Evidence (1984), Ecce Homo: An Annotated Bibliographic History of Physical Anthropology (1986), and History of Physical Anthropology: An Encyclopedia (1997). Spencer was also a co-founder and editor of the Physical Anthropology News bulletins. It was his book Piltdown: A Scientific Forgery, however, that garnered him the most attention. In this book, he theorized that the well-respected Sir Arthur Keith master-minded the Piltdown hoax. On May 30, 1999 Frank Spencer died of cancer at the age of 58.

1941 -- Born on May 1 in Chatham, Kent, England

1964 -- Obtained Associate diploma in Clinical Microbiology, [Britain], Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences

1966 -- Fellowship diploma in Clinical Parasitology

1971 -- Advanced diploma in Clinical Biochemistry & Microbiology, Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Technology

1973 -- BA (Anthropology) University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada

1974 -- MA (Biological Anthropology) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

1976-1977 -- Adjunct Lecturer, Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Windsor

1979 -- PhD, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, "Biological Anthropology, Aleš Hrdlička, MD (1869-1943): A Chronicle of the Life and Work of an American Physical Anthropologist"

1979-1982 -- Hired as Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, Queens College

1982 -- Published A History of American Physical Anthropology, 1930-1980

1983 -- Associate Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, Queens College

1984 -- Published The Origins of Modern Humans: A World Survey of the Fossil Evidence

1986 -- Full professor, Dept. of Anthropology, Queens College Published Ecce Homo: An Annotated Bibliographic History of Physical Anthropology

1990 -- Published Piltdown: A Scientific Forgery Published The Piltdown Papers 1908-1955: The Correspondence and Other Documents Relating to the Forgery

1997 -- Published The History of Physical Anthropology: An Encyclopedia

1999 -- Passed away on May 30 of cancer
Related Materials:
Aleš Hrdlička papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Provenance:
Donated in 2002 by Elena Peters-Spencer, wife of Frank Spencer.
Restrictions:
To protect the privacy of individuals, some materials have been separated and access to them has been restricted.

Access to the Frank Spencer papers requires and appointment.
Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Topic:
Physical anthropology -- History  Search this
Physical anthropology -- frauds  Search this
Crohn's disease  Search this
Piltdown forgery  Search this
anthropometry  Search this
Language and languages -- Documentation  Search this
Citation:
Frank Spencer papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NAA.2002-21
See more items in:
Frank Spencer Papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-naa-2002-21

Projects

Collection Creator:
Spencer, Frank, 1941-1999  Search this
Langham, Ian, 1942-1984  Search this
Extent:
2.85 Linear feet (6 boxes and 1 oversize folder)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1858-1884
1897-1909
1919-1929
1939-1999
bulk 1982-1995
Scope and Contents:
This series is organized by projects undertaken by Spencer throughout his career. In the late '80s and early '90s, Frank Spencer fastidiously researched the Brixham cave affair, believing it to be a predecessor to the Piltdown hoax. Another project is Fallen Idols, his unpublished book on the history of scientific attitudes towards human origins. Copies of the Physical Anthropology News, which Spencer co-founded and edited, are also contained in this series. The illustrations in this series are unidentified and may belong to different projects. Correspondence and questionnaires for Spencer's research on Crohn's disease are restricted.

Additional materials relating to his projects can be found in Series 8: Coded Files and Series 11: Notebooks.
Arrangement:
This series is arranged in 11 sub-series: (5.1) Brixham Cave Project, 1858-1884, 1897-1901, 1929, 1939-1942, 1954-1962, 1977-1998; (5.2) American Journal of Physical Anthropology—Jubilee Issue, 1981; (5.3) Anthropometry and Photography, 1909, 1981-1990; (5.4) Chromosomes, 1970-1973; (5.5) Crohn's Disease, 1976-1995; (5.6) Ecce Homo, 1983-1986; (5.7) Fallen Idols, 1991-1998; (5.8) French Anthropology, 1919-1927, 1980-1990; (5.9) Manuscripts & Papers, 1942-1998; (5.10) Illustrations, 1964-1966, 1992-1999; (5.11) Miscellaneous Projects, 1968-1969, 1982-1997
Collection Restrictions:
To protect the privacy of individuals, some materials have been separated and access to them has been restricted.

Access to the Frank Spencer papers requires and appointment.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Frank Spencer papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NAA.2002-21, Series 5
See more items in:
Frank Spencer Papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2002-21-ref577

Crohn's Disease

Collection Creator:
Spencer, Frank, 1941-1999  Search this
Langham, Ian, 1942-1984  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1976-1995
Collection Restrictions:
To protect the privacy of individuals, some materials have been separated and access to them has been restricted.

Access to the Frank Spencer papers requires and appointment.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Frank Spencer papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NAA.2002-21, Subseries 5.5
See more items in:
Frank Spencer Papers
Frank Spencer Papers / Series 5: Projects
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2002-21-ref637

Correspondence ('94-'95)

Collection Creator:
Spencer, Frank, 1941-1999  Search this
Langham, Ian, 1942-1984  Search this
Container:
Box 96
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1994-1995
undated
Restrictions:
RESTRICTED until 2079.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Frank Spencer papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Frank Spencer Papers
Frank Spencer Papers / Series 5: Projects / 5.5: Crohn's Disease
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2002-21-ref638

Miscellaneous

Collection Creator:
Spencer, Frank, 1941-1999  Search this
Langham, Ian, 1942-1984  Search this
Container:
Box 30
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1976-1994
undated
Collection Restrictions:
To protect the privacy of individuals, some materials have been separated and access to them has been restricted.

Access to the Frank Spencer papers requires and appointment.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Frank Spencer papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Frank Spencer Papers
Frank Spencer Papers / Series 5: Projects / 5.5: Crohn's Disease
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2002-21-ref639

Questionnaires

Collection Creator:
Spencer, Frank, 1941-1999  Search this
Langham, Ian, 1942-1984  Search this
Container:
Box 96
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Restrictions:
RESTRICTED until 2079.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Frank Spencer papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Frank Spencer Papers
Frank Spencer Papers / Series 5: Projects / 5.5: Crohn's Disease
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2002-21-ref640

The Bottom Line About Bidets

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Wed, 20 May 2020 12:56:21 +0000
Topic:
Custom RSS  Search this
See more posts:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_d496423ad89670424eaf9f4dc9e471af

Did Charles Darwin Have Lyme Disease?

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Tue, 08 Jan 2019 18:37:35 +0000
Topic:
Custom RSS  Search this
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Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_bee57742912af078dc4c58fad14eea1d

Contest Winners Capture the Eerie Beauty of Medical Imagery

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Thu, 16 Mar 2017 13:45:42 +0000
Topic:
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Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_27077215ff617fd4c51680e94513b6b3

Your Breath Does More Than Repulse—It Can Also Tell Doctors Whether You Have Cancer

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 18:01:27 +0000
Topic:
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Data Source:
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EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_30a07eea83b2c037c41b70ec9a93495b

Meet Your Newest Organ: The Mesentery

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Wed, 04 Jan 2017 18:59:23 +0000
Topic:
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Data Source:
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EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_3e840f115b8509836fb74d5678f0cd0a

Forget Wristbands, Health Trackers of the Future Will Be Skin Patches

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 18:18:43 +0000
Topic:
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Data Source:
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EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_62585b11816f485703cdf6e4a890738d

Why One Nonprofit Wants You to Sell Them Your Poop

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Wed, 04 Feb 2015 17:00:26 +0000
Topic:
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Data Source:
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EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_9be2746a92ff9ed2a7aca853b324579d

These Women Composers Should Be Household Names Like Bach or Mozart

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Thu, 17 Mar 2016 13:00:00 +0000
Topic:
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Data Source:
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EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_9e0831048862a0643a16f0dc0359d018

Can Hookworms Cure Hayfever?

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Interviews
Blog posts
Published Date:
Tue, 23 Jun 2015 14:00:00 +0000
Topic:
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Data Source:
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EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_c1f9743aad871d1de077d761d1bdfb4d

7 Medical Advances to Watch in 2014

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Mon, 06 Jan 2014 16:14:10 +0000
Topic:
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edanmdm:posts_e6be28256092875932a28ec8b97bf959

Social Contact Helps Beneficial Gut Bacteria Spread

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Fri, 15 Jan 2016 19:00:00 +0000
Topic:
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Data Source:
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People, parasites, and plowshares : learning from our body's most terrifying invaders / Dickson D. Despommier ; foreword by William C. Campbell

Author:
Despommier, Dickson D  Search this
Physical description:
xxi, 213 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Type:
Popular works
Date:
2013
Topic:
Parasites  Search this
Host-parasite relationships  Search this
Parasitology  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1036007

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