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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

Lo schema dell'origine umana Arthur Keith

Author:
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Physical description:
20 pages illustrations 24 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1916
Topic:
Human beings--Origin  Search this
Call number:
GN281 .K45 1916
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_985362

An introduction to the study of the anthropoid apes by Arthur Keith

Author:
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Physical description:
48 pages 25 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1897
Topic:
Apes  Search this
Chimpanzees  Search this
Gibbons  Search this
Gorilla  Search this
Orangutans  Search this
Call number:
QL638.C5 K45 1897
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_967353

Letter

Author:
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Donor:
Dibner, Bern DSI  Search this
Burndy Library DSI  Search this
Author:
Hodson, Geoffrey 1886-1983  Search this
Burndy Library Manuscripts Collection (Smithsonian Libraries) DSI  Search this
Physical description:
1 item (1 pages)
Type:
Manuscripts
Manuscripts (documents).)
Sources
Date:
1929
Topic:
Birth control  Search this
Science--History  Search this
Technology--History  Search this
History  Search this
Science  Search this
Technology  Search this
Call number:
MSS 000776 A
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_176534

Arthur Keith and Frank Edward Smith

Subject:
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Smith, Frank Edward Sir 1876-1970  Search this
British Association for the Advancement of Science  Search this
Physical description:
Photographic prints
Type:
Black-and-white photographs
Topic:
Anatomy  Search this
Anthropology  Search this
Physics  Search this
Local number:
SIA Acc. 90-105 [SIA2008-4690]
Restrictions & Rights:
No access restrictions Many of SIA's holdings are located off-site, and advance notice is recommended to consult a collection. Please email the SIA Reference Team at osiaref@si.edu
Copyright Not Evaluated
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_397754

The differentiation of mankind into racial types / by Arthur Keith

Author:
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Physical description:
p. 443-453 ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1921
Topic:
Race  Search this
Physical anthropology  Search this
Call number:
GN269 .K45 1921
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_808380

How can the Institute best serve the needs of anthropology? / by Arthur Keith

Author:
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland  Search this
Subject:
Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland  Search this
Physical description:
p. [12]-30 ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1917
[1917]
Topic:
Anthropology--Societies, etc  Search this
Call number:
GN2 .K45 1917
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_828010

The construction of man's family tree / by Sir Arthur Keith ; With 10 illustrations

Author:
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Physical description:
vi, 54 p. : ill. diagrs. ; 19 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1934
[1934]
Topic:
Evolution  Search this
Human beings--Origin  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_797325

New discoveries relating to the antiquity of man / Sir Arthur Keith

Author:
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Physical description:
512 p. ill., maps. 23 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1931
[1931]
Topic:
Human beings--Origin  Search this
Call number:
GN738.K52X 1931
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_441373

Menders of the maimed; the anatomical & physiological principles underlying the treatment of injuries to muscles, nerves, bones & joints, by Arthur Keith

Author:
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Physical description:
xii, 235 p. front, illus. (part col.) ports. 24 cm
Type:
Biography
Date:
1919
Topic:
Orthopedics  Search this
Orthopedicsurgery  Search this
Medicine--History  Search this
Medicine  Search this
Call number:
RD725.K28 1919
RD725.K28 1919
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_352045

Ancient types of man / by Arthur Keith

Author:
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Physical description:
xi-xix, 151 p., [1] leaf of plates : ill. ; 18 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1911
Call number:
GN743.K4X 1911
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_356730

Arabs of central Iraq, their history, ethnology, and physical characters, by Henry Field...with introduction by Sir Arthur Keith...156 plates, 48 text figures, 3 maps. Field museum-Oxford university joint expedition to Kish, Iraq..

Author:
Field, Henry 1902-1986  Search this
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Field Museum-Oxford University joint expedition to Mesopotamia  Search this
Subject:
Field Museum anthropological expedition to the Near East, 1934  Search this
Physical description:
474 p., 156 p. of plates ill., maps 32 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Iraq
Kish (Extinct city)
Date:
1935
Topic:
Arabs  Search this
Bedouins  Search this
Anthropometry  Search this
Ethnology  Search this
Call number:
GN57.A7F5X 1935
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_384702

Man, a history of the human body, by Arthur Keith ..

Author:
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Physical description:
256 p. 18 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1912
1912]
Topic:
Human beings  Search this
Human anatomy  Search this
Call number:
QM24.K4X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_266245

Ethnos; or, The problem of race considered from a new point of view, by Sir Arthur Keith ..

Author:
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Physical description:
92 p. 17 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1931
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Nationalism and nationality  Search this
Call number:
GN320 .K4X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_266355

Evolution and ethics, by Sir Arthur Keith, with a preface by Earnest A. Hooton

Author:
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Physical description:
ix, 246 p. 21 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1947
[1947]
Topic:
Evolution  Search this
Call number:
QH367.K44 1947X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_266417

A new theory of human evolution

Author:
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Physical description:
x, 451 p. 22 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1949
[1949]
Topic:
Race  Search this
Human beings--Origin  Search this
Evolution  Search this
Call number:
GN356.K28
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_104238

The stone age of Mount Carmel ..

Author:
Joint Expedition of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem and the American School of Prehistoric Research (1929-1934)  Search this
Garrod, D. A. E (Dorothy Anne Elizabeth) 1892-1968  Search this
Bate, Dorothea M. A  Search this
McCown, Theodore Doney 1908-1969  Search this
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Royal College of Surgeons of England  Search this
Physical description:
2 v. front. (v. 2) illus., plates, map, plans (1 fold.) tables (1 fold.) 30 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Palestine
Carmel, Mount, Palestine
Date:
1937
1939
1937-39
Topic:
Stone age  Search this
Antiquities  Search this
Call number:
GN776.P16 J6X
GN776.P16J6X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_116059

Concerning man's origin, being the presidential address given at the meeting of the British association held in Leeds on August 31, 1927, and recent essays on Darwinian subjects, by Prof. Sir Arthur Keith ..

Author:
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Subject:
Darwin, Charles 1809-1882  Search this
Physical description:
ix, 54 p. diagr. 19 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1927
Topic:
Human beings--Origin  Search this
Evolution  Search this
Call number:
QH367 .K28c
QH367.K28c
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_16440

Concerning man's origin; being the presidential address given at the meeting of the British Association held in Leeds on August 31, 1927, together with recent essays on Darwinian subjects, by Sir Arthur Keith ..

Author:
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
British Association for the Advancement of Science  Search this
Subject:
Darwin, Charles 1809-1882  Search this
Physical description:
xi, 188 p. front. (port.) diagr. 22 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1928
1927
Topic:
Human beings--Origin  Search this
Evolution  Search this
Call number:
QH367 .K28
QH367.K28
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_38638

An autobiography

Author:
Keith, Arthur Sir 1866-1955  Search this
Physical description:
v (i.e. vi), 721 p. illus., ports. 23 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1950
[1950]
Call number:
QH31.K44 A1
QH31.K44A1
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_52953

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