Photographs and drawings mostly relating to archeological subjects, collected and arranged by Jesse Walter Fewkes for his reference. Subjects include burial mounds, excavations, drawn maps, as well as urns, implements, idols, pottery, and other artifacts found in excavations, and Hopi, Zuni, and Piegan ceremonies and dances. Many of the photographs and drawings were probably made by Fewkes. Publication information is noted on some. The collection also includes newspaper clippings and correspondence.
Photographs were taken in Alabama, Arizona (including Casa Grande, Elden Pueblo, Navajo National Monument, and Wupatki National Monument), Colorado (including Mesa Verde and Montezuma Valley), Florida (including Weeden Island), Illinois (Cahokia Mound), Louisiana, Maryland, Mexico (including La Huasteca Region), Mississippi Valley, New Mexico (including Chaco Canyon, Hawikuh, and Mimbres Valley), South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah (including Hill Canyon, McElmo Canyon, and McLean Basin Ruins), Hovenweep National Monument, the West Indies (including Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, and Cuba), and West Virginia.
Jesse Walter Fewkes (1850-1930) was a naturalist, anthropologist, and archeologist, and chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology from 1918 to his death in 1928. Fewkes received a Ph.D. in marine zoology from Harvard in 1877, and acted as curator of lower invertebrates at the Museum of Comparative Zoology until 1887. While on a collecting trip in the western United States, he developed an interest in the culture and history of the Pueblo Indians. In 1891, Fewkes became director of the Hemenway Southwestern Archeological Expedition and editor of the Journal of American Archeology and Ethnology, studying and recording Hopi ceremonials. In 1895, he embarked on various archeological explorations for the Bureau of American Ethnology, excavating ruins in the Southwest, the West Indies, and Florida. He was appointed chief of the Bureau in 1918, and played an important role in the creation of Hovenweep National Monument in Colorado and Wupatki National Monument in Arizona.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 4321
Location of Other Archival Materials:
The National Anthropological Archives also holds the Jesse Walter Fewkes Papers (MS 4408), his photographs of excavations in Mesa Verde (Photo Lot 30), his negatives (Photo Lot 86), and other manuscript collections by and related to Fewkes' ethnological research and archeology and his work with the Bureau of American Ethnology.
Correspondence from Fewkes held in the National Anthropological Archives in the George L. Beam papers (MS 4517), the Henry Bascom Collins, Jr. papers, the Anthropological Society of Washington records (MS 4821), the Herbert William Krieger papers, the J.C. Pilling papers, the Walter Hough Papers (in the records of the Department of Anthropology), and the records of the Bureau of American Ethnology.
The Department of Anthropology collections holds several accessions of artifacts collected by Fewkes, including USNM ACC 048761 (relating to Casa Grande excavations) and USNM ACC 050765 (relating to Mesa Verde excavations).
Numbered manuscripts 1850s-1980s (some earlier)
See others in:
Jesse Walter Fewkes photograph collection related to archeology circa 1890-1928
Original nitrate negatives are in cold storage and require advanced notice for viewing.
MS 4098 Material relating to proposed Handbook of Aboriginal Remains East of the Mississippi
Bushnell, David I., Jr. (David Ives), 1875-1941 Search this
5 Items (Typed data on cards, arranged by state. boxes. Typed data on cards, arranged by state. 5 boxes.)
United States -- Archeology
Scope and Contents:
Apparently assembled for a proposed Handbook of Aboriginal Remains East of the Mississippi. Also includes data on some states West of Mississippi River.
Box No. 1: Alabama, Arkansas - microfilm on reel 67-4/68, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois.
Box No. 2: Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York
Box No. 3: North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, West Virginia, Vermont.
Box No. 4: Virginia, Wisconsin
Box No. 5: (West of Mississippi River) There is also a miscellaneous group of cards covering various states apparently not completed, including: Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Texas. In addition there are miscellaneous notes on the states already completed.
Alphabetical by state
NAA MS 4098
Other Archival Materials:
See also MS 2619-a and MS 7138. MS 2400 also has some materials relating to the Handbook.
Manuscript 4098, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Includes photographs of individual tribal members, artifacts; and the following archeological sites: Hawikku (Hawikuh), Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico; Mill Creek, Tehama County, California; Coachilla Valley, California; Sandal Cave, New Mexico; Eagle Canyon, Texas; Thea Heye Cave, Pyramid Lake, Nevada; Crown Peak, Chisos Mountains, Texas; Pueblo Grande, Nevada; Salt Caves, St. Thomas, Nevada; Chuckawalla Cave, Nevada; Lovelock Cave, Pershing County, Nevada; other sites in Nevada; cacti in Brewster County, Texas and California; archaeological sites in Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, New York, and Tennessee Collection also includes a variety of scenic shots in different states; shots of persons, identified and unidentified; personal photographs of Harrington, his son, and one of his wives (ELH); and photographs taken during his expeditions to Cuba and Ecuador. Includes photographs of the Alibamu, Apache, Catawba, Cherokee, Chitimacha, Choctaw, Chumash, Comanche, Delaware, Iowa, Iroquois, Kaw, Kickapoo, Kiowa, Klamath, Koasati, Maidu, Mattaponi, Mohegan, Nanticoke, Narragansett, Navajo, Niantic (Nyantic),Ojibwa (Chippewa), Osage, Paiute, Pamunkey, Peoria, Pit River, Potawatomi, Quapaw, Sac and Fox (Sauk and Fox), Seminole, Shawnee, Tolowa, Tulare, Wampanoag, Wichita, Wyandot, Yara, and Zuni tribes.
Collection arranged by format and item number.
Mark Raymond Harrington was born on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on July 6, 1882. He received his BS in 1907 and his MA in 1908 from Columbia University, where he studied under Franz Boas. He met George Heye while working at Covert's Indian store in New York in 1908 and Heye hired him shortly thereafter. Harrington spent from 1908-1911 visiting and collecting from tribes in the east and Midwest for Heye. From 1911-1915 Harrington was assistant curator at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. From 1916-1917 he conducted archeological surveys in Cuba and Arkansas, after which he spent a short time in the U.S. Army during the First World War. After his return in 1919 he started a series of archeological surveys in Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nevada, and Texas. Harrington worked for George G. Heye as an archaeologist, ethnologist, field collector, and curator, primarily along the eastern seaboard, in the south, Midwest, west, Cuba and Ecuador, from 1908 to 1928. He then joined the staff of the Southwest Museum as curator until his retirement in 1964. He died in San Fernando, California on June 30, 1971. Harrington is the author of many books and several hundred articles. A partial bibliography can be found in the Mark Raymond Harrington manuscript collection in the archives of the National Museum of the American Indian, Cultural Resource Center, Suitland, Maryland.
Access restricted. For information on this collection consult the NMAI photo archivist at 301-238-1400 or NMAIphotos@si.edu.
Copyright restrictions apply. Contact archives staff for information.
Photographs of human bone used in the Cultural Resource Management Studies publication issued by the Department of Interior in 1980. Some of the images show the results of excavations in South Dakota and Maryland, views of masses of bones in an ossuary in Maryland and burial urns in Ecuador, and an example of trephination.
Douglas H. Ubelaker (b. 1946) is a forensic anthropologist, curator of physical anthropology in the Smithsonian Institution Department of anthropology, and a Professorial Lecturer in Anthropology and Anatomy at The George Washington University. He has published research on the paleopathology, paleodemography, and osteology of ancient populations.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 92-36
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Field notes by Ubelaker held in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 7220 and MS 7474.
Records relating to Ubelaker's work for the Smithsonian held in the Smithsonian Institution Archives in SIA RU000366, SIA Acc. 95-013, SIA RS00028, and SIA AH00204.
600 Prints (circa, silver gelatin and contact prints (including stereographic images))
325 Negatives (circa)
Horry County (S.C.) -- Antiquities
Virginia -- Antiquities
Maryland -- Antiquities
Glynn County (Ga.) -- Antiquities
Florida -- Antiquities
Washington (D.C.) -- Antiquities
Sussex County (Del.) -- Antiquities
Scope and Contents note:
The collection includes photographs of excavations and artifacts relating to Stearns' archeological work in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. There are also some sketches of artifacts and excavation sites, as well as notes on pictured artifacts. One photo album relates to Stearns' work in Florida, while the other contains photographs of various sites in Maryland, including Conowingo.
The collection relates to work in Sussex County in Delaware; the District of Columbia; Bay, Collier, Flagler, Franklin, St. Johnʹs, St. Lucie, and Volusia counties in Florida, Glynn County in Georgia; Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Queen Anneʹs, and St. Maryʹs counties in Maryland; Horry County in South Carolina; and Loudon and Page counties in Virginia.
Richard E. Stearns (1902-1969) was a commercial photographer and amateur archeologist of Maryland's prehistory. He was known for his photographic documentation, particularly of sites and specimens, most notably at Conowingo, a large village site on the Susquehanna River. In the 1930s, he became a curator for the Department of Archeology of the Natural History Society of Maryland, a position he held for over thirty years. In the 1940s, Stearns published Nicholas Yinger's investigations of the Hughes site, as well as his own investigations of sites in Maryland.
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Department of Anthropology Search this
Smithsonian Institution. Department of Anthropology Search this
Smithsonian Institution. United States National Museum. Department of Anthropology Search this
330.25 Linear feet (519 boxes)
Some materials are held off-site; this will be indicated at the series or sub-series level. Advanced notice must be given to view these portions of the collection.
The Department of Anthropology records contain administrative and research materials produced by the department and its members from the time of the Smithsonian Institution's foundation until today.
Scope and Contents:
The Department of Anthropology records contain correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, memoranda, invoices, meeting minutes, fiscal records, annual reports, grant applications, personnel records, receipts, and forms. The topics covered in the materials include collections, exhibits, staff, conservation, acquisitions, loans, storage and office space, administration, operations, research, budgets, security, office procedures, and funding. The materials were created by members of the Section of Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution, the Division of Anthropology of the United States National Museum, the Office of Anthropology of the National Museum of Natural History, and the Department of Anthropology of the National Museum of Natural History and range in date from before the founding of the Smithsonian Institution to today. The Department of Anthropology records also contain some materials related to the Bureau of American Ethnology, such as documents from the River Basin Surveys.
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.
This collection is arranged in 28 series: (1) Correspondence, 1902-1908, 1961-1992; (2) Alpha-Subject File, 1828-1963; (3) Alpha-Subject File, 1961-1975; (4) Smithsonian Office of Anthropology Subject Files, 1967-1968; (5) River Basin Survey Files, 1965-1969; (6) Research Statements, Proposals, and Awards, 1961-1977 (bulk 1966-1973); (7) Publication File, 1960-1975; (8) Memoranda and Lists Concerning Condemnations, 1910-1965; (9) Notebook on Special Exhibits, 1951-1952 (10) Section on Animal Industry; (11) Administrative Records, 1891-1974; (12) Administrative Records, 1965-1994 (bulk 1975-1988); (13) Fiscal Records, 1904-1986; (14) Annual Reports, 1920-1983; (15) Chairman's Office Files, 1987-1993; (16) Division of Archaeology, 1828-1965; (17) Division of Ethnology, 1840s, 1860-1972, 1997; (18) Division of Physical Anthropology; (19) Division of Cultural Anthropology, 1920-1968; (20) Records of the Anthropological Laboratory/Anthropology Conservation and Restoration Laboratory, 1939-1973; (21) Collections Management, 1965-1985; (22) Photographs of Specimens and Other Subjects (Processing Laboratory Photographs), 1880s-1950s; (23) Exhibit Labels, Specimen Labels, Catalog Cards, and Miscellaneous Documents, circa 1870-1950; (24) Antiquities Act Permits, 1904-1986; (25) Ancient Technology Program, circa 1966-1981; (26) Urgent Anthropology; (27) Records of the Handbook of North American Indians; (28) Personnel; (29) Repatriation Office, 1991-1994
The Smithsonian Institution was founded in 1846. Although there was no department of anthropology until the creation of the Section of Ethnology in 1879, anthropological materials were part of the Smithsonian's collection from its foundation. The Section of Ethnology was created to care for the rapidly growing collection. In 1881, the United States National Museum was established. Soon thereafter, in 1883, it was broken up into divisions, including the Division of Anthropology. In 1904, Physical Anthropology was added to the Division.
The Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) was created in 1879 as a research unit of the Smithsonian, separating research from collections care. However, during the 1950s, research became a higher priority for the Department of Anthropology and, in 1965, the BAE was merged with the Department of Anthropology to create the Office of Anthropology, and the BAE's archives became the National Anthropological Archives (NAA).
In 1967, the United States National Museum was broken up into three separate museums: the Musuem of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History), the National Museum of American Art, and the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). The Office of Anthropology was included in NMNH and was renamed the Department of Anthropology in 1968.
New divisions were added to the Department, including the Human Studies Film Archives (HSFA) in 1981, the Research Institute on Immigration and Ethnic Studies (RIIES) in 1982, and the Repatriation Office in 1993. In 1983, the Smithsonian opened the Museum Support Center (MSC) in Suitland, Maryland, as offsite housing for collections with specialized storage facilities and conservation labs.
The Department of Anthropology is currently the largest department within NMNH. It has three curatorial divisions (Ethnology, Archaeology, and Biological Anthropology) and its staff includes curators, research assistants, program staff, collections specialists, archivists, repatriation tribal liaisons, and administrative specialists. It has a number of outreach and research arms, including the Repatriation Office, Recovering Voices, Human Origins, and the Arctic Studies Center.
The Museum is home to one of the world's largest anthropology collections, with over three million specimens in archaeology, ethnology, and human skeletal biology. The NAA is the Smithsonian's oldest archival repository, with materials that reflect over 150 years of anthropological collecting and fieldwork. The HSFA is the only North American archive devoted exclusively to the collection and preservation of anthropological film and video.
National Museum of Natural History. "Department of Anthropology: About" Accessed April 13, 2020. https://naturalhistory.si.edu/research/anthropology/about
National Museum of Natural History. "History of Anthropology at the Smithsonian." Accessed April 13, 2020. https://naturalhistory.si.edu/sites/default/files/media/file/history-anthropology-si.pdf
National Museum of Natural History. "History of the Smithsonian Catalog." Accessed April 13, 2020 https://siris-sihistory.si.edu/ipac20/ipac.jsp?profile=sicall
1846 -- The Smithsonian Institution is founded
1879 -- George Catlin bequeaths his collection to the Smithsonian The Section of Ethnology is established to oversee ethnological and archaeological collections The Bureau of Ethnology is established by Congress as a research unit of the Smithsonian
1881 -- The U.S. National Museum (USNM) is established as a separate entity within the Smithsonian Institution
1883 -- The staff and collections of the USNM are reorganized into divisions, including a Division of Anthropology
1897 -- The United States National Museum is reorganized into three departments: Anthropology headed by W. H. Holmes; Biology with F. W. True as head; and Geology with G. P. Merrill in charge The Bureau of Ethnology is renamed the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) to emphasize the geographic limit of its interests
1903 -- The Division of Physical Anthropology established
1904 -- The Division of Physical Anthropology is incorporated into the Division of Anthropology
1910 -- The USNM moves into the new Natural History Building
1965 -- The Smithsonian Office of Anthropology is created on February 1 The BAE is eliminated and merged with the Office of Anthropology
1968 -- The Smithsonian Office of Anthropology (SOA) of the National Museum of Natural History is retitled the Department of Anthropology on October 29
1973 -- The Research Institute on Immigration and Ethnic Studies (RIIES) is established at the National Museum of Natural History's (NMNH) Center for the Study of Man (CSM) to study the waves of immigration to the United States and its overseas outposts that began in the 1960's
1975 -- The National Anthropological Film Center is established
1981 -- The National Anthropological Film Center is incorporated into the Department of Anthropology
1982 -- The RIIES, part of the CSM at the NMNH, is transferred to the Department of Anthropology
1991 -- NMNH establishes a Repatriation Office
1993 -- The Repatriation Office is incorporated into the Department of Anthropology
Head Curators and Department Chairs
1897-1902 -- William Henry Holmes
1902-1903 -- Otis T. Mason (acting)
1904-1908 -- Otis T. Mason
1908-1909 -- Walter Hough (acting)
1910-1920 -- William Henry Holmes
1920-1923 -- Walter Hough (acting)
1923-1935 -- Walter Hough
1935-1960 -- Frank M. Setzler
1960-1962 -- T. Dale Stewart
1963-1965 -- Waldo R. Wedel
1965-1967 -- Richard Woodbury
1967-1970 -- Saul H. Riesenberg
1970-1975 -- Clifford Evans
1975-1980 -- William W. Fitzhugh
1980-1985 -- Douglas H. Ubelaker
1985-1988 -- Adrienne L. Kaeppler
1988-1992 -- Donald J. Ortner
1992-1999 -- Dennis Stanford
1999-2002 -- Carolyn L. Rose
2002-2005 -- William W. Fitzhugh
2005-2010 -- J. Daniel Rogers
2010-2014 -- Mary Jo Arnoldi
2014-2018 -- Torbin Rick
2018- -- Igor Krupnik
The NAA holds collections of former head curators and department chairs, including the papers of Otis Tufton Mason, Walter Hough, T. Dale Stewart, Waldo Rudolph and Mildred Mott Wedel, Saul H. Riesenberg, Clifford Evans, and Donald J. Ortner; the photographs of Frank Maryl Setzler; and the Richard B. Woodbury collection of drawings of human and animal figures.
Other related collections at the NAA include the papers of Gordon D. Gibson, Eugene I. Knez, and Betty J. Meggers and Clifford Evans; and the records of the Bureau of American Ethnology, the Center for the Study of Man, and the River Basin Surveys.
This collection was transferred to the National Anthropological Archives (NAA) by the National Museum of Natural History's Department of Anthropology in multiple accessions.
Some materials are restricted.
Access to the Department of Anthropology records requires an appointment.
The Macgregor papers document the man's career very unevenly. Most of the material concerns his work with the Public Health Service and most of that concerns a study carried out in Bristol, Vermont. There are also materials concerning a survey carried out in the Great Plains and a study involving junior high school students in Prince Georges County, Maryland.
The papers also include miscellaneous documents relating to Macgregor's position with the Technical Cooperation Administration. Notably, there are transcripts and other materials of anthropologists who lectured at the Foreign Service Institute to technicians being sent overseas as part of the Point IV program. There is also a copy of a training manual for Point IV that was prepared through a contract with the American Anthropological Association, a program with which Macgregor became involved as a TCA administrator who reviewed the drafts of the manual. In addition, there are reports from Eliot D. Chapple on materials prepared for film producers under a contract between the U. S. Department of State International Motion Pictures Division and the Society for Applied Anthropology Film Planning Project. A very few items in the collection relate to Macgregor's work with the Committee on International Exchange of Persons.
There is little or no material relating to Macgregor's interest in old world archeology and none concerning his interest in Oceania. The file of American Indian materials is largely a miscellany of reference items, the main exception being a few notes on the Navaho and material relating to American Indian Development, Inc. None of that material appears to concern Macgregor's BIA work, and none of it relates to his study of the Dakota Indians.
Gordon Macgregor (1902-1984) was trained at Yale (BA, 1925) and Harvard (PhD, 1935). Although he worked in old world archeology and Oceanic ethnology, the major portion of his career was devoted to applied anthropology in government service. From 1936 to 1945, he was engaged as an anthropologist with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and he served from 1945 to 1947 as superintendent of the Northern Cheyenne agency. In 1947-1949, he was a social economist with the BIA Missouri River Basin Unit which was concerned with preparations for the removal of Indians from their lands because of the construction of dams by the federal government. In this work, Macgregor was involved with the tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation.
After two years as a Pacific specialist with the Department of Interior Office of Territories in 1949 to 1951, Macgregor became an anthropologist with the Technical Cooperation Administration of the Department of State. The TCA was involved in aspects of the Point IV program. In 1953-1956, Macgregor became a research associate of the Committee on International Exchange of Persons of the Conference Board of Associated Research Council. Under the Fulbright-Hays Act, the committee administered exchanges between the United States and other countries involving university lecturing and advanced research.
In 1957-1966, Macgregor served as senior anthropologist with the United States Public Health Service. In that position, he was involved in a study of local public health practice with the view toward improving the means of providing public health service.
Those interested in Macgregor's work for the BIA Missouri River Basin Unit may wish to consult NAA manuscript 4805, which consists of research and reference materials of the University of Chicago Fort Berthold Project. That material includes a few papers and reports, largely mimeographed, written by Macgregor in the course of his work with the unit. Those interested in additional material concerning the Point IV program and the American Anthropological Association are advised to examine AAA records in the National Anthropological Archives. It might be noted, however, that Macgregor was not the State Department's main contact with the AAA and relatively few documents in the AAA record relate to him.
Questionnaires in the Macgregor papers that resulted from Public Health Service surveys are restricted to use by qualified researchers who agree to protect the identities of the interviewees.
The Macgregor papers are open for research. Access to the Macgregor papers requires an appointment.
Gordon Macgregor papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
The Donald J. Ortner Papers, dated 1963 to 2013, document his research and professional activities while working in the Division of Physical Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. They primarily deal with his contributions to the field of paleopathology and his work with specimens from Bab edh-Dhra, Jordan and Chichester, England. The bulk of this collection consists of correspondence, files related to Ortner's publications, specimen observations and analysis, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The Donald J. Ortner Papers primarily document his projects, research, and correspondence working as a biological anthropologist in the Division of Physical Anthropology of the Department of Anthropology from 1963 until his death in 2012. The bulk of the projects represented relate to his work in paleopathology, such as the Near Eastern skeletal biology program in Jordan and the medieval skeletal disease project in England. The collection consists of notes, research materials, correspondence, data and data analysis, transcripts of specimen observations, maps, blueprints, artwork, negatives, slides, photographs, CD-Roms, floppy discs, and sound cassettes.
This collection is arranged in 8 series: Series 1. Correspondence, 1966-2012; Series 2. Subject files, 1965-2013, undated; Series 3. Near Eastern Skeletal Biology Program, 1977-2010, undated; Series 4. Medieval Skeletal Disease Project, 1988-2006, undated; Series 5. Other publications, projects, and research, 1963-2011, undated; Series 6. Professional activities, 1971-2007, undated; Series 7. Biographical and office files, 1963-2011, undated; Series 8. Artwork, 1978, undated
Donald J. Ortner was a biological anthropologist in the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). By the time of his death, Ortner had served in many positions at the Museum, including Acting Director (1994-1996). His areas of expertise included human paleopathology, human health in medieval England, bioarcheology of the ancient Near East, and the history and evoluton of human infectious diseases. Ortner was a founding member of the Paleopathology Association.
Ortner was born in 1938 in Stoneham, Massachusetts and arrived at the NMNH in 1963, working primarily with J. Lawrence Angel who had recently started as Curator in the Division of Physical Anthropology. While working at the Museum, Ortner completed his Master's in Anthropology in 1967 and received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1970. His doctoral dissertation was on The Effects of Aging and Disease on the Micromorphology of Human Compact Bone.
Ortner worked with Walter G. J. Putschar, a pathologist based at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, on a series of short-courses (1971-1974) on paleopathology at the Smithsonian. During the summer of 1974, Putschar and Ortner traveled to Europe (London, Edinburgh, Zurich, Strasbourg, Vienna, Prague) studying and photographing examples of skeletal pathology in museums and other repositories. The result of this research was the book Identification of Pathological Conditions in Human Skeletal Remains published in 1981, with later editions in 1985 and 2003.
In 1977, Ortner joined the Expedition to the Dead Sea Plain directed by archaeologists Walter E. Rast and R. Thomas Schaub, focusing on the site of Bab edh-Dhra. Ortner studied the tombs and skeletons for data indicating cultural and biological changes, especially urbanization and connection to the development of other "Western civilizations." Ortner participated in two more field seasons in Bab edh-Dhra in 1979 and 1981. From his research at Bab-edh-Dhra, Ortner published many scholarly articles and recreated two tombs for the Hall of Western Civilization at NMNH.
In 1988, Ortner began his collaboration with the University of Bradford in Bradford, England, teaching short-courses on paleopathology. While a Visiting Professor at the University, he also participated in a project on human health and disease in Medieval England. The project focused on leprosy and syphilis in skeletons from St. James Hospital's leprosarium cemetery in Chichester, Wharram Perry, and Magistrates' Court in Kingston-upon-Hull. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University in 1995.
Donald J. Ortner died on April 29th, 2012 in Maryland.
Ubelaker, D. H. "Obituary: Donald J. Ortner (1938–2012)." American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 149 (2012): 155–156.
Arnoldi, Mary Jo and Ann Kaupp. "Donald J. Ortner, Sr. (1939-2012)." Anthropolog: Newsletter of the Department of Anthropology, Spring 2012: 1-3.
1938 -- Born on August 23 in Stoneham, Massachusetts.
1960 -- Received B.A. in Zoology from Columbia Union College in Takoma Park, Maryland.
1963 -- Began working at the Smithsonian Institution.
1967 -- Received M.A. in Anthropology from Syracuse University.
1969 -- Promoted to Assistant Curator.
1970 -- Received Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.
1971 -- Promoted to Associate Curator.
1971-1975 -- Taught part-time at the University of Maryland.
1974 -- Spent summer with Dr. Walter G. J. Putschar studying pathological specimens in Europe.
1976 -- Promoted to Curator in the Anthropology Department, National Museum of Natural History.
1977 -- First field season at Bab edh-Dhra cemetery site in Jordan.
1979 -- Second field season at Bab edh-Dhra cemetery site in Jordan.
1981 -- Third field season at Bab edh-Dhra cemetery site in Jordan.
1988 -- Began association with the University of Bradford in Bradford, England.
1988-1992 -- Chairman of the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History.
1994-1996 -- Acting Director of the National Museum of Natural History.
1995 -- Awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the University of Bradford.
1999-2001 -- President of the Paleopathology Association.
2005 -- Received Eve Cockburn Award from the Paleopathology Association in recognition of his contributions in the field of paleopathology.
2012 -- Died on April 29 in Maryland.
The following photo lots depicting Donald J. Ortner can be found at the NAA:
Photo Lot 7D: Photograph of attendees after American Anthropological Association annual meeting, 1965
Photo Lot 7A: Portraits made at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, 1970
Photo Lot 77-45: Photograph of Smithsonian Institution physical anthropologists, circa 1977
Photo Lot 4822: Division of Physical Anthropology collection of photographs of physical anthropologists, undated
Sound recordings of Donald J. Ortner at the NAA:
John Lawrence Angel Papers, Sound Recordings, "How Humans Adapt: A Biocultural Odyssey," November 9, 1981
Other collections at the NAA in which Donald J. Ortner is a correspondent or creator of material:
Records of the Department of Anthropology, 1877-1980
Department of Anthropology Annual Reports, 1920-1983
John Lawrence Angel Papers, 1930s-1980s
Three films that document Ortner's work in Bab edh-Dhra are located in the Human Studies Film Archives (HSFA):
Film number 2000.9.1, The Bones of Bab edh-Dhra, ca. 1970s
Film number 2000.9.3, Bab edh-Dhra Film Project, 1970-1980
Film number 2014.3, City of the Dead, 1978
The Smithsonian Institution Archives holds the original City of the Dead in Accession 05-282, Office of Telecommunications, Productions.
These papers were transferred to the NAA from the Department of Anthropology in 2014.
The Donald J. Ortner Papers are open for research.
Access to the Donald J. Ortner Papers requires an appointment.
Requests to view forensic files are subject to review by the NAA. Forensic files can only be
viewed in the National Anthropological Archives reading room. No copies are permitted unless
permission is granted by the agency the report was written for.
Electronic records are unavailable for research. Please contact the reference archivist for
Use of audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.