Photographs documenting physical anthropology techniques for measuring and photographing skulls for comparison, as practiced by scientists of the Army Medical Museum. Photographs are mounted on unbound pages from an album and have been annotated to describe the technique depicted.
The United States Army Medical Museum (AMM, renamed the National Museum of Health and Medicine in 1989) was established by US Army Surgeon General William A. Hammond in 1862. Its initial focus was on collecting specimens of unusual pathology, mostly taken from victims of the American Civil War. By 1867, the museum had expanded to include medical, microsopical, anatomical, comparative anatomics, and other sections. The anatomical collection grew in part as a result of Circular No. 2 of 1867, which authorized military medical officers to collect cranial specimens from deceased American Indians. Additionally, the AMM made an arrangement with the Smithsonian Institution, by which the Smithsonian transferred their collection of human remains in exchange for ethnological artifacts. AMM photographed and measured many of the specimens in its collection as part of the museum's anthropological research.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 78-42
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Copy prints of additional mounted photographs from this series can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 33.
Additional photographs of skulls by the Army Medical Museum can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 6A, Photo Lot 6B, Photo Lot 73-26C, Photo Lot 83-41, and Photo Lot 97.
The National Anthropological Archives holds microfilm of the papers of Washington Matthews, circa 1864-1905.
The National Anthropological Archives holds records concerning skeletal material transferred to the Smithsonian Institution from the Army Medical Museum.
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.
Watson, James B. (James Bennett), 1918-2009 Search this
52.5 Linear feet (123 boxes)
47 sound recordings
Papua New Guinea
Mato Grosso (Brazil : State)
Papua New Guinea -- Social life and customs
This collection contains the professional papers of cultural anthropologist James B. Watson, and documents his fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, Brazil, and Del Norte, Co., as well as his teaching career at the University of Washington. Included are field notes, lecture notes, correspondence, maps, photographs, books, articles, journals, grant proposals, surveys, data punch cards, conference materials, and sound recordings.
Scope and Contents:
This collection is comprised of the professional papers of James B. Watson, the bulk of which relate to his research and academic work on the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. The series are Research, Writings, Correspondence, Professional Activities, University Files, Biographical Files, Maps, Photographs, and Sound Recordings.
The Research series contains Watson's research on Hopi food classification systems in Arizona, Cayua acculturation in Brazil, social stratification between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking residents of Del Norte, Co., numerous research projects in Papua New Guinea, and gift exchange theories.
The Arizona, Hopi Food Classification Systems subseries consists of his research among the Hopi in Arizona, primarily on their food classication systems. Included are field notes and reports.
The Mato Grosso, Brazil and Cayua Acculturation subseries consists of research materials conducted while Watson was working as an assistant professor in Sao Paulo. Included are field notes, bibliographies, a journal, and a language notebook primarily regarding his research on culture change among the Cayua.
The Del Norte, Colorado Surveys subseries contains material related to research conducted in the summers of 1949 and 1950 as part of a study on social stratification between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking residents of Del Norte. Included are datasets from several community surveys on education, occupations, business, and cultural attitudes, along with research notes and background materials.
The Papua New Guinea subseries consists of research materials on the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Included are field notes, language materials, bibliographies, grant documents and research proposals, genealogy data, long reports and patrol reports, data punch cards, and TAT (thematic apperception test) protocols. There is material from several research projects including the Committee on New Guinea Studies (CONGS), the Kainantu Blood Group Study, and the New Guinea Religions Project. Watson's wife, Virginia Drew Watson, also has research material in this series. Language documentation include lexicons and notes about Agarabi, Auyana, Awa, Tairora, Gadsup, and Tok Pisin.
The subsubseries Micro-evolution Studies Project (MES) consists of related Papua New Guinea research as part of this multi-year project. Material included is correspondence, financial documents, memorandums and planning documents, grant proposals, language files, and work papers.
The Gift Exchange Theories subseries consists of Watson's research on gift exchange theories, primarily as they relate to small autonomous peoples. The material consists of research notes, paper ideas, bibliographies, and grant applications.
The Other Research subseries consists of papers and research that are not easily catagorized. Included are subject files on perception, notes and critiques of Marshal Sahlins's Stone Age Economics, and a research project by Watson studying innovation in high school social studies curriculum.
The Writings series primarily consists of journal articles produced over the duration of his career. Included are research notes, drafts, and some correspondence. A print copy is included where possible. There is significant material related to his book Tairora Culture, including chapter drafts, outlines, and reader comments. The writings by others are primarily annotated copies of articles, rare and small print-run items, or manuscripts by others sent to Watson for comment.
The Correspondence series contains professional and personal correspondence with Watson's colleagues and contemporaries in the field, including J. David Cole, Terence Hays, Paula Brown-Glick, Richard Lieban, Howard P. McKaughan, Harold Nelson, Kerry Pataki-Schweizer, Kenneth E. Read, Sterling Robbins, and Roy Wagner. Topics include his academic career, student dissertations, research grants and fellowships, and research related to Papua New Guinea, and in particular the Micro-evolution Studies project.
The Professional Activities series primarily consists of conference notes, papers, presentations, and symposium documents. Included are materials for the American Anthropological Association, the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania, the Pacific Sciences Conference, as well as symposiums held at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Some of the files are related to specific symposiums Watson attended or helped to organize, the bulk of which are related to Papua New Guinea. Also included are Watson's lecture notes, and materials related to the United Nations West Irian Development Plan
The University Files series contains material related to Watson's academic career. The bulk of the files are course materials from the classes he taught at the Univesity of Washington, which include lecture notes, syllabi, exams, and student papers. Other materials includes student dissertation files and some of Watson's course work from the University of Chicago.
The Biographical Files series includes numerous editions of his curriculum vitae and bibliographies.
The Maps series contains maps used in Watson's research, which includes Brazil; Del Norte, Co.; and Papua New Guinea. The bulk are maps of Papua New Guinea, and include published maps, annotated maps, hand-drawn maps, patrol reports, and linguistic maps.
The Photographs series contains photographs of Watson's fieldwork and professional career. The bulk of his fieldwork photographs are from Del Norte, Co. and Papua New Guinea. The Del Norte photographs include aerial images along with photographs of residents, houses, and cultural activities. The photographs from Papua New Guinea include images of a taro garden, a woman before and at her marriage ceremony, and images of tools found at an excavation site near the Wahgi Valley.
The sound recordings contain seven identified recordings made in the Papua New Guinea Eastern Highlands, Kainantu District during James and Virginia Watson's first trip, 1954-1955. Also included are 31 recordings of lectures and classes by James Watson and others, two recordings of popular music, and six reels recorded at the Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo in 1966. The remaining 23 uncataloged recordings are unidentified or partially identified.
Please see individual series descriptions in the finding aid for additional information.
This collection is arranged in 9 series:
Series1: Research, 1933-1993
Series 2: Writings, 1904-1995
Series 3: Correspondence, 1933-1994
Series 4: Professional Activities, 1944-1998
Series 5: University Files, 1939-1991
Series 6: Biographical Files, 1941-1991
Series 7: Maps, circa 1920s-1970
Series 8: Photographs, circa 1942-1977
Series 9: Sound Recordings, 1954-1984
James B. Watson (1918-2009) was a cultural anthropologist and university professor. He is primarily known for his ethnographic studies of the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, with a concentration on acculturation. He taught at the University of Washington, was the prinicipal investigator for the Micro-evolution Studies project (MES), and the author of numerous journal articles and books.
Watson was born in Chicago, Ill., and raised in Bangor, Maine. He studied anthropology at the University of Chicago, earning his B.A. in 1941; his M.A. in 1945; and his Ph.D. in 1948. Fred Eggan acted as his advisor while he was pursuing his doctorate. He began his teaching career as an assistant professor at the Escala Livre de Sociologia e Politica, Sao Paulo (1944-1945); Beloit College (1945-1946); University of Oklahoma (1946-1947); and as an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis (1947-1955). He then became a full professor of anthropology at the University of Washington (1955-1987), where he spent the majority of his career.
His ethnographic research began with his fieldwork among the Hopi in Arizona in 1942. He researched Hopi food classification systems, which would become the subject of his master's thesis. Watson would next study the effects of acculturation among the Cayua people in Mato Grosso, Brazil in 1943-1945. This research would become the basis of his dissertation, later to be published as Cayua Culture Change: A Study in Acculturation and Methodology. His wife, anthropologist Virginia Drew Watson, accompanied him and conducted her own research. While at Washington University, he directed fieldwork in the summers of 1949 and 1950 in Del Norte, Co., conducting several community surveys on education, occupations, business, and cultural attitudes. These surveys were part of a larger study on social stratification between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking residents of Del Norte.
Watson is most noted for his work in the Papua New Guinea Highlands, where he was one of the first generation of Highland ethnographers. Along with Virginia Drew Watson, he studied the Kainantu peoples of the Eastern Highlands including the Tairora, the Gadsup, the Auyana, and the Awa. He was involved in several research projects, including the Committee on New Guinea Studies (CONGS), The Kainantu Blood Group Study, and the New Guinea Religions Project.
He was also the principal investigator for the Micro-evolution Studies project (1959-1968) where he directed a team of researchers examining the interconnections of the Kainantu peoples from the perspectives of ethnography, linguistics, archaeology, and physical anthropology. Other MES researchers include Kenneth E. Read, Robert A. Littlewood, Howard McKaughan, Kerry J. Pataki-Schweizer, and Sterling Robbins. This research on Papua New Guinea is best described in his book Tairora Culture: Contingency and Pragmatism (1983).
He was professionally active, attending and organizing sessions at annual meetings for the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO). He also organized symposiums at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Additionally, he served as a consultant to the United Nations on their West Irian Development Plan in 1967. Watson retired from teaching in 1987, but continued to publish and remain involved in AAA and ASAO. He died in 2009.
1999 Westermark, George. ASAO Honorary Fellow: James B. Watson. Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania Newsletter 104: 21
1918 -- Born on August 10 in Chicago, Illinois
1941 -- B.A. in anthropology, University of Chicago Lecturer, University of Chicago
1941-1942 -- Fieldwork: Hopi
1943 -- Married Virgina Drew Fieldwork: Mato Grosso, Brazil
1943-1945 -- Fieldwork: Brazil
1944-1945 -- Assistant Professor, Escala Livre de Sociologia e Politica, Sao Paulo, Brazil
1945 -- M.A. in anthropology, University of Chicago
1945-1946 -- Assistant Professor, Beloit College
1946-1947 -- Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma
1947-1955 -- Associate Professor, Washington University in St. Louis
1948 -- Ph.D. in anthropology, University of Chicago
1949-1950 -- Director, Washington University summer field project
1949-1950 -- Fieldwork: Del Norte, Colorado
1953-1955 -- Fieldwork: Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea
1955-1987 -- Professor of Anthropology, University of Washington
1959 -- Fieldwork: Papua New Guinea and Netherlands New Guinea
1959-1968 -- Principal Investigator, New Guinea Micro-evolution Studies Project
1963-1964 -- Fieldwork: Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea
1966-1967 -- Senior Specialist, Institute of Advanced Projects, East-West Center
1967 -- Consultant for United Nations Development Programme, West Irian
1967 -- Fieldwork: West Irian (Indonesia)
1987 -- Retired from teaching at University of Washington
2009 -- Died on November 12
The National Anthropological Archives also holds the papers of Virginia D. Watson.
Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD holds the Micro-evolution Project Papers, MSS 436.
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by James Watson's daughter, Anne Watson, in 2003.
Some research proposals not authored by Watson are restricted until 2083.