Guide to the Donald J. Ortner Papers, 1963-2013

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.2014-07
Creators:
Ortner, Donald J.
Dates:
1963-2013
Languages:
English
Collection is primarily in
English
. Some materials are in
French
and
German
.
Physical Description:
44.37 Linear Feet
96 boxes, 3 map-folders
Repository:
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
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.

Arrangement
Arrangement
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

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
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.
Sources consulted:
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.
Chronology
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.

Administration
Processing Information
Overall, Ortner's original organization has been maintained. Some series and subseries were created to call out Ortner's larger projects and to make the collection easier to navigate. Materials within folders retain Ortner's original order, but folder titles have been changed where the original title was abbreviated or not fully descriptive of the contents. The processing archivist rehoused the materials; removed and copied sticky notes; separated oversize and restricted materials; and rehoused negatives, slides, and some photographs.
Processed and encoded by Alice Griffin, 2016.
Author
Alice Griffin
Sponsor
The papers of Donald J. Ortner were processed with the assistance of the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These papers were transferred to the NAA from the Department of Anthropology in 2014.

Selected Bibliography
Selected Bibliography
1976 with R. S. Corruccini. "Skeletal Biology of Virginia Indians." American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 45(3): 717-722.
1979. "Disease and Mortality in the Early Bronze-Age People of Bab-Edh-Dhra, Jordan." American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 51(4): 589-597.
1981 with Walter G. J. Putschar. "Identification of Pathological Conditions in Human Skeletal Remains." Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology, no. 28.
1982 with Bruno Frohlich. "Excavations of the Early Bronze Age Cemetery at Bâb edh-Dhrâ, Jordan, 1981: A Preliminary Report." Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, 1982: 249-67.
1983. "Biocultural Interaction in Human Adaptation." In How Humans Adapt: A Biocultural Odyssey, edited by Donald J. Ortner, 127-145. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
1987. "Archaeological Evidence of Polyarticular Inflammatory Arthritides in North America." In Art, History and Antiquity of Rheumatic Diseases, edited by Thierry Appelboom, 92-96. Brussels: Elsevier Librico.
1992 with Noreen C. Tuross and A. I. Stix. "New Approaches to the Study of Disease in Archaeological New-World Populations." Human Biology, 64(3): 337-360.
1994. "Descriptive methodology in paleopathology." In Skeletal biology in the Great Plains, edited by D. Owsley and R. Jantz, 73-80. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.
1997 with M. F. Erickson. "Bone changes in the human skull probably resulting from scurvy in infancy and childhood." International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 7(3): 212-220.
1999 with E. H. Kimmerle and M. Diez. "Probable evidence of scurvy in subadults from archeological sites in Peru." American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 108(3): 321-331.
2003. Identification of Pathological Conditions in Human Skeletal Remains. 2nd ed. Academic Press.
2008 with Bruno Frohlich. The Early Bronze Age I Tombs and Burials of Bab edh-Dhra, Jordan. Vol. 3, Reports of the Expedition to the Dead Sea Plain, Jordan Volume 3. New York: AltaMira Press.
2011. "What skeletons tell us. The story of human paleopathology." Virchows Archiv, 459(3): 247-254.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Conditions Governing Access
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 additional information.
Use of audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Preferred Citation
Donald J. Ortner Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
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.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Anthropologists -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Virginia Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
England Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Archaeology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jordan Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Human remains (Archaeology) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Middle East Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maps Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scurvy Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Peru Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Slides (photographs) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Leprosy -- Research Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Physical anthropology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bāb edh-Dhrā Site (Jordan) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Excavations (Archaeology) -- England Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Forensic anthropology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Paleopathology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Negatives (photographic) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bronze age Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chichester (England) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diseases Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of Bradford Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Frohlich, Bruno, 1945- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Institution Department of Anthroplogy Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Putschar, Walter G. J., 1904-1987 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Paleopathology Association Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland 20746
naa@si.edu
http://www.anthropology.si.edu/naa/