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Saturday, August 16 • 8:30am - 9:45am
SESSION 604 - Destroyed by the SEM Model22a Hybridized Desintigrator with a 3/32-Inch Screen

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This session focuses on a 1995 New York Times Magazine article on nude photos taken at Ivy League and Seven Sisters institutions that had been donated to the National Anthropological Archives at the Smithsonian Institition by Professor W. H. Sheldon. Sheldon argued that success in life could be predicted based on a person's posture, which he called somatotyping. The outcry resulting from the article led most institutions to destroy their photos. Two archivists who oversaw the destruction of photos are joined by the Smithsonian archivist who dealt with the institutional crisis resulting from the article and an anthropologist who suggests ways the photos could have been used for research had they survived. Now two decades after the controversy, the complete story can be told.

Homiak: Posturing and Other Uncomfortable Positions: The Sheldon Photos Revisited
Palkovich (read by Primer): A View from Biological Anthropology
Sly: Women's Health and the Pix Controversy: Two Decades Later


John Homiak

Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives

Ben Primer

Associate University Librarian for Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University
avatar for Margery N. Sly

Margery N. Sly

Director, Temple University Libraries
Margery N. Sly is Director of Special Collections, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, PA. An SAA member since 1979, she is a Fellow of the Society and currently serves as Vice President of the SAA Foundation.

Saturday August 16, 2014 8:30am - 9:45am
Washington 1 [Exhibition Level] Marriott Wardman Park, 2660 Woodley Road NW, Washington, DC 20008

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