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Brigitte Jordan papers

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00634

Scope and Contents

The Brigitte Jordon papers consist of audiovisual materials, images, publications, presentations, and research files for an anthropological study, conducted by Jordan, of cross-cultural childbirth practices in Mexico, Holland, Sweden, and the U.S., circa 1970s, for her book Birth in Four Cultures(1983). Included are videotapes of hospital and home births; and verbatim transcriptions in Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, with English translations. Of special interest are films of indigenous midwifery practices, including several births Jordan attended as apprentice to a village midwife in the Yucatan. Also included are a series of pen and ink drawings of a Mexican midwife attending a pregnant women, field notes and other research materials. Most recent accession includes materials from her work in Palo Alto with the XEROX Corporation at the Palo Alto Research Center, teaching materials from her anthropology classes, and numerous materials from workplace ethnography studies conducted by Jordan.

Dates of Materials

  • 1973 - 2015

Creator

Language of Materials

Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, German, Portuguese, Italian, English

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use with following restrictions on access:

Boxes 6-9 in Accession 2008-S-0107 contain moldy materials. These boxes are closed to research, until the materials can be cleaned or digitized.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that he owned copyright to the works of his late wife Brigette Jordan, Robert Irwin has dedicated copyright in her materials to the public domain. This agreement is governed by a CC0 (Creative Commons 1.0 Universal) public domain dedication. Copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Brigette Jordan, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical Note

Jordan conducted seminal work in the study of cross-cultural birth practices in the 1970s, including home birth and hospital birth, in the Yucatan and in Holland, Sweden and the United States, resulting in publication of her book Birth in Four Cultures (1983). She taught and conducted research for many years at the university level, where her interests focused on the dynamics of change in the medical systems of developing countries. In 1988, Jordan began working as a corporate anthropologist, and her research and consulting interests evolved to include the changing nature of work under the impact of new communication and information technologies and the consequent transformation of ways of life, societal institutions, and global economies. A sought-after speaker and leader of executive workshops, Jordan was the author of many scholarly and technical publications.

Brigitte (Gitti) Muller Jordan was born in Passau, Germany, in 1937 and grew up there during World War II. Her parents were Gertrude Frank Muller, who died in 1944 when Jordan was seven, and Josef Karl Muller. She married Richard Jordan in 1958, and they had three children: Wayne (b. 1959), Susan (b. 1960), and Kimsey (b. 1961). The couple divorced in 1968. Jordan earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees in anthropology at California State University at Sacramento, and her Ph.D. in social science/anthropology from University of California at Irvine in 1975. She died at home on May 24, 2016 of pancreatic cancer. Her website states, "she chose to meet the cancer on her own terms, refusing medical intervention, embracing hospice care, and remaining as physically and mentally active as humanly possible until the end."

Extent

19.938 linear feet (19 containers)

0.9 Gigabytes (1,048 files: digital images, video, and documents)

Abstract

In the 1970s, Brigitte Jordan conducted seminal work in the study of cross-cultural birth practices, including home birth and hospital birth, in the Yucatan and in Holland, Sweden and the United States, resulting in publication of her book Birth in Four Cultures (1983). She taught and conducted research for many years at the university level where her interests focused on the dynamics of change in the medical systems of developing countries. Her papers consist of audiovisual materials, images, publications, presentations, and research files for an anthropological study conducted by Jordan, of cross-cultural childbirth practices in Mexico, Holland, Sweden, and the U.S., circa 1970s, published in Birth in Four Cultures. Included are videotapes of hospital and home births and verbatim transcriptions in Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, with English translations. Of special interest are films of indigenous midwifery practices, including several births Jordan attended as apprentice to a village midwife in the Yucatan. Also included are a series of pen and ink drawings of a Mexican midwife attending a pregnant women, field notes and other research materials.

Arrangement

This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time. Note that in most cases, container numbers start over at 1 with each new accession.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection is comprised of the following accessions, some of which may not have accession records. Accession numbers: 08S-107, 2018-S-0027. Accessions were received on the following dates: 2008-12-01, 2018-05-24.

Existence and Location of Copies

Video tapes may be reproductions of original films.

Source

Creator

Title
Finding aid to the Brigitte Jordan papers
Status
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Author
Ellice Amanna
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2017-07-26T17:48:24-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2018-08: Accession 2018-S-0027 added
  • 2018-12-04: Archived website added
  • 2021-08-13: Content description added from accession inventory

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Contact:
Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063