- 1955-1998 (inclusive)
- Majority of material found within 1977-1997
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Access requires advance notice. Contact Public Services for further information.
Access to patient, student, and personnel information is restricted for 80 years from the date of record creation. These restrictions are noted where they appear in Series I and II. Access to Harvard University records is restricted for 50 years from the date of record creation. These records are noted where they appear in Series I and II. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. Consult Public Services for further information.
Access to electronic records in the collection (as found in Series I) is also subject to the above restrictions. Additionally, access is premised on the availability of a computer station, requisite software, and/or the availability of Public Services staff to review and/or print out records of interest in advance of an on-site visit.
Conditions Governing Use
8.53 cubic feet (7 records center cartons, 1 half legal-size document box, and 5 flat oversized boxes)
0.01 Gigabytes (electronic records on network storage)
The Steven Lawrence Gortmaker papers, 1955-1998 (inclusive), 1977-1997 (bulk), are the product of Gortmaker’s research, teaching, and professional activities throughout the course of his career at the Harvard School of Public Health (later the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health). The papers are arranged in three series: I. Research Projects Records, 1975-1998; II. Harvard School of Public Health Professional Records, 1957-1998; and III. Collected Publications, 1955-1998.
Research Projects Records (Series I) constitutes the bulk of the collection, and consist of: summarized and analyzed obesity research data generated using raw data from cycles II and III of the National Health Examination Survey and cycles I through III of the subsequent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; analyzed and coded infant mortality research data and related codebooks, manuscript drafts, and administrative records, generated during the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Rural Infant Care Program; and raw, coded, analyzed, and summarized organ donation research data and related methodologies, manuscript drafts, and administrative records generated through Gortmaker’s work with the Partnership for Organ Donation (POD). Harvard School of Public Health Professional Records (Series II) consist of: teaching records for courses related to HIV, social behavior, and statistics, including lectures, syllabi, class readings, and course evaluations; departmental planning, financial, and other administrative records generated in the Department of Health and Social Behavior (previously the Department of Behavioral Sciences); and occasional school-wide administrative records. Records also include publications related to child, adolescent, and adult obesity, collected by Gortmaker as reference for his research and professional activities (Series III).
The papers include a number of access restriction types to protect personal and institutional privacy. These types include: 80-year restrictions from the date of record creation for health, student, and personnel information; and 50-year restrictions from the date of record creation for institutional records of Harvard University and its affiliates. The collection also includes electronic records for which access is premised on the availability of a computer station, requisite software, and/or the availability of Public Services staff to review and/or print out records of interest in advance of an on-site visit.
This collection was acquired as part of a routine transfer of departmental records to the Center. As a result, the papers do not offer a comprehensive representation of Gortmaker's work. For a more complete reflection of the scope of Gortmaker’s work, including a list of publications, visit his Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health faculty webpage: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/steven-gortmaker/.
The papers are predominantly in English. Occasional papers are in Spanish.
Gortmaker was born in 1949 to Helen Gortmaker (born 1925), a public school administrator, and George Gortmaker (1916-2011), an electrical contractor. He received a B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a doctorate in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1977.
Gortmaker’s research has primarily focused on the health and mortality risks affecting children and adolescents, especially among low-income and minority groups, and interventions aimed at mitigating those risks. Toward these ends, he served as Principal Investigator for numerous research initiatives at the Harvard Prevention Research Center, including: Planet Health (1995-2007); the Out of School Nutrition and Physical Activity Initiative (OSNAP) (2009-2015); and Play Across Boston (1999-2009). He was also Co-Director of the Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study (CHOICES), and Senior Advisor to the Healthy Eating Research Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He was the 1997 recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. In 2013, he received the Mentoring Award from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He has authored more than 250 articles and book chapters, as well as several books, including Chronic Illness and Psychosocial Problems among Children in Genesee County (1981), Evaluation of a Smoking Prohibition Policy in a School of Public Health (1987), and Chronic Disease Prevention: Tobacco, Physical Activity, and Nutrition for a Healthy Start (2016).
Steven Lawrence Gortmaker married Elizabeth Louise Pugh, a psychiatrist, in 1992.
Series and Subseries in the Collection
- I. Research Projects Records, 1975-1998
- I.A. Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Obesity Study Records, 1978-1985
- I.B. Rural Infant Care Program and Child Health Studies Records, 1975-1997
- I.C. Partnership for Organ Donation Research Records, 1990-1998
- II. Harvard School of Public Health Professional Records, 1957-1998
- II.A. Teaching Records, 1957-1998
- II.A.1. HSB 206: HIV, Transmission, & Social Behavior Course Records, 1987-1998
- II.A.2. HSB 230: Social & Behavioral Research Methods Course Records, 1957-1998
- II.B. Administrative Records, 1977-1998
- III. Collected Publications, 1955-1998
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Accession number 2017-117. Gortmaker, Steven Lawrence, 1949-. 2015 December 11.
- Records of the Harvard Prevention Research Center (RG P-DT08.01, Series 00598 and 00599).
Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed, arranged, and described the papers, and created a finding aid to improve access. Items were rehoused and, where necessary, photocopied to acid-free paper. Folder titles were transcribed from the originals when available; titles supplied by the processing staff appear in brackets only on the physical folders. Processing staff discarded or returned duplicate records and records that did not meet the collection policy of the Center for the History of Medicine.
Where possible, all electronic media (as found in Series I) were imaged using Access Data’s FTK and a Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device. Records were then transferred to secure storage. Using FTK, records were screened for explicit and encrypted files, and use copies were extracted. Files that could be opened were sampled for content, however researchers should be aware that not every file in the collection could be opened and assessed. Files for which specific software was needed, but not available to staff at the time of processing, were not reviewed. Regardless of copy status, all original media have been retained.
Please note: brackets have been used in several distinct ways in the box and folder lists. Where possible, abbreviations and acronyms have been written out in brackets directly after the abbreviated word (no space between the word and the brackets, eg. "Folder titl.[title]"). Where a word on the original folder was illegible, a question mark in brackets has been placed directly after the guessed word (no space between the word and brackets, eg. "Folder title[?]"). If the word was too illegible to make a guess, the word "illegible" appears in brackets in place of the word (eg. "Folder [illegible]"). Where restricted information has been redacted from a folder title, the name has been replaced with a redaction statement in brackets (eg. "Folder title [name redacted]"). Finally, where a topical arrangement has been maintained that is not clear in the folder titles, bracketed topics have been added to the beginning of folder titles to better explain the folder arrangement (eg. "[Topic] Folder title").
- Analyzed data.
- Behavioral Sciences
- Clinical Protocols
- Code books.
- Coded data.
- Data (information).
- Donation of organs, tissues, etc.
- Education, Public Health Professional
- Electronic records (digital records)
- Floppy disks.
- Grant files.
- HIV Infections
- HIV infections--Study and teaching.
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- Infant Mortality
- Interpersonal relations--Study and teaching.
- Public health--Research grants--United States.
- Public health--Research--United States.
- Public health--Study and teaching.
- Raw data.
- Slides (photography).
- Statistics as Topic
- Statistics--Study and teaching.
- Summary data.
- Tissue and Organ Procurement
- Gortmaker, Steven Lawrence, 1949-. Papers, 1955-1998 (inclusive), 1977-1997 (bulk): Finding Aid.
- Sarah Bush
- Description rules
- Language of description
- The Steven Lawrence Gortmaker papers were processed with grant funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as awarded and administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) in 2017.
- EAD ID