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Archive for the ‘Manuscripts’ Category

-contributed by Emily Gainer & Nicole Merzweiler.

During the past 11 months, we’ve started a large but important undertaking.  I am processing the Wertheimer Family papers!  The papers are a treasure trove of documents, photographs, scrapbooks, diaries, and correspondence from one of the giants in the history of psychology.  When complete, the papers will include the Max Wertheimer papers and the Michael Wertheimer papers. Max Wertheimer (1880-1943), an Austro-Hungarian psychologist, was one of the founders and leaders of the school of Gestalt psychology. His son, Michael, is a psychologist and historian of psychology at the University of Colorado.

Today, we want to announce the digitization and preservation of three scrapbooks from the Wertheimer Family papers. For this project, I had invaluable assistance from Nicole Merzweiler, a student in the Library and Information Science program at Kent State University.

The first, and smallest, scrapbook includes photographs of Wilhelm and Rosa Wertheimer (Max’s parents) as well as Max as a young man. The date range for photographs in this scrapbook is 1891-1929.

The second scrapbook includes photographs of Max Wertheimer, Anni Wertheimer, and their children, dating between 1915-1930.

The third scrapbook includes Max Wertheimer’s family photographs as well as some colleagues and friends.  The only dates included in the scrapbook are 1932 and 1933, though the range seems to be greater.

Smallest and earliest scrapbook from the Wertheimer Family papers.

Largest and latest scrapbook from the Wertheimer Family papers.

The scrapbooks each contained loose photographs, which were also digitized. These photographs were housed in acid-free folders and stored with the scrapbook in archival boxes.

Preserving and making these scrapbooks available online was a lengthy process.  It began with identifying the contents of each scrapbook and rehousing them in appropriately sized archival boxes.  Then, each scrapbook was added to the finding aid.  Next, each page of each scrapbook was carefully digitized in accordance with archival standards.  Then the digital files were prepared for uploading to the CONTENTdm, the Cummings Center’s online database.  Nicole created metadata for each scrapbook, including names, dates, and locations identified in each book.

Nicole scans the earliest scrapbook.

Finally, each page in each scrapbook is encapsulated using archival Mylar plastic.  For a full explanation of encapsulation, see Encapsulation Capers (written by a CCHP intern).  Nicole followed these same procedures to preserve and protect the scrapbooks.

Nicole encapsulated each page of the Wertheimer scrapbook.

Encapsulating the scrapbook pages maintains the historical context while also preserving the photographs.

You can view a digital copy of the three scrapbooks through the CCHP Still Images database.  The Wertheimer Family papers included additional photographs, which are also being digitized and added to the database.  Processing the Wertheimer Family papers continues and is scheduled for completion by June 1.  Watch for an announcement with more details when it is available to researchers!

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Contributed by Rose Stull, student assistant.

Gilbert Gottlieb was a research scientist and clinical psychologist.  He was the first graduate student in Duke University’s joint psychology-zoology graduate training program.  At Duke, he became interested in imprinting in waterfowl.  After working at Dorothea Dix Hospital from 1961-1982), Gottlieb became a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina Greensboro (1982-1995).

The Gilbert Gottlieb papers document his career through written works, correspondence, research files, academic files, unpublished experiments, administrative files, photographs, and slides. We are happy to announce that these papers are now available for research at the CCHP.

Gilbert Gottlieb in his office at Dorothea Dix Hospital, undated. Box M6569, Folder 21

Gottlieb researched early social development in different species of precocial birds in the field and in the lab. He is known for his contributions to the fields of developmental science, and his research focused on ducks and their prenatal and postnatal imprinting behaviors.

Ducklings in Broods with Models, audio visual experiment test shots, undated. M6569, Folder 15

The collection contains hundreds of photographs and slides of Gottlieb and his team conducting research in the field and inside his laboratory at the Dorothea Dix hospital. Gottlieb examined the nuances of development, including the idea of critical periods and imprinting. His focus on imprinting involved auditory and visual testing, examining the development of naturalistic imprinting tendencies. This is a small sample of photographs taken from the Gottlieb collection. In the next few weeks, we’re digitizing the photographs and slides and adding them to the CCHP’s online database.

Gottlieb inspecting nest boxes at Dorothea Dix Field Research Station, undated. Box M6569, Folder 20

 

Nest boxes at Dorothea Dix Field Research Station, undated. Box M6569, Folder 3

 

Audio vs. visual Tests, 1966. Box M6569, Folder 4

 

Chick or duck embryo, undated. Box M6569, Folder 10

 

Duckling in Head Holder; 8th Nerve Dissection, undated. Box M6569, Folder 16

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– contributed by Lizette R. Barton (sitness guru).

While rifling through the David Shakow papers I came across a Navy/Marine Corps booklet titled “Shape Up: A New Program of Exercise to Build Fitness Right at Your Desk.”

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Fitness right at my desk? Tell me more.

The news got even better when I opened the booklet and learned a bit more about Isometrics. #1 It’s a science. #2 It’s exercise without movement and #3 it requires just 54 seconds per day. SOLD!

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“Using the nine basic exercises described here, you can work toward physical fitness right at your desk – and in 54 seconds a day.” 

My own enthusiasm led me to believe that my colleagues here at the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology might be interested as well. I was right.

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Assistant Processing Archivist Emily Gainer demonstrating “The Hand Press”

 

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Building coordinator Dorothy Gruich demonstrating “The Neck Presser”

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Assistant Director Dr. Cathy Faye demonstrating the “Tummy Tightener”  (complete with facial expression to really sell it)

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IHSC curator and instructor Fran Ugalde demonstrating “The Criss-Cross”

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Director Dr. David Baker demonstrating “The Body Lift”

The nine exercises highlighted in “Shape Up” were, “…designed specifically for those individuals in the Navy and Marine Corps whose duties or location restrict their ability to engage in athletic activities or other fitness programs….and those in other sedentary occupations.”

If you have a chair and a desk along with some initiative, pride, and desire maybe it’s time you take your exercise sitting down this year.

New year, new you. Am I right?

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David Shakow papers, M1312, folder “Pamphlets”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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contributed by Aubrey Baldwin, Phillip Fischio, Anthony Greenaway, Laura Loop, and Katelynn Olsen (students in the Museums & Archives Certificate Program).

Fire, arson, danger. Most people don’t associate these words with children; however the work of George A. Sakheim might suggest otherwise.

Card taken from Sakheim’s original collection, which states his research. Box M6591; Folder 1

 

George A. Sakheim, a clinical psychologist, did most of his research on the fire-setting behaviors of children during the 1970s to the early 2000s. Dr. Sakheim’s discoveries led to various published works on child arsonists. Overall, his work contributed to a greater understanding of a topic that previously was not well understood.

Most of the information was garnered through therapy sessions with minor fire-setter case studies.  Many of the children that Dr. Sakheim worked with suffered from mental illness, which may have contributed to their fire-setting behaviors. Part of his work involved assessing the level of risk exhibited by each child. He ranked each patient as minor, moderate, or severe. Dr. Sakheim performed many different tests to create these rankings. One such test was an exercise allowing the children to draw something associated to what they were discussing in therapy.

Example of a patient’s drawing. Box M6592; Folder 11

 

The various cases that Dr. Sakheim reviewed of child and adolescent fire-setters made him an expert on the subject. His expertise secured him a consulting position with the New York State Office of Developmental Disabilities and Mental Retardation. He also wrote several books and articles on the topic, helping the psychological community gain a better understanding of the phenomenon. 

Juvenile Firesetters in Residential Treatment by George A. Sakheim et al. Box M6609; Folder 2

 

Dr. Sakheim’s archival papers documenting this work are now available at the Cumming’s Center for the History of Psychology. The papers contain 20 letter size document cases and 1 record storage box, all relating to Dr. Sakheim’s work. All of the patient files are restricted, including cassette tapes of interviews with firesetters, but Dr. Sakheim’s research and written works are open for research.  View the finding aid for the George Sakheim papers for more details.

The processing of this archival collection fulfilled requirements for students enrolled in the course Foundations of Museums and Archives I.

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contributed by Allan Christopher, Amanda Leach, Sarah Riddle, M. Rose Stull (students in the Museums & Archives Certificate Program).

The Marianne Simmel papers consist of the primary research, patient files, correspondence and publications of psychologist Dr. Marianne Simmel, as well as her work/research with the performers Marcel Marceau and Charlie Chaplin.

Picture of Dr. Marianne Simmel in Paris, Early 1950’s. Located in Box M6613, Folder 11.

The primary focus of her research was the phantom limb phenomenon, and she also dabbled in cognitive neuropsychology. Her work with phantom limbs focused on adults and children with neurological defects. Amputations were a large focus, and she also did work with mastectomy patients. She explored animacy and the human instinct for storytelling, which led to an extensive collection following the work of Charlie Chaplin and Marcel Marceau.

Dr. Simmel, pictured second from left, conducting research at the University of Illinois. Located in Box M6613, Folder 11.

Dr. Simmel’s work with phantom limbs included various tests meant to induce/test sensation where the missing body part once was, such as experiments with heat and cold.

Sample of test sheets Dr. Simmel gave to her patients. Located in Box M6613, Folder 7.

She corresponded with Dr. Jean Piaget, a renowned child psychologist of the time. Much of this correspondence is  in French and, considering she was born in Germany, it is reasonable to assume she was trilingual.

Simmel also published several studies on the phantom limb phenomena, including the physical and psychological effects on patients of various circumstances and health conditions. One of the ways Simmel did this was by studying the human capacity for symbolic art form, particularly by working with performers Marcel Marceau and Charlie Chaplin. She would often go on tour with Marceau, giving lectures after his initial performance in order to make her point.

Playbill featuring Marcel Marceau. Located in Box M6630, Folder 3.

While going through her research files, we also found representations of the Homunculus, which shows the relative extent of symmetric motor and sensory representation in the cerebral cortex.

Blind Child (Fig. 1), An Example of Bad Art (Fig. II) and Homunculus (Fig. III).

To learn more about the contents of this collection, view the finding aid. You can view the collection in person at the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology, located in Akron, Ohio.

The processing of this archival collection fulfilled requirements for students enrolled in the course Foundations of Museums and Archives, I.

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– contributed by CCHP graduate assistant Arianna Iliff.

Most of my coworkers here at the CCHP know that I am an animal lover, and that I’ll gladly show you pictures of my cats, Star and Nimbus, if you let me. In fact, I featured my favorite item in the collection in a previous blog post—a chalk drawing created by Molly Harrower portraying her own dearly adored cats. I do not always know why my pets do what they do—why they love playing with leaves but can’t hunt a stinkbug, for instance–which is why I am grateful for the work of John Paul Scott, an animal behaviorist who studied a variety of creatures, including goats, sheep, birds, and dogs.

In the collection, there is a huge variety of materials from Scott’s career, including his famous text Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog. Scott also maintained connections with a variety of breeding clubs for breeds such as the doberman, the yorkie, or the unique little creature called the telomian—considered to be a link between a basenji and a wild dingo. One article described these dogs as “The Missing Link With The Worried Look.”

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Who’s a scholastically relevant boy? Is it you? It’s you! Good boy!

You can also find memos and correspondence discussing new puppies and answering questions of dog behavior.

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“A spoiled, lovable, useless pet.” What more could a dog lover want?

Scott died in 2000 and was described with honor by Bowling Green State University. His relative obscurity to the mainstream is curious, given that so much of what we know about dog behavior is derived from his research. If nothing else, we certainly have a vast collection to speak of, with Scott’s wide-reaching discussions of animal psychology. Now, if only I could figure out why Nimbus is obsessed with my yoga mat?

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A four-month-old telomian. The reverse of this photo indicates her name is “Princess.” Precious!

 

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– contributed by Lizette R. Barton.

Recently the CCHP served as host for the 50th anniversary conference of everyone’s favorite international society for the history of the behavioral and social sciences – Cheiron. It was a pleasure to have so many great historians here in Akron and I figured since we’d have them in town we might as well share what we are doing in regards to archival education and instruction here at the Cummings Center. Thankfully the committee accepted my submission and they put me on the program.

We host visiting classes at the Center from the University of Akron and around the country. And we offer a variety of hands-on archival projects and activities – namely document analysis exercises. So even for a room full of historians I started with the basics.

I annotated the scanned letter below in order to draw attention to some of things we want the students to notice and I waxed poetic about just how much we can get from a single document.

 

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Abraham Maslow papers, box M4495, folder 3

Just look at this gem of a letter between Ross and Abe! It’s got all my document analysis favorites – it’s missing last names, it provides societal context (The Goodyear Rubber strikes), it references someone who eventually changed their name (Krechevsky aka David Krech), it mentions the very beginnings of an unnamed psychological society (SPSSI), and it provides information on what both the receiver and writer of the letter were working on at the time (anthropology, fascist attitudes, and social psychology).

Next up – analyzing a photograph.

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Walter and Catharine Cox Miles papers, box V43, folder “Yale”

We discussed challenges associated with analyzing photographs. And we discussed issues specific to this image including how to interpret handwriting and what had been written by the owner of the image (names and dates) and what had been added later by other parties (M1199.16 is the box number from which his photograph came).

After all this talk it was time to let the Cheironians do some analyzing of their own so I reused a project we created for a UA sociology professor and her Social Inequalities class.

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David Grant papers, boxes M1023 and M1024

I distributed redacted, but unannotated copies of each of these two letters to the Cheironians and asked them to work in groups to complete a document analysis sheet. The analysis sheet first asks participants to list adjectives used to describe each candidate followed by questions including, “What do you notice about the similarities and differences in the language used to describe each candidate?”; “What might account for the differences?”‘ and “What if this same language was used in reference letters in 2018?”

I gave the groups about 15 minutes or so to work and and just like when we worked with the UA students on this project we had a great discussion! The historians had all kinds of theories. It was excellent!

For our last group project I distributed copies of Operations of the Government Hospital for the Insane (1857) – the second annual report of the first government asylum in the United States that would become known as St. Elizabeth’s – and another analysis sheet. This was a riff on a project we created for another UA sociology professor’s Sociology of Health and Illness class.

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Look at all these Cheironians doing history! So awesome!

The analysis sheet asked participants to locate illnesses and conditions for which patients were hospitalized. It asked participants to determine if the language describing any of the illnesses had changed over time and how similar illnesses or conditions would be described and treated today. The sheet also asked participants to look for costs associated with the running of the hospital and statistics regarding patients. And finally, “What did you find out from this document about mental health and mental health treatments you had not already known?”

Whew! What a discussion! It was excellent.

I think the coolest part was that so many people asked poignant questions regarding the history of mental health care in American and state hospitals. I took that as an opportunity to point out that while I didn’t know the answers to the majority of their question these are exactly the kinds of questions a project like this should evoke and it’s why we often let visiting instructors lead the discussion. We at the Cummings Center are experts in access but the instructors we work with are the content experts. That’s why we make such a great team!

The best part of this activity was that I was able to share with the Cheironians they could do this one with their own students since we are actively working on upload our entire collection of Cushing Memorial Library Collection of Asylum Reports to our digital repository in full-text as downloadable PDFs. Woohoo!

Cheiron was such a great time and I was so pleased to be able to share the educational work we do at the Cummings Center with such an engaged and supportive group. If you’re interested in learning more about the projects discussed here and/or working together to create an archival project please contact us at ahap@uakon.edu.

 

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