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– contributed by Lizette Royer Barton.

I have to start by saying that every day I am in awe of young people, both in the history of psychology and their presence in the pressing issues of today. Change is slow, painfully slow at times, and thankfully we have young people who are willing to fight the long, painful fights from which we eventually all benefit.

In digging through the SPSSI records recently I unearthed some materials regarding the early history of the Black Students Psychological Association (BSPA), a group of young Black psychology students who took matters into their own hands and demanded change. In honor of Black History month and in honor of young people, specifically young people of color, let’s talk a little bit about BSPA and recognize the group’s importance in the history of psychology.

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BSPA 1971 National Convention program,  SPSSI records, box 743, folder 6

You may have heard the story the story about a group of Black psychology students disrupting George Miller‘s presidential address at the 1969 American Psychological Association’s annual convention in Washington DC. Students disrupting the “old guard” makes for a good story after all, but what happened after that? Heck, what happened before that?

Gary Simpkins was a undergraduate psychology student at California State College in Los Angeles (now known as California State University, Los Angeles) when he took a psychology course with Dr. Charles Thomas, a founding member of the Association of Black Psychology (ABPsi) who at the time was serving as co-chairman of the group. With Dr. Thomas serving as a faculty adviser Simpkins and his fellow students started the Black Students Psychological Association.

According to Simpkins & Simpkins (2009), early BSPA meetings took place at Thomas’ home and a community mental health center, and Thomas arranged for members of ABPsi to meet regularly with the students. With the support of ABPSi, BSPA decided to attend the Western Psychological Association (WPA) convention in Vancouver, British Columbia June 18-21, 1969.

The image below is a May 1969 letter from BSPA secretary-treasurer Rita Boags to SPSSI executive secretary Caroline Weichlein seeking travel funds for BSPA members to attend WPA in Vancouver. Notice Boags hand written “Dr. Zimbardo” in the first paragraph. Following receipt of the letter, SPSSI secretary-treasurer Robert Hefner contacted Zimbardo to inform him that SPSSI did not have the funds for the request.  The CCHP also has a copy of Philip Zimbardo’s June 9, 1969 response to Rita Boags in which he informs her that SPSSI is unable to grant the funds.

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SPSSI records, box 743, folder 1

But funding aside, let’s take a closer look at Boags’ letter and BSPA’s goals for attending the WPA convention at the top of page 2.

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Boags to Weichlein, page 2, SPSSI records, box 743, folder 1

Simpkins & Simpkins (2009) wrote that Thomas helped to get them onto the convention program and they scheduled a panel titled, “Racism in Organized Psychology.”

I took to the WPA records and located the 1969 program.

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Western Psychological Association records, box 490, folder 1

I scoured the program but did not find a panel titled, “Racism in Organized Psychology.” However I did find two sessions of interest – Social II: Black Americans and Challenge and Change in 1969: Black Perspective in Psychology.

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1969 WPA convention program, WPA records, box 490, folder 1

Perhaps the panel Simpkins is referring to was ABPsi’s nearly three-hour symposium, “Challenge of Change in 1969: Black Perspective in Psychology.”

Did BSPA members present their papers during this time?

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1969 WPA convention program, WPA records, box 490, folder 1

From the materials housed here at the CCHP I could not determine whether or not that was the case. Does anyone know?

BSPA seems to have been founded in either later 1968 or early 1969. The annual Western Psychological Association convention was June 18-21, 1969. The American Psychological Association convention in Washington DC – the meeting where Gary Simpkins and BSPA members interrupted APA president George Miller’s presidential address – was in September of 1969. Those students got to work quickly!

BSPA addressed the APA Council the following day (September 2, 1969) and outlined five specific concerns and their plans for implementation: (1) the recruitment of Black students into psychology; (2) the recruitment of Black faculty members into psychology; (3) the gathering and dissemination of information concerning the availability of various sources of financial aid for Black students; (4) the design and provision of programs offering meaningful community experience for Black students in the field of psychology; and (5) the research and development of terminal programs at all degree levels that would equip Black students with the tools necessary to function within the Black community.

You can go out on your own and find what happened next regarding APA (start with David Baker’s (2003) “The challenge of change: Formation of the Association of Black Psychologists” in Freedheim & Weiner (Eds.) page 492). The gist is that APA President George Miller and President-Elect George Albee agreed to meet with members of BSPA and ABPsi to work out details. They met in Watts in Southern California for two days and in October a specific plan was reported back to APA Council.

BSPA members Gary Simpkins and Phillip Raphael wrote a report detailing the events at the 1969 annual convention, the meeting with APA Council, and the subsequent meeting with Miller and Albee. It was published as a “special insert” in the American Psychologist (1970) –  Black Students, APA, and the Challenge of Change . 

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SPSSI records, box 743, folder 6

One year later, the Black Students Psychological Association had a national office in Washington, DC and they held their first national conference in Atlanta, GA.

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BSPA 1971 National Convention program,  SPSSI records, box 743, folder 6

The program was innovative and really cool.

There were team activities, special activities, and specific area activities organized around the following themes: politics, education, religion, housing and urban renewal, job training and employment, drug education, mental health, culture and the arts, crime and delinquency, our aged [senior citizens], family, mass media and communication, research methodology, and economics. The specific area activities were held all around Atlanta with local leaders hosting and participating.

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BSPA 1971 National Convention program,  SPSSI records, box 743, folder 6

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BSPA 1971 National Convention program, daily schedule, SPSSI records, box 743, folder 6

This wasn’t just academics reading papers with audience members asking “questions” (AKA not really asking questions but rather telling everyone in the room what they already know. You guys know what I’m talking about). This was an engaged group of people, mostly students, tackling real issues in the community with psychology.

Awe inspiring.

The SPSSI records also include a bit of information about the BSPA’s second national convention in 1972 on the Bronx Campus of New York University but that is where our archival trail runs cold.

According to Bertha Garret Holliday (2009), “In that same year [1971], an ideological-political chasm began to emerge between ABPSi and BSPA. Meetings focused on effecting a merger between the organizations met with little success.”

And in a very brief chapter by Simpkins in Robert L. Williams (2008) History of the Association of Black Psychologists: Profiles of Outstanding Black Psychologists, Simpkins asserts that BSPA “…continued to exist for a number of years as an affiliate of ABPSi. Later, BSPA made a transition to the now existing ABPSi Student Circle.”

I want to know more. I want to know about this group and its members and how the BSPA may have shaped their careers in psychology. I want to know what came out of that first meeting in Atlanta. I want to know more about the “ideological-political chasm” between ABPSi and BSPA. I want to know more about ALL OF IT!

But alas, I have reference requests in my inbox and my “real job” to attend to. My references are below. Someone take up this project and get back to me. And in the meantime, let’s hear it again for the young people who always have and always will be the change makers!

References

(Some of these sources are cited above but others are not. Many are available in full-text via PsycNet. All of them are good so go read them.):

(Jul 1969). Black Students Demand Changes in Psychology. SPSSI Newsletter, 3.

(Jul 1970). BSPA opens office in APA building. The Washington Report, 6(7), 1, 3.

Baker, D. B. (2003). The challenge of change: Formation of the Association of Black Psychologists. In D. K. Freedheim & I. B. Weiner (Eds.), Handbook of Psychology, Volume I: History of Psychology (pp. 492-495). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 

Blau, T. H. (1970). APA Commission on Accelerating Black Participation in Psychology. American Psychologist, 25(12), 1103–1104.

Holliday, B. G. (2009). The history and visions of African American Psychology: Multiple pathways to place, space, and authority. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 15(4), 317-337.

Jones, R. L. (Ed.). (1991). Black psychology.  Cobb & Henry Publishers.

McKeachie, W. J. (1970). Report of the Recording Secretary. American Psychologist, 25(1), 9–12.

Nelson, B. (1969). Searching for social relevance at an APA meeting. Science, 165(3898), 1101-1104.

Sawyer, J. (1970). Why women, Black people, students, and other interest groups should be represented in the APA. American Psychologist, 26(6), 557-558.

Simpkins, G., & Raphael, P. (1970). Black students, APA, and the challenge of change. American Psychologist, 25(5), xxi–xxvi.

Simpkins, G. and Simpkins F. (2009). Between the Rhetoric and Reality. Lauriat Press.

Thomas, C. W. (1970). Psychologists, psychology, and the black community. In F. F. Korten, S. W. Cook, & J. I. Lacey (Eds.), Psychology and the problems of society (pp. 259–267). American Psychological Association.

Warren, J. (Apr 1971). BSPA still struggling to define relationship with APA. APA Monitor, 2(4), 1, 11.

Williams, R. L.  (2008). History of the Association of Black Psychologists: Profiles of Outstanding Black Psychologists. AuthorHouse.

Williams, R. L. (2008). A 40-year history of the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPSi). Journal of Black Psychology, 40(3), 249-260.

CCHP Archival Collections:

Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) Archives records

Western Psychological Association records 

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– contributed by Lizette Royer Barton.

The American Psychological Association was founded in 1892 and in the organization’s 128-year history the membership has elected just 18 women presidents. From 1905 to 1980 they elected five women. 88 years. 88 presidents. 5 women.

Is this really all that surprising to anyone who has been paying attention, in general, to like everything in the world? Not really.

So who were those first 5 women presidents anyways? Mary Whiton Calkins (1905), Margaret Floy Washburn (1921), Anne Anastasi (1972), Leona Tyler (1973), and Florence Denmark (1980).  Yes, you saw that correctly. There really was a 51 year gap between the second and third women presidents. Believe it or not, women did exist in the field of psychology during those years and our friends over at Psychology’s Feminist Voices have these super helpful timelines so you can see for yourself: Women, Gender, Feminism, and Psychology in the United States and Canada 1848-1850s and 1950-Present

No doubt you’ve seen Mary Whiton Calkins and Margaret Floy Washburn in your introductory textbook, your history textbook, and probably elsewhere too. We all know the story of how Calkins took classes with William James, Josiah Royce, and Hugo Munsterberg all while Harvard refused to admit her as a “real” student. We all know the story of how she took an “unsanctioned doctoral examination” and knocked her committee’s damn socks off while doing so, and yet was still denied the degree by Harvard because she was a woman. We know this story.

We know that Margaret Floy Washburn was the second woman president of APA and the first woman to earn a PhD in psychology (1894). We know she studied with E. B. Titchener at Cornell and while he praised her abilities he also sure did a lot to keep women out of experimental psychology by banning them from The Experimentalists. We know this story.

If you’ve been paying attention maybe you know that Anne Anastasi earned her PhD from Columbia University when she was just 21 years old, took on psychological testing, and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1987. Maybe you know that Leona Tyler studied individual differences, devised the Choice Pattern Technique (it’s still used today), and was devoted to public service. APA Division 17 named their highest honor the Leona Tyler Award for Lifetime Achievement in Counseling Psychology for goodness sakes. And maybe you know Florence Denmark taught the first doctoral level Psychology of Women course (1970), co-authored the first women’s studies textbook (1983), and was a co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology.

Maybe you know these stories. Hopefully you know these stories.

But I want to share some other stories. Namely, the way in which women have promoted each other and worked together in order to get more women into the field. Sure, the good ol’ boys network was flourishing (still is!) and there are a zillion examples here in the archives of Mr. So-And-So writing to Mr. What’s-His-Name about this young up and comer Mr. New-To-The-Field and voilà! The next thing you know New-To-The-Field has a prime academic position and is running a lab at a well-known university. Just like that. Almost like magic.

But you know what is even more magical? Women advocating for themselves and other women when the odds are stacked against them.

Let’s work backwards and start with Florence Denmark, the fifth woman president of APA (1980). We will start with Florence because she is awesome and January 28th is her birthday. Happy Birthday, Florence!

Florence Denmark is well known for her work in leadership and mentoring. She quite literally co-wrote the book on mentoring – A Handbook for Women Mentors (2010).

I headed to the basement to dig through Florence’s unprocessed donated materials and discovered box after box of awards – many of them in recognition of her mentoring of students and young professionals.

This one caught my eye.

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Florence Denmark papers, unprocessed

Plaques and awards are nice, sure, and Florence is very much deserving of every single one. But I was on the hunt for something more. I found it in spades.

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Florence Denmark papers, unprocessed

“I would like to thank you for writing a letter that helped with my promotion…. thank you for your effort on my behalf.”

“This is the first time I’ve experienced our “buddy system” at this level. Thank you.”

“I continue to be amazed at all you do for others….Thanks so much for all your efforts on my behalf with the graduate faculty.”

Florence Denmark has spent her career uplifting other women to the great benefit of the field of psychology. Just listen to psychologist Rhoda Unger introduce Florence as the invited speaker for the 1982 Psi Chi/Johns Hopkins G. Stanley Hall Lecture.

 

Happy Birthday, Dr. Denmark.

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APA Board of Directors, 1981. [Cummings Center Still Images collection, box V81]

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Florence Denmark, 1989, APA Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana [Donald Dewsbury Still Images collection, V120, folder 4]

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Florence Denmark, 2009, Cummings Center Colloquium Series, The University of Akron [Cummings Center Still Images collection]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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– contributed by CCHP Reference Archivist Lizette Royer Barton.

The much loved and much anticipated academic winter break is upon us. Shall we celebrate with some Cummings Center archival gems?

Let’s start with this postcard addressed to Edgar A. Doll. I don’t have much to say about it other than I think it’s a beautiful winter photograph and beautiful, moonlit nights during the Ohio winter make all the snow and cold and grey a bit more bearable. (Note to self: tune in to more moonlit winter nights in 2020).

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Edgar & Geraldine Doll papers, box M4268.2.

 

It wouldn’t be the holiday season without a little guilt, am I right? The 15-year old says he’s not interested in religion and wants to skip Christmas Eve church services for a party at his friend’s house. His parents want to keep the Christmas Eve family tradition alive.

What to do? Write to McCall’s for advice and guidance from a real live psychologist, of course!

 

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Lee Salk papers, M2412, folder 15

 

Personally, I am with the 15-year-old on this one (party!) but psychologist Lee Salk thought differently.

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Since we are talking about family fun – check out the Wertheimers. I want to build a snow fort with Max, Anni, and the gang. Each snowball coming together to build a fort greater than the sum of its snowballs. So fun!

 

A scholarly side note, The Wertheimer Family papers are processed and ready for researchers. IT IS AN AWESOME COLLECTION. Come use it in 2020.

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Wertheimer Family papers, M6695, folder 8

 

If there is one family I want to (pretend to) hang out with even more over winter break than the Wertheimers it’s the Miles family. In my own archival day dream, I envision Catharine and Walter (and me) sitting back sipping eggnog and sharing laughs while the little ones play around the Christmas tree. Also, I love tinsel.

 

And if you’re looking for a laid back, humorous, sports-themed Hanukkah how about this fantastic golf bag menorah?

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Lee L. Forman Bag Collection, IHSC, Item ID HFL2007.001.0004

 

Holiday gift giving can be a challenge sometimes. Perhaps that is why James V. McConnell phoned it in and sent Omaha steaks to 79 people to the tune of nearly $3,500.

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James V. McConnell papers, M2064, folder 2

 

The Rene Spitz collection contains numerous films, including several “home movies.” This has to be one of my favorites – the family trudging through the snow, a kid bringing up the rear, the beautiful winter scenery, and the live-action skiing footage (watch until the end). I just love it. I don’t even like skiing but the Spitz family has me (almost) wanting to hit the slopes.

 

So however you decide to spend these next couple of weeks – holidays or not – remember to enjoy yourself. Slow down, spend time with the people you care about (or don’t!), eat something delicious, sit in front of a fireplace, read a book, and maybe take stock of 2019 and consider what you can do to be an even better human in 2020.

Happy Holidays and for those of us on academic winter break – Happy Week Between!

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contributed by Emily Gainer and Anthony Greenaway.

The Wertheimer Family Papers are now open to researchers! The papers, consisting of 141 boxes, document the life and work of Max Wertheimer and his son, Michael.  The papers include correspondence, research files, academic files, written works, family materials, and photographs.

Max Wertheimer (1880-1943) first studied psychology at the Friedrich-Wilhelm University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wurzburg in 1904. Max began his career as a faculty member at the University of Frankfurt. He was a lecturer at the Psychological Institute at the University of Berlin from 1916 to 1929, before returning to Frankfurt as a full professor until 1933. Along with Wolfgang Köhler and Kurt Koffka, Wertheimer established Gestalt psychology, challenging common analytic approaches to the study of experience. Fleeing Germany shortly before the Nazis came to power, Max and his family immigrated to the United States in 1933. He taught at the New School for Social Research in New York from 1933 until his death in 1943.

Max Wertheimer, undated. (Box M6695, Folder 16)

Max Wertheimer with cat, 1934-1935. (Box M6695, Folder 1)

Michael Wertheimer (1927- ) received a B.A. in psychology from Swarthmore College in 1947, a M.A. in psychology from The Johns Hopkins University in 1949, and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Harvard University in 1952. Michael has held the position of Professor Emeritus at the University of Colorado since 1993, where he first became a professor in 1961. His work centered on the areas of cognition, perception, psycholinguistics, and the history of psychology.

Michael Wertheimer, 1976. (Box M6781, Folder 11)

Michael Wertheimer, 1977. (Box M6781, Folder 11)

The papers are organized into two series: Max Wertheimer papers and Michael Wertheimer papers. They are further organized into subseries within. The papers not only document the professional work of Max and Michael, they also provide information about the personal and family lives of the Wertheimers. Researchers can find information about their experience fleeing Germany and immigrating to the United States.

Materials from other family members are also included in the collection, including Max’s parents, brother, and children. Of special note are the boxes of Anni (Wertheimer) Hornbostel’s correspondence, dating from the 1920s through the 1980s.

Anni Wertheimer Hornbostel playing the violin, 1924. (Box M6695, Folder 6)

Of special interest is Max’s correspondence, which is arranged alphabetically by last name. Correspondents include Albert Einstein, Kurt Koffka, Wolfgang Kohler, and Kurt Lewin. Researchers should note that a majority of Max’s material is written in German. A small portion of materials in Michael’s materials are in German. Correspondence to Anni is mainly in German.

Max Wertheimer lecturing in Frankfurt, 1929-1930. (Box M6695, Folder 10)

The collection was donated to the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology by Michael Wertheimer. During processing, materials were identified as originating with Max or Michael; however there may be overlap between the two.

Researchers can view the Wertheimer Family papers finding aid for the full collection description.  Hundreds of photographs and three scrapbooks from the papers have been digitized and are available online.  Contact the CCHP reference archivist for access to the papers.

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-contributed by Ace Harrah.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ace, and I’m a new intern here at CCHP. I’m the youngest intern here yet, being only 17 years old, which means that I’m still in high school. I have Bio-Med Science Academy to thank for the pleasure of being able to work with all of the wonderful people on staff here while still pursuing my diploma. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned with you all!

My current project is researching psychologists who specialized in creativity. As you can imagine, this is a wide subject that requires a very niche interest to start researching. After all, what is creativity? How do you study such an abstract topic? I don’t have an answer to any of that, but I certainly can share what I’ve learned so far!

When I first started my research in our collections database, there was one name that kept popping up wherever I went: E. Paul Torrance. I’ve learned since then that Torrance was a psychologist who focused his studies on the creativity of children and looked to enhance the academic lives of the creative student. He felt that schools disregarded most of the students who were creatively gifted over students who are intellectually different. The main issue, he found, was that there was no way for schools to quantify a student’s inherent creative ability. Thus, he created the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT), a standardized test that looked to objectively measure the creative potential of a child.

 

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Now, how does someone “grade” another’s capacity for creativity? After all, creativity is mostly immeasurable, right? Well, the TTCT supplies test subjects (or “pupils,” as the scoring sheet calls them) with different figures to build off of. The ambiguity (or lack thereof) in the shapes provides challenges for test takers and gives them an opportunity to create something entirely new with minimal constraints.

Torrance’s tests are still used today, although they are much more popular in Europe than here in the US. As a creator myself, I am personally a bit skeptical about how accurate Torrance’s tests really can be to measure one’s creativity. I think that creativity relies strongly on outside variables rather than one’s own innate ability. 

As a side thought, is creativity really something we should try to quantify? Being told at a young age that you aren’t especially creative could deter individuals from pursuing artistic education, even later in their life. Perhaps creativity is something you learn through practice. Sure, some people are born athletes, but does that mean everyone else should give up on making the team? That’s one of the best things about humans: we adapt.

What would you create based off of this image?

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– contributed by CCHP Reference Archivist Lizette Royer Barton.

It’s July.

It’s the National Recreation and Park Association’s Park and Recreation Month.

Summer is half over.

Let’s face it – we could all use a vacation.

In honor of summer vacations and parks and recreation, let’s check out some psychologists enjoying a little rest and relaxation.

I have to start with these photographs William R. (Bob) Hood sent to Muzafer and Carolyn Sherif. Bob Hood was a graduate student at Oklahoma, a co-conspirator in the Robbers Cave Study, and an author on  Intergroup Conflict and Cooperation: The Robbers Cave Experiment (1954). But I like to think of him as the Clark Griswold of psychology.

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Muzafer and Carolyn Wood Sherif papers, box V63, folder 8.

Of the dozen or so images the Hoods sent the Sherifs the next one was my favorite. I’ve been to Moab, UT. I experienced Arches National Park and the Canyonlands National Park on a month-long road trip with three girlfriends after college. It was a life-changing experience for me and just like Jack White (another graduate student of Muzafer Sherif’s and co-author on the Robbers Cave book), I lost my ever-loving mind.

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Muzafer and Carolyn Wood Sherif papers, box V63, folder 8 caption

Henry H. Goddard was a voracious traveler and his collection contains hundreds of travel photos – including a scrapbook we recently digitized and made available online HERE. The 30+ page scrapbook from the early 1900s contains incredible images including this one of climbers (possibly Goddard himself) on Blackfoot Glacier in Glacier National Park in Montana.

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Henry H. Goddard papers, box V37, folder 4

Maybe climbing a mountain glacier isn’t your speed. Maybe you just want to leisurely cruise the country in style. If that’s the case, Molly Harrower would’ve been a good travel partner for you. Molly’s Folly seems like a blast!

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Molly Harrower papers, box V54, folder 4

THIS is the way to wake up in the morning! Notice the typewriter? Was Molly working while on vacation? I like to think she was typing letters to friends and providing updates on the folly.

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Molly Harrower papers, box V54, folder 4

Gardner and Lois B. Murphy were also big travelers and their collection includes hundreds of photographs from their trips all over the world.

The notation on back of this image of Lois in Puerto Rico claims she was at a conference. I like to think she tossed her name badge and requisite conference bag onto her hotel room floor and then ran to the ocean as soon as the sessions ended. I bet she did.

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Gardner and Lois B. Murphy papers, box V61, folder 1.5

The Murphy papers have a lot of photographs of Gardner hiking and camping throughout his long life. He was outdoorsy to say the least.

I really love this photograph of Gardner cooking on a stove made of cinder blocks on a dock near a lake. What’s better after a day of hiking, fishing, and general vacationing than a good meal cooked outside near a lake?

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Gardner and Lois B. Murphy papers, box V40, folder 2

The notation on the back of the photograph didn’t provide any information about the other man in the photograph, but it did give me a few clues that deserved some further investigation. So I googled the following: Cloverly + Holderness + Frank.

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And lo and behold the Googles delivered and I was down the vacation rabbit hole.

The Frank of “Frank’s dock” was Lawrence K. Frank. As the director of the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial from 1923-1929 and director of the Rockefeller Foundation’s child-development program from 1929-1933,  he was instrumental in establishing Child Development Institutes across the United States through Rockefeller funding. He also turned out to be a mentor to many and helped quite a few social scientists secure employment and funding for their research. I even came across a quote from Margaret Mead that claimed Frank “more or less invented the behavioral sciences” (I still haven’t located a citation. Anyone have one?).

So the Frank of “Frank’s dock” turns out to be super important when it comes to the social sciences and “Cloverly” turns out to be Frank’s summer home – Cloverly Cottage in New Hampshire.

Cloverly Cottage was built in 1918 and was Frank’s summer residence from 1921 until his death in 1968.  A history of the cottage claims “Frank used Cloverly as a base for meetings with colleagues over the years and he and other social scientists held discussions and wrote articles and books….it served as a spot for inquiry into the fields of psychology, anthropology, and child development….”

Who else besides Gardner Murphy hung out at Cloverly Cottage and what kinds of discussions took place?

I took to the Murphy papers to look for some answers and I found a folder of letters commissioned by Gardner Murphy in 1965 from various social scientists in honor of Lawrence K. Frank’s 75th birthday. Murphy collected the letters, copied them, and provided a bound volume of all the letters to Frank and each of the letter writers.

The list of contributors was a who’s who.

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Gardner and Lois B. Murphy papers, box M1806, folder 7

As I skimmed the letters I noticed several instances of folks specifically mentioning the cottage in New Hampshire. I knew Gardner Murphy spent time at Cloverly but I also found evidence that so did Peter Blos, Erik Erickson, William Walter GreulichHelen and Robert Lynd, Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, Ruth Washburn, and of course Lois B. Murphy

Check out this letter from Erik Erikson (written in the third person).

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“A few weeks later the young man [Erikson] and his wife, were indeed driving through NH…they looked up Mr. Frank’s telephone number and were promptly invited to dinner. After that it seemed quite natural for Mr. Frank to ask the couple to stay the night – so natural, in fact, that they stayed for a week….the host also found it natural to arrange for a research position for the young man, so he could develop some notions he had.”

And take a look at this one from Helen Merrill Lynd.

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“…we were fortunate in having a month at that happy place which became a center of openness and friendship for so many of us….no one was ever turned away from Cloverly….It was at Larry’s home that I first met Erik Erikson and Kurt Lewin….New Hampshire was a gathering place for people who were asking fresh questions, shaping important problems in new forms.”

THE HISTORY AT CLOVERLY IS ALMOST TOO MUCH FOR ME.  But wait! There’s more!

Cloverly Cottage, Lawrence K. Frank’s cottage in Holderness, New Hampshire that housed “Frank’s dock” and was a meeting space and catalyst for countless research projects, theories, ideas, and chatter in the social sciences is still in the Frank family and available for rent right now through VRBO. I’m not kidding!

I think I need to book a vacation. Maybe it’s time to make a little history.

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–contributed by Arianna Iliff, graduate student assistant.

By the time you read this, I will be gone…from graduate school! After two and a half years here at the CCHP, I’m hitting the road with a fresh Master’s degree in Counseling/Marriage and Family Therapy in hand. Before I started school, I had a goal to get a job that would help me understand my field better and back up the knowledge I gained in class, and I was so lucky to find the CCHP in the process. I’ve spent the last two and a half years learning by doing, searching through manuscripts and images for our researchers and getting drawn into the stories of psychology’s history. So for my final blog post, I’d like to talk a little bit about two of my favorite therapists in history. Carl Whitaker and Virginia Satir were a pair of iconoclasts: major influences in my own field of family therapy and originators of an experiential model of therapy.

Carl Whitaker, a psychiatrist by trade, was a major advocate for co-therapy, or two therapists working with one family. Whitaker was known for making outrageous statements in therapy sessions, what I like to call his “sick Whitakerisms.” By using this ‘therapy of the absurd,’ he was able to get families out of their comfort zone to promote growth. I was surprised to find him in the James F. T. Bugenthal papers, where there is an entire folder of correspondence with Carl Whitaker. In this correspondence, he discusses the inclusion of his paper “The Therapist as a Prototype” in The Challenge of Humanistic Psychology.

“The important thing is that you stay for breakfast, not whether you sleep with me the night before.” I am entirely unsurprised this quotation stuck with Whitaker. [James F. T. Bugenthal papers, Box M951, Folder 1]

Virginia Satir was a co-founder of the Mental Research Institute, home to several prolific family therapists. The first time I saw a recording of her performing therapy, she was instructing a father and son on the best way to communicate love through touch. Virginia’s entire therapeutic approach centered on communication, and she made it her goal to assist families with saying, whether verbally or nonverbally, exactly what they mean. She appears several times in our Popular Psychology magazine collection, where she is interviewed as a thought leader in the world of family functioning.

Despite being known for her gentle and nurturing style, Satir had a direct streak: “I really have no interest in preserving families that don’t belong together.” [Special Interest, Popular Psychology Magazines, Box 93]

Virginia Satir says in her book ­­The New Peoplemaking, “Without loving and being loved, the human soul and spirit curdle and die” (p. 141). In her own parlance, working at the CCHP has enriched my own soul, allowing me to get to know the humans behind the history through primary sources. My colleagues here have been so kind to me, and so willing to allow me to learn. And of course, I’d like to thank you, readers, for enjoying these trips through the collection with me here on the blog.

Now, I am going forth to be a therapist, and I hope in my own career I can do something important enough to be included in the CCHP archives.

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– contributed by CCHP graduate student assistant Tori Deming.

Over the past year I’ve been digitizing the Donald Dewsbury still image collection. The collection includes over 4,000 black-and-white photographs and spans four decades.  Dewsbury took photographs of psychologists and animal behaviorists at various conference and meetings, including APA and Cheiron.

Most of the projects I’ve worked on have involved reintegrating separated photographs back into their original collections. I processed the Donald Dewsbury still images collection from start to finish and the collection was unique in the sense that I recognized many of the individuals from my time here at CCHP.

Like this guy.

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Back in the year 2000 when this photo was taken the CCHP was still AHAP and we were in the basement of an old department store. As a team under David Baker’s leadership we have come a long way!

 

And thanks to the generosity of this man and Dr. Dorothy Cummings we are now the Dr. Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology, a center which houses the Archives of the History of Psychology, The National Museum of Psychology, and the Institute for Human Science and Culture.

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Nicholas A. Cummings (1999, San Francisco, CA)

 

Here are a few of our current CCHP Board Members. They’re all so happy!

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Top (left to right): Florence Denmark (1992, Washington, DC), Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr. (1991, San Francisco, CA), Don Freedheim (1992, Brussels, Belgium), Rob Wozniak (1988, Bryn Mawr, PA).  Bottom (left to right): Lew Lipsitt (1989, New Orleans, LA), Chris “The Mustache” Green (1993, Toronto, Ontario), and Alexandra Rutherford (1999, Boston, MA)

 

I remembered Philip Zimbardo from his visit to the CCHP in 2015.

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Check out this great tie! Philip Zimbardo (1992, Washington, DC)

 

Since 2013 the Center has hosted the Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr. Distinguished Lecture in the History of Psychology. In 2015 we hosted Elizabeth Loftus and in 2017 we hosted Keith Humphreys.

Loftus and Humphreys

Don captured Elizabeth in 1994 in Seattle and Keith in 2003 in Toronto.

This year’s lecture is coming up on May 16 and the speaker is Laura Stark from Vanderbilt University. Register here! 

The familiar face that was most surprising was F. Robert Treichler. I know him as Dr. T.

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F. Robert Treichler (2000, Akron, OH)

I took Dr. T’s History of Psychology course when I was an undergraduate at Kent State University and he introduced me to my love of the subject. He also introduced me to the Center when he brought our class on a field trip in 2013. Seeing his face in this collection was exciting and reminded me of how my journey here all started.

As an amateur photographer myself, one of the things I appreciate most about this collection is how Don Dewsbury was able to capture the emotion of the subjects of his photographs.

These smiles are infectious!

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Top (left to right): Karl L. Wuensch (1983, Philadelphia, PA), Marie Lawrence (1988, Clemson, SC), Stanley Schneider (1991, San Francisco, CA). Middle (left to right): Stanley Graham (Washington, DC, 1992), Frank J. Sulloway (1989, Gainesville, FL), Thomas Carlson (1990, Southhampton, MA) Bottom (left to right): Mary S. Erskine (1992, Washington, DC)

 

The Donald Dewsbury still images collection is a treasure trove and we are so thankful that Don donated his collection to the archives. (We are equally thankful that he identified the subjects of nearly all of the images!)

Go ahead, browse the collection. You may just find yourself among the 4,295 photographs.

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Robert W. Matthews (1985, Raleigh, NC)

 

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-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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