Archives and manuscripts cataloguing, April 2011

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Fowler's phrenological head, Staffordshire, England, 1879-18 Wellcome Images No. L0057592

Fowler’s phrenological head, Staffordshire, England, 1879-18
Wellcome Images No. L0057592

It’s (almost) all in the mind: the focus of this month’s completed cataloguing is largely on the mind, on psychology and psychiatry. As has been mentioned in previous blog posts, the archives of the British Psychological Society have been deposited at the Library and there is a long-running project making these available: the material is being repackaged in acid-free folders, and the catalogue records updated to take account of its new format. Last month we highlighted several collections from this source that had been released and this month another became available: papers relating to the behavioural psychologist Edward Chace Tolman (1886-1959) (PSY/TOL). Tolman’s papers are described in detail in their own blog posting; of particular interest are the items relating to his work on rats learning in mazes and, in complete contrast, those on his political stance during the McCarthyite period in the USA, when in the interests of academic freedom he took legal action against the imposition of a Loyalty Oath.

Remote on the spectrum from Tolman’s behaviourism is the work of Roger Money-Kyrle (PP/RMK), a leading Kleinian psychoanalyst with personal links to many other figures already documented in our holdings (for example, Melanie Klein herself, and Henry Dicks whose papers were recently released and described in another blog post). Money-Kyrle’s papers have been described here; the bulk of them consist of case histories and his development of these into writings.

Turning from the mind to the brute physical facts of war, this month the archives and manuscripts department acquired and catalogued a fascinating memoir of service by a woman doctor in the Second World War. Dr Muriel “Molly” Newhouse is primarily remembered for her work in occupational health and in particular establishing the connection between asbestos and mesothelioma: however, like many other medical men and women she found herself in 1942 (having qualified in 1936) called up into the Royal Army Medical Corps. Her unit followed the D-Day forces into Normandy and, as is described in a blog post, she found herself called upon to treat the sick, carry out surgery and on at least one occasion plunge into midwifery, delivering the baby of a local farmer’s wife. In her time in Normandy she never went more than seven miles inland: subsequent postings took her further afield, to India and to Singapore, where she cared for prisoners recently released from the horrific conditions of Japanese PoW camps. A blog post has described her memoir, and the item itself can be viewed in the catalogue as MS.8766.

Image: Fowler’s phrenological head, from Wellcome Images (image number L0057592).

Chris Hilton

Chris Hilton

Dr Christopher Hilton was until August 2017 a Senior Archivist at the Wellcome Library.

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