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COLLECTION Identifier: B MS c96

Lydia M. Gibson Dawes papers


The Lydia M. Gibson Dawes papers are the result of Dawes' work as a child psychiatrist, and document early work in the child psychotherapy field of the 1930s to the 1950s.


  • Creation: 1926-1959 (inclusive)


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Access requires advance notice. Some folders that contain patient information are closed for 80 years from date of document creation. Consult Public Services for further information.

Use Restrictions

The Harvard Medical Library/Boston Medical Library does not hold copyright on all materials in the collection. Researchers are responsible for identifying and contacting any third-party copyright holders for permission to reproduce or publish. For more information on the Center's use, publication, and reproduction policies, view our Reproductions and Use Policy.


2.3 cubic feet (3 boxes)

The Lydia M. Gibson Dawes papers are the result of Dawes' work as a child psychiatrist in Boston. The collection contains records from he research and other colleagues' research in child psychiatry theory and practice.

Most of the material were created in the1930s through the 1960s and contains unpublished papers, research notes, notes on lectures given by Dawes and others, correspondence (both professional and personal), research by Dawes and others, photographs. The collection includes correspondence between Dawes and Anna Freud, information and lectures from Freud's lecture tours in the Boston area, and reports from Anna Freud's Hampstead Nursery.

The collection also contains records from Dawes' own research and career. This includes notes and typescripts of lectures that Dawes gave, drafts of her publication The Psychoanalysis of a Case of "Grand Hysteria of Charcot" in a Girl of Fifteen, and the Wellesley Project which she collaborated on with Erich Lindemann and Gerald Caplan. Also includes research notebooks by her husband, Dr. Daniel Dawes.

Biographical Notes/Historical Notes

Dawes was the first child analyst and child psychiatrist at Children's Hospital, Boston. A graduate of William Smith College in 1918, she completed her MD at Yale Medical School in 1929. She developed an interest in psychotherapy, and moved with her husband, Daniel Dawes, to Vienna. They lived there from 1932-36, during which time Lydia was analyzed by Anna Freud. In addition, she worked in Allgemeine Krankenhaus and the Lazar Children's Clinic. When she left Vienna, she completed her analysis training at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. She graduated in 1940. In Vienna and Boston, she studied with Ernst Kris, Edward Bibring, August Aichhorn, Helene Deutch, and many others.

In Boston, Dawes was in the forefront of many of the activities of the growing psychoanalysis field. She worked at Children's Hospital (Boston, Mass.), Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Center, Judge Baker Children's Center, and the Smith College School for Social Work. She became a senior child psychiatrist at Children's Hospital in 1968 and training psychiatrist emerita at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute in 1972. She died in 1990.


The collection has been arranged alphabetically by topic.

Acquisition Information

The Lydia M. Gibson Dawes papers were donated to Boston Medical Library by the creator, her husband, Dr. Daniel Dawes, and their daughter, Jennifer Dawes Franchina in the1980s.

Processing Information

Processed by Giordana Mecagni as part of the Archives of Women in Medicine Project, 2005.

This collection had been organized, alphabetized and labeled by a previous Center for the History of Medicine staff member in 1996. During this process, most of the original order of the material was lost. Because series could not be re-established, the alphabetized arrangement was retained. Some description was included in square brackets for ease of use. Processing staff discarded duplicate records and records that did not meet the collection policy of the Center for the History of Medicine.

Dawes, Lydia M. Gibson. Papers, 1926-1959.
Center for the History of Medicine. Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.
Language of description
The Lydia M. Gibson Dawes Papers have been processed and made available by the Archives for Women in Medicine project with generous support from our donors.

Repository Details

Part of the Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine) Repository

The Center for the History of Medicine in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine is one of the world's leading resources for the study of the history of health and medicine. Our mission is to enable the history of medicine and public health to inform healthcare, the health sciences, and the societies in which they are embedded.

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