Marian Cabot Putnam papers
The Marian Cabot Putnam papers reflect Putnam’s family history, work as the director of the James Jackson Putnam Children’s Center, and her wider interest in the issues of child development and child psychiatry. The collection is divided into four series: I. Personal Papers, 1908-1977; II. James Jackson Putnam Children’s Center Correspondence and Documentation, 1938-1978; III. Correspondence and Drafts from Nathan G. Hale, Jr., 1877-1970; and IV. Pamphlets and Reprints, 1891-1972. Records include correspondence, meeting minutes, reports, lectures, publications, postcards, photographs, reprints, and an academic doctoral gown (Box 3).
- 1877-1978 (inclusive),
- Majority of material found within 1940-1977 .
Language of Materials
Records are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research. Access requires advance notice. Consult Public Services for further information concerning retrieval of material.
Conditions Governing Use
The Harvard 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.
Extent01.75 cubic feet (2 records center cartons and 1 half legal size document box)
The Marian Cabot Putnam papers reflect Putnam’s family history, work as the director of the James Jackson Putnam Children’s Center, and her wider interest in the issues of child development and child psychiatry. The collection is divided into four series: I. Personal Papers, 1908-1977; II. James Jackson Putnam Children’s Center Correspondence and Documentation, 1938-1978; III. Correspondence and Drafts from Nathan G. Hale, Jr., 1877-1970; and IV. Pamphlets and Reprints, 1891-1972. Records include correspondence, meeting minutes, reports, lectures, publications, postcards, photographs, and reprints.
Personal Papers (Series I) contains family correspondence and photographs, as well as letters and pictures from families with whom Marian Cabot Putnam worked. The James Jackson Putnam Children’s Center Correspondence and Documentation (Series II) consists of administrative records generated by Putnam as a product of her involvement in the founding of the Judge Baker Children’s Center in 1943, and her continued work with the Center and its patients in the Boston area until her retirement in 1955. Correspondence and Drafts from Nathan G. Hale, Jr. (Series III) includes correspondence and manuscript drafts from Putnam’s work with Nathan G. Hale, Jr. on his book, The Emergence of American Psychoanalysis: The Correspondence of James Jackson Putnam with Sigmund Freud, William James, Ernest Jones, Morton Prince and Sandor Ferenczi (1971), based on the correspondence of her father, James Jackson Putnam, with leading figures in the development of psychoanalysis at the end of the 19th century, including Ernest Jones, William James, and Sigmund Freud. Pamphlets and Reprints (Series IV) contain pamphlets, magazine clippings, and reprints of articles authored by Marian Cabot Putnam and her colleagues primarily on the subjects of child-rearing and child psychology, collected by Putnam for reference in her research activities.
Materials entirely in English.
Marian Cabot Putnam (1893-1971) A.B. 1917, Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts; M.D. 1921, Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, Maryland, was a child analyst and child development specialist, and one of the founders of the Judge Baker Children’s Center, later the James Jackson Putnam Children’s Center, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Marian Cabot Putnam was born 9 April 1893 to Psychiatrist and Neurologist James Jackson Putnam (1846-1918) and Marian Cabot Putnam (born 1858). As a child she traveled with her parents to Europe, receiving an initial introduction to prominent figures in the development of psychoanalysis, including Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Carl Jung (1875-1961), and Ernest Jones (1879-1958). Her father was involved in the introduction and development of psychoanalytic technique in the United States. After receiving her A.B. at Radcliffe College in 1917, Putnam studied medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School, receiving her M.D. in 1921. Immediately prior to her graduation in 1921, she spent time in Europe with Edwards Park studying pediatric services. She also studied at the Children’s Hospital Boston (Massachusetts), and interned at the Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic at Johns Hopkins. After completing her M.D., she spent three years studying with Arnold Gesell (1880-1961) at the Yale Clinic of Child Development (New Haven, Connecticut). In 1921, Putnam took a position as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine (New Haven, Connecticut), a position she held until 1938. During this period, she also pursued advanced study with Adolf Meyer (1866-1950) in psychiatry at Johns Hopkins and at Children’s Hospital Boston with Bronson Crothers. In 1933, she traveled to Vienna for psychoanalytic training and was named Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Mental Hygiene at Yale on her return. She moved to Boston in 1938 to work at the Baker Guidance Clinic, and helped found the Judge Baker Children’s Center in 1943. She served as an early Director of the Center, and was named the first Director of the Center’s Well Baby Clinic (1945-1955). Until her retirement in 1955, Putnam remained with the Judge Baker Children’s Center, which was renamed the James Jackson Putnam Children’s Center in 1946 in honor of her father. During this period, she also lectured on child development at Harvard Medical School (Boston, Massachusetts), Boston University Medical School (Massachusetts), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge), and the Simmons College School of Social Work (Boston, Massachusetts).
Putnam was a child analyst and well-known researcher in the psychological development of children. She spent most of her career working with psychologically troubled children and wrote extensively on their treatment. Her original plan for the Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston was to provide live-in nursery care for children in need of continuous psychological help; live-in care was decided impractical, however, and Putnam and her staff focused on day programs. In 1949, the Center added a Well Baby Clinic, of which Putnam was named Director. She was a member of the editorial board of the Psychoanalytic Study of the Child journal from 1945, when the journal was founded. She was also on the Board of Trustees of Radcliffe College from 1950 until 1955, and received the Radcliffe Founder’s Award in 1967. Her publications include Obstetrical Injuries of the Spinal Cord (1927), co-authored with Bronson Crothers.
Marian Cabot Putnam died in November 1971; she was survived by her longtime partner, Edith B. Jackson (1895-1977).
Series and Subseries in the Collection
- I. Personal Papers, 1908-1977
- II. James Jackson Putnam Children’s Center Correspondence and Documentation, 1938-1978
- III. Correspondence and Drafts from Nathan G. Hale, Jr., 1877-1970
- IV. Pamphlets and Reprints, 1891-1972
Processed by Suzanne Denison, 2008, and Hanna Clutterbuck, November 2011 and July 2014.
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. Duplicate reprints already in the collection were discarded. Photographs were sleeved in Mylar for preservation. Four books that came with the collection were transferred to the Rare Books Cataloger for appraisal, with two volumes deaccessioned and two retained in the Center's collection (Thomas Buzzard's Clinical aspects of syphilitic nervous affections, 1874, and James Jackson's Cases of cholera collected at Paris, in the month of April 1832, in the wards of MM. Andral and Louis, at the hospital La Pitié, 1832).
- Black-and-white photographs.
- Child Development Disorders, Pervasive
- Child Psychiatry
- Child Psychology
- Child psychiatrists.
- Child psychiatry.
- Child psychoanalysts.
- Child psychology.
- History of psychoanalysis.
- History of psychology.
- James, William, 1842-1910
- Mentally ill children.
- Psychoanalysis, History
- Psychoanalysts -- Biography.
- Psychoanalysts -- Correspondence.
- Psychology, History
- Psychoses in children.
- Putnam, James Jackson, 1846-1918
- Putnam, Marian C. (Marian Cabot), 1893-1971.
- Putnam, Marian C. (Marian Cabot), 1893-1971. Papers, 1877-1978 (inclusive), 1940-1977 (bulk) : Finding Aid.
- Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
- Language of description
- EAD ID
Part of the Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine) Repository
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