Erich Lindemann papers
- 1885-1991 (inclusive),
- Majority of material found within 1950-1974 .
- Lindemann, Erich, 1900-1974. (Person)
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
The Papers are stored offsite. Researchers are advised to contact
Please note: audio-visual recordings are restricted to access until such a time as they can be converted to digital media. Once converted, recordings will be restricted based on the recording's title, or as per the restrictions for the folder from which the recording was removed.
Conditions Governing Use
Extent87.52 cubic feet (88 records center cartons, 5 letter size document boxes, 7 half letter size document boxes, 2 legal size document boxes, 1 tall legal size document box, 1 cd box, and 5 flat oversize boxes)
Professional Appointments Files (Series I) constitutes the bulk of the collection, and consists of: Massachusetts General Hospital administrative, research, and teaching records; Wellesley Human Relations Service administrative, committee, and research records; Harvard Medical School administrative, committee, and teaching records; Harvard School of Public Health teaching and curriculum planning records; and research, teaching, and administrative records for various other professional appointments held by Erich Lindemann. West End Research Project records (Series II) include research data, staff and advisory board meeting minutes, research and administrative reports, and collected publications related to research on the mental health and social implications of forced relocation during Boston’s West End redevelopment. Professional Activities Files (Series III) contain membership correspondence, committee records, conference programs, and lecture transcripts related to Lindemann’s service in various professional associations, including the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the World Health Organization. Writings and Publications (Series V) contain annotated and unannotated scientific paper reprints, manuscripts, and lecture transcripts by Lindemann relating to community mental health, preventive intervention, and other topics in psychiatry and mental health. Subject Files (Series VI) include: personal and professional correspondence; administrative and financial records of Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and Hall Mercer Hospital; and professional association correspondence and committee records. Audio-Visual Records (Series VII) consist of audio and audiovisual recordings of lectures by Lindemann and his colleagues, staff meetings of the Wellesley Human Relations Service and the West End Research Project, professional meetings and research seminars attended by Lindemann, and patient consultations. Papers also contain personal and professional correspondence with colleagues and friends, Lindemann’s educational diplomas and medical certifications, and collected publications related to psychiatry and mental health (Series IV, VIII, and IX).
The papers contain a number of access restriction types, to protect personal and institutional privacy. These types include: 80-year restrictions from the date of record creation for psychiatric/mental health patient records, medical patient records, personnel records, student records, and density of personally identifying information; and 50-year restrictions from the date of record creation for institutional records of Harvard University and its affiliates. The collection also contains a large number of audio-visual records, which are restricted to access until such a time as they can be converted to digital media. Once converted, restrictions will be determined based upon the recording’s title, or as per the restrictions for the folder from which the recording was removed.
Papers are predominantly in English. Occasional correspondence and collected publications are in French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Erich Lindemann (1900-1974), A.B., Ph.D., 1922, M.D., 1926, Universities of Marburg and Giessen, Germany, was Chief of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, Medical Director of the Wellesley Human Relations Service, Massachusetts, Associate Professor of Mental Health at Harvard School of Public Health, and Distinguished Visiting Professor in Clinical and Social Psychiatry at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. Lindemann specialized in social and preventive psychiatry, and is credited with pioneering the field of community mental health.
Erich Lindemann was born in Witten, Germany in 1900 . He pursued a medical degree at the urging of his grandfather, a businessman who encouraged Lindemann’s principles of social responsibility. He attended the Universities of Marburg and Giessen, where he studied gestalt psychology, receiving his Ph.D. in 1922, and his M.D. in 1926. He came to the United States in 1927 as a Research Associate in Experimental Psychology and Speech Pathology at the University of Iowa. His subsequent appointments at the University of Iowa and the Iowa Psychopathic Hospital include: Instructor in Psychology (1929-1931); Assistant Physician (1929-1935); Assistant Professor in Psychology and in Psychiatry (1931-1935); and Physician in Charge of Psychiatric Out-Patient Clinic (1932-1934). In 1935, Lindemann moved to Boston, Massachusetts to accept a psychiatry fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) (1935-1937), and a physiology and psychiatry fellowship at Harvard Medical School (1935-1937). His subsequent appointments at MGH include Associate Psychiatrist & Physician-in-Charge of the Psychiatric Out-Patient Department (1937-1948), and Visiting Psychiatrist (1944-1948). During this period, Lindemann held numerous teaching appointments across Harvard University, including: at Harvard Medical School as Instructor in Psychiatry (1937-1941) and Associate in Psychiatry (1941-1948); at Harvard School of Public Health as Instructor in Psychiatry (1940-1941), Lecturer on Mental Health (1948-1951), and Associate Professor of Mental Health (1951-1954); and at the Harvard University Department of Social Relations as Lecturer in Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry (1947-1953).
In 1948, Lindemann and his wife, sociologist Elizabeth Brainerd Lindemann (1913-2007), founded the nation’s first community mental health agency, the Wellesley Human Relations Service (WHRS), initiated as a field station of the Harvard School of Public Health’s Division of Mental Health. He served as Director of the organization for five years (1948-1953). He left the WHRS in 1954 to accept the positions of Chief of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He held these appointments until his retirement in 1965. During this period, he established a community mental health training program for social workers, nurses, and other community social service providers. Post-retirement, Lindemann accepted a position as Visiting Professor of Psychiatry (1965-1974) at Stanford University, Palo Alto, where he continued to teach courses in community mental health for the remaining nine years of his life.
Lindemann is most known for his work in preventive intervention, particularly with subjects of grief, loss, and other forms of crisis. After working with victims of Boston’s Cocoanut Grove fire in 1942, he became increasingly interested in the psychiatric and physiological effects related to crisis, grief and loss, and he continued to study these subjects throughout his career. He also directed a study of the effects of loss and disruption on the displaced families of Boston’s West End redevelopment, which was used to inform later urban redevelopment projects across the nation. Lindemann is also credited with developing the field of community mental health, advocating throughout his career for collaboration between psychiatrists, social workers, clergymen, teachers, and other community social service providers in the preventive therapy of crisis patients. His many professional affiliations include: President of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society; Chairman of the American Psychiatric Association’s Committee on Preventive Psychiatry; Chairman of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry’s Committee on Preventive Psychiatry; Member of the National Research Council Committee on Stress; Member of the National Institute of Mental Health Committee on Social and Physical Environment Variables as Determinants of Mental health; and Special Consultant to the World Health Organization. In 1971, he was honored for his work in community mental health through the dedication of the Erich Lindemann Mental Health Center in Boston, Massachusetts.
Erich Lindemann married pianist Baldura Schmidt (1902-1995) in 1928, but was later divorced in 1934. He remarried in 1939, to sociologist Elizabeth Brainerd (1913-2007). They had two children, Jeffrey and Brenda. Lindemann died of spinal cancer in 1974, in Palo Alto, California.
Please note: where possible, some folders containing a combination of restricted and unrestricted records have been separated into two folders to better promote access. Records containing restricted information have been placed in a separate folder (B), and their original locations have been marked with placeholders in the main folder (A). Similarly where necessary, folders containing a combination of textual and audio-visual records, or standard-size and oversize items, have been separated into two folders. Audiovisual records or oversize items have been placed in a separate folder (B), and their original locations have been marked in the main folder (A). In such cases where one folder was previously maintained within a larger folder, the smaller folder was placed immediately after the larger folder, and was given a title using the following format: Larger Folder Title: Smaller Folder Title.
- I. Professional Appointments Files, 1915-1978, undated
- ___A. Massachusetts General Hospital Records, 1928-1973, undated
- ______ 1. Administrative Records, 1942-1972, undated
- ______ 2. Training and Instruction Programs, 1942-1972, undated
- ______3. Financial Records, 1949-1973, undated
- _________ i. Budgets, 1949-1973, undated
- _________ ii. Grants by Fund Number, 1949-1966, undated
- _________ iii. Grants by Principal Investigator or Project, 1954-1973, undated
- ______ 4. Hall Mercer Hospital Unit Reports, 1942-1966
- ______ 5. Research Files, 1939-1970, undated
- ______ 6. Personnel Files, 1928-1973, undated
- ___B. Wellesley Human Relations Service Records, 1915-1978, undated
- ______ 1. Administrative Records, 1940-1978, undated
- ______ 2. Resource Files, 1922-1972, undated
- ______ 3. Mental Health Survey, 1915-1964, undated
- ___C. Harvard Medical School Records, 1944-1973, undated
- ______ 1. Administrative Records, 1940-1978, undated
- ______ 2. Visual Teaching Aids, 1941-1963, undated
- ___ D. Harvard School of Public Health Records, 1941-1963, undated
- ___ E. Other Professional Appointments, 1928-1974, undated
- II. West End Research Project, 1949-1975, undated
- ___ A. Administrative Records, 1949-1975, undated
- ___ B. Resident Surveys, 1958-1961, undated
- III. Professional Activities Files, 1929-1974, undated
- IV. Correspondence, 1925-1974, undated
- V. Writings and Publications, 1922-1976, undated
- VI. Subject Files, 1885-1973, undated
- VII. Audio-Visual Records, 1950-1973, undated
- ___ A. Speeches and Lectures by Lindemann, 1950-1971, undated
- ___ B. Speeches and Lectures by Colleagues, 1950-1973, undated
- ___C. Meetings and Discussions, 1950-1970, undated
- ______ 1. Wellesley Human Relations Service, 1950-1970, undated
- ______ 2. West End Research Project, 1957-1963, undated, undated
- ______ 3. Miscellaneous Professional Meetings and Discussions, 1951-1968, undated
- ___ D. Patient Interviews and Ward Rounds, 1952-1963, undated
- ___ E. Unlabeled Recordings, 1953-1962, undated
- VIII. Biographical Files, 1922-1978, undated
- IX. Collected Publications, 1891-1991, undated
Immediate Source of Acquisition
0.2 cubic feet of professional correspondence of Stanley Cobb was transferred to the Stanley Cobb Papers (1898-1982), H MS c53, November 2013.
Books that came with the collection and constitute part of Lindemann’s professional library were transferred to the Center’s Rare Books Collection to be catalogued, October 2013. A complete list of the books is available in the Center’s control file for the collection.
0.2 cubic feet of scientific paper reprints and a copy of a student academic paper were discarded due to poor condition of the papers, July 2013.
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. Folder titles were transcribed from the originals when available; titles supplied by the processing staff appear in brackets only on the physical folders. Papers that did not meet the collecting policy of the Center for the History of Medicine were returned to the family. Unrecorded audiovisual records and duplicate reprints already in the collection were discarded.
Due to the large number of abbreviations in folder titles, only occasionally used abbreviations are written out in the folder’s Scope and Content note. Frequently used abbreviations that were not clarified at the folder level include CMH (Community Mental Health), GAP (Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry), GEC (Massachusetts General Hospital General Executive Committee), HMS (Harvard Medical School), HRS and WHRS (both stand for Wellesley Human Relations Service), HSPH (Harvard School of Public Health), HU (Harvard University), MGH (Massachusetts General Hospital), NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), UCS (United Community Services), USPHS (United States Public Health Service), and WHO (World Health Organization).
- Community Mental Health Centers
- Community mental health services.
- Compact discs.
- Crisis Intervention
- Crisis intervention (mental health services).
- Lantern slides.
- Lindemann, Erich, 1900-1974.
- Medicine, psychosomatic.
- Mental Disorders
- Mental illness.
- Phonograph records.
- Preventive Psychiatry
- Preventive mental health services.
- Psychiatry -- Study and teaching.
- Psychology, Social
- Psychosomatic Medicine
- Slides (photographs).
- Social psychology.
- Tape reels.
- Urban Renewal
- Urban renewal.
- West End (Boston, Mass.).
- Wire recordings.
- Lindemann, Erich, 1970-1974. Papers, 1885-1991 (inclusive), 1950-1974 (bulk): Finding Aid.
- Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
- The Erich Lindemann papers were processed with grant funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as awarded and administered by the Council on Library Resources (CLIR) in 2012.
- EAD ID