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COLLECTION Identifier: H MS c546

Paul Ivan Yakovlev papers


The Paul Ivan Yakovlev papers, 1912-1983, are the product of Yakovlev's activities as a researcher, author, curator of the Warren Anatomical Museum, and professor at Harvard Medical School.


  • 1912-1983 (inclusive)


Language of Materials

Papers are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Some restrictions apply (see below).

Access requires advance notice. Contact Public Services for further information.

Access to personal and patient information is restricted for 80 years from the date of creation. These restrictions appear in Series II. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. Consult Public Services for further information.

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.


2.25 cubic feet (2 records center cartons, 1 half legal size document box)
The Paul Ivan Yakovlev papers, 1912-1983, are the product of Yakovlev's activities as a researcher, author, curator of the Warren Anatomical Museum and professor at Harvard Medical School. The papers include: Yakovlev's professional correspondence with administrators and fellow researchers, including Walter Freeman, discussing issues related to lobotomy; writings, including topics related to epilepsy; photographs and biographical records; and collected reprints.

The Paul Ivan Yakovlev papers consist of four series: I. Correspondence, II. Writings, III. Personal Records, and IV. Collected Reprints.

Papers are primarily in English.

Biographical Note

Paul Ivan Yakovlev (1894-1983), Bachelor of Medicine, Military Medical Academy of Leningrad, 1919, M.D., University of Paris, 1925, was a neurologist, researcher, and Clinical Professor of Neuropathology at Harvard Medical School. His research was focused on the physiology of early acquired or congenital cerebral defects, and he developed a collection of nearly one thousand brain specimens.

Yakovlev was born in Touretz, Russia in 1894. After graduating from the Military Medical Academy of Leningrad in 1919, he escaped the fighting of the Russian Revolution and fled to Finland, then England, and finally France, in 1920. In France he worked with Pierre Marie (1853-1940) at the Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, France (1920-1921) and with Joseph Babinski (1857-1932) at the Hôpital de la Pitié, Paris, France (1921-1924). He earned his M.D. from the University of Paris, Paris, France, in 1925. Yakovlev came to the United States in 1925, working first in Rhode Island, then moving to Boston City Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked with Stanley Cobb (1887-1968). From 1926 to 1936, Yakovlev worked at Monson State Hospital, Monson, Massachusetts as Senior Physician (Neurologist). He was also connected with Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, during this period, serving as Assistant in Neuropathology (1928-1932), Research Fellow in Neuropathology (1933-1935), Research Fellow in Neurology (1935-1937), Assistant in Neurology (1937-1943), and Instructor in Neurology (1943-1947). At Boston City Hospital he served as Assistant Visiting Neurologist (1934-1947). From 1938 to 1947, Yakovlev was Clinical Director and Director of Research, Walter E. Fernald State School, Waverley, Massachusetts. From 1947 to 1951, Yakovlev moved to Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, serving as Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology, as well as Director of Research and Training, Connecticut State Hospital, and Attending Neurologist, Grace-New Haven Community Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut. He returned to Harvard Medical School in 1951, serving as Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurology (1951-1955), Curator of the Warren Anatomical Museum (1955-1961), Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology (1955-1957), and Clinical Professor of Neuropathology (1957-1961, Emeritus 1961).

Yakovlev served as President of the American Association of Neuropathology (1951), as the first Vice President American Neurological Association (1958-1959), President of Boston Society of Psychiatry and Neurology (1944), and Vice President of American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (1950-1958). In 1955 he received the Max Weinstein Award for outstanding scientific achievement in the field of cerebral palsy, from the United Cerebral Palsy Associations. Yakovlev’s Collection of Normal and Pathologic Anatomy and Development of the Human Brain was started in 1930 at Monson State Hospital and which numbered nearly 1,000 normal and abnormal brain specimens at the time of his death. It was transferred to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C., in 1974. Yakovlev had a son, Ivan, and three daughters, Ann, Mary Ellen, and Natasha. He died on June 16, 1983 at the age of 88.

Collection Arrangement

  1. I. Correspondence, 1919-1983
  2. II. Writings, 1926-1970
  3. III. Personal Records, 1929-1974
  4. IV. Collected Reprints, 1912-1966

Processing Information

Processed by Bryan Sutherland, 2018 February.

Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed, arranged, and described the papers, and created a finding aid to improve access.
Link to catalog
Yakovlev, Paul Ivan, 1894-1983. Papers, 1912-1983 (inclusive): Finding Aid.
Bryan Sutherland
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

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

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