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COLLECTION Identifier: H MS c543

Albert Warren Stearns papers

Overview

The Albert Warren Stearns papers, 1912-1959, are the product of Stearns’ activities as a private practice psychiatrist, author, Dean of Tufts College Medical School, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, and officer in the medical corps of the United States Navy.

Dates

  • 1912-1959 (inclusive)

Creator

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 I, II, III, and IV. 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.

Extent

44.55 cubic feet (44 records center cartons, 1 clamshell box, and 1 drop front box)
The Albert Warren Stearns papers, 1912-1959, are the product of Stearns’ activities as a private practice psychiatrist, author, Dean of Tufts College Medical School, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, and officer in the medical corps of the United States Navy. The papers include: correspondence and patient records from Stearns’ consulting work as a private practice psychiatrist; administrative and outside correspondence produced during Stearns' tenure as Dean at Tufts College Medical School; administrative correspondence and inmate records from Stearns’ service as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Correction; records related to the evaluation and classification of the mental health of recruits for naval service produced during Stearns’ service in the United States Navy; and his professional writings and research records.

Papers are entirely in English.

Biographical Note

Albert Warren Stearns, 1885-1959, M.D., Tufts College Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, 1910, was a psychiatrist and neurologist, researcher and author, and Dean of Tufts College Medical School. Stearns also served as the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Correction and as an officer in the medical corps of the United States Navy during the First and Second World Wars.

Stearns was born in Billerica, Massachusetts, on January 26, 1885, to Helen Maria and George Edward Stearns. After dropping out of high school to work at a hardware store, Stearns enrolled at Tufts College, Medford, Massachusetts, before enrolling in Tufts College Medical School and earning an M.D. in 1910. Stearns worked at Danvers State Hospital, Danvers, Massachusetts, and Boston State Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, then opened a private psychiatry practice in 1913. During the First and Second World Wars, Stearns served in the medical corps of the United States Navy (1917-1919, 1942-1945, respectively). He also served as a consultant to the Chelsea Naval Hospital, Chelsea, Massachusetts (1923-1929). From 1927 to 1945, Stearns was the Dean of the Tufts College Medical School and Professor of Psychiatry. After returning to Tufts from military service in 1945, Stearns became a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Sociology. Also in 1945, Tufts awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science degree. Stearns served as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Correction (1929-1933) and Associate Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Diseases (1935-1938).

Stearns was a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a member of the American Medical Association, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also served as President of Boston Psychiatric Society (1931), President of the Boston Society of Psychiatry and Neurology (1934), and Vice President of the Massachusetts Medical Society (1938-1940). He was the author of Personality of Criminals (1932)

Stearns was active in his hometown of Billerica, Massachusetts, serving as President of the Billerica Historical Society (1913-1958), cemetery commissioner (1922-1935), Selectman (1930-1931, 1933-1936), and school committee member (1946-1948). Stearns married Frances Matsell Judkins on December 28, 1912, and had two sons, Albert Warren, who predeceased Stearns, and Charles Edward (1920-2010), who would become Dean of Tufts College of Liberal Arts (1954-1967). Stearns died unexpectedly on September 24, 1959. The Stearns Research Building at the Tufts Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine was dedicated in 1963.

Collection Arrangement

  1. I. Private Practice Records, 1912-1959
  2. I.A. Private Practice Correspondence, 1912-1947
  3. I.B. Private Practice Patient Records, 1920-1959
  4. II. Professional Appointments Records, 1917-1959
  5. II.A. Tufts College Medical School, 1923-1959
  6. II.B. Massachusetts Department of Correction, 1926-1932
  7. II.C. United States Navy, 1917-1944
  8. III. Professional Correspondence, 1914-1959
  9. IV. Writings and Subject Files, 1913-1959

Processing Information

Processed by Bryan Sutherland, 2018 January.

Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed, arranged, and described the records and created a finding aid to improve access. To enhance preservation, processing staff re-housed the collection and, where necessary, items were removed from three ring binders and documents were photocopied onto acid-free paper. Duplicate records and records that did not meet the collection policy of the Center for the History of Medicine were discarded. Folder titles were transcribed from the originals.
Link to catalog
Title
Stearns, Albert Warren, 1885-1959. Papers, 1912-1959: Finding Aid.
Status
completed
Author
Bryan Sutherland
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
EAD ID
med00423

Repository Details

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

Contact:
10 Shattuck Street
Boston MA 02115
(617) 432-2170