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COLLECTION Identifier: 82-M143--85-M247

Papers of Helene Deutsch, 1900-1983


Correspondence, photographs, notebooks, etc., of Helene Deutsch, psychoanalyst, teacher, and writer.


  • 1900-1983

Language of Materials

Materials in English, German, Polish, and French.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted, except for original copies of letters containing sensitive information found in #29-31, which are closed until January 1, 2035.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Helene Deutsch is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


2 linear feet ((2 cartons) plus 1 folio folder, 2 folio+ folders, 11 photograph folders, 1 folio photograph folder, 1 supersize photograph folder)

These papers include personal and professional correspondence, photographs, notebooks, research notes, articles and book reviews, scholarly papers by Deutsch and others, clippings, and a diary that Paul Roazen claims to be by Deutsch (see 83v). There are also letters to Felix Deutsch from his childhood friend, Paul Barnay, and Felix Deutsch's correspondence with professional journals. Some of the correspondence is in German, Polish, or French, and a portion of it consists of photocopies of original letters; the originals are believed to have been destroyed. The bulk of the personal letters is to Deutsch from Herman Lieberman, Felix Deutsch, and SD; and from Deutsch to Felix Deutsch. The professional correspondence concerns conferences, publications, and other scholarly endeavors. Notebooks and research notes by Deutsch are in English and German and generally contain quick jottings taken down while reading, or early drafts of books and articles. Deutsch's papers pertaining specifically to the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute are available at the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute.

Letters to Deutsch containing sensitive personal information have been photocopied and identifying information removed (see #29-31). The originals are closed to research until January 1, 2035.

Most folder headings have been supplied by the processors; original headings are in quotation marks.


Helene (Rosenbach) Deutsch, psychoanalyst, teacher, and writer, was born on October 9, 1884, in Przemysl, Galicia (Austria-Hungary), the youngest daughter of Regina and Wilhelm Rosenbach; her father was a prominent lawyer. At age sixteen, Deutsch fell in love with Herman Lieberman, a lawyer and leader of the Polish Social Democratic Party, and became an ardent political activist, organizing strikes and campaigning for the rights of women to education and employment. In 1907 she followed Lieberman to Vienna where he was elected to parliament, and enrolled in the Medical School of the University of Vienna. She was soon absorbed in the study of medicine and in 1912, shortly before her graduation, married Dr. Felix Deutsch, an internist. Their son Martin was born in 1917. During World War I, Deutsch gained clinical experience in psychiatry at the Wagner-Jauregg Clinic in Vienna. She was the first of Sigmund Freud's women students to undergo analysis with him, and she became a member of his circle of friends and colleagues. A respected teacher and diagnostician, she founded the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute in 1924, and was its director for nine years. With the rise of Hitler, the Deutsches left Austria in 1934 and came to Boston, Massachusetts, where Deutsch resumed private practice and was an active member of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society. Deutsch was the author of The Psychology of Women, a two-volume study (1944, 1945); Neuroses and Character Types: Clinical Psychoanalytic Studies (1965); Selected Problems of Adolescence (1967); and Confrontations With Myself (1973), an autobiography. She died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on March 29, 1982. For a detailed account of her life, see Helene Deutsch, A Psychoanalyst's Life, by Paul Roazen (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1985).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 82-M143, 83-M102, 83-M140, 83-M266, 84-M118, 85-M12, 85-M52, 85-M58, 85-M63, 85-M104, 85-M227, 85-M247

The papers of Helene (Rosenbach) Deutsch were given to the Schlesinger Library in July 1982, May, June, and December 1983, June 1984, and January, March, May, October, and November 1985 by Martin Deutsch and Suzanne Deutsch, Deutsch's son and daughter-in-law. The papers were temporarily in the care of Paul Roazen, Helene Deutsch's biographer.

Related Material:

There are related materials at the Schlesinger Library; see Helene Deutsch Papers, 1889-2008 (MC 578).


The following items have been removed from the collection and donated to the Countway Library, Harvard Medical School, in May 1986:

  1. "President's Newsletter of the International Psycho-Analytical Association," vol. IV, no. 1; vol. V, no. 1; vol. VII, no. 1; vol. VIII, no. 2

The following item has been removed from the collection and donated to the MIT Archives in February 1986:

  1. Poster advertising a concert at Massachusetts Institute of Technology


  1. Carton 1: 1-30
  2. Carton 2: 31-84v

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: June 1985

By: Margaret C. Clark, Anne Engelhart

Deutsch, Helene, 1884-1982. Papers of Helene Deutsch, 1900-1983: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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