Section II, Series 2. Superintendent / Physician
Records, 1826-1995 + [n.d.].
This record group consists of the papers of many prominent
doctors who were associated with the Institute, a few of whom
also served as the facility's superintendent. Papers associated
with many of the physicians represented in this group may
also be found in the administrative files. However, unlike
items found in the administrative files, papers belonging
to the physicians' files often had much to do with the physician's
external life outside of his service to the Institute.
In addition, physician files are representative of the work
done by a physician throughout his career, whereas the physician
associated files found in the administrative records usually
concern only his association with the Institute.
The physician files have been broken down into eight subseries
by individual doctor, and further subdivided into categories,
where necessary, for ease of use.
Subseries A: Thomas Story Kirkbride
Material, 1826-1893, 1933-1968 + [n.d.]
The largest and oldest group of papers in the series was generated
by the Institute's first superintendent, Thomas Story Kirkbride.
With well over 1000 individual items, Kirkbride's papers,
which consist mainly of correspondence and expository writings
concerning Institute-related business, psychiatric care, and
even personal items, are extremely informative in terms of
the early history of mental institutions. Kirkbride was very
much the heart of the Institute, and remained so for many
years after his death. His dedication is revealed throughout
Subseries B: John Chapin Materials,
Following Kirkbride's death in 1883, Dr. John Chapin became
the superintendent of the Institute. A small collection of
his papers exist, though they are not comprehensive, nor are
they overwhelmingly informative.
Subseries C: Edward Strecker
Dr. Strecker, a pioneer in the psychological treatment
of alcoholism, as well as an advocate for child psychology,
was an influential physician at the Institute. His collection
of papers consists of a great deal of correspondence that
details his work in the field of psychiatry and his years
of service for the United States Armed Forces, as well as
some of his personal life. In addition to his correspondence,
there is a fairly comprehensive collection of his published
The four subseries below contain the papers of other influential
physicians who worked at the Institute during the 20th Century.
In each of these subseries, the written works of the men are
collected, as is some of their professional correspondence.
Subseries D: Earl Bond Material,
1913-1970 + [n.d.]
Subseries E: Kenneth Appel Material,
1927-1979 + [n.d.]
Subseries F: Francis Braceland
Material, 1931, (1937-1941) + [n.d.]
Subseries G: Manuel Pearson
Material, 1937-1981 + [n.d.]
Subseries H: Residents' Papers, 1961-1995 + [n.d.], Boxes
The final subseries consists of thesis papers written by resident
physicians in the field of psychiatry who completed their
residencies at the Institute. The papers are of varying subject
matter, and date between 1961 and 1995.
For more information concerning individual physicians at
the Pennsylvania Hospital, see also the physician files of
the Department of Sick and Injured.
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