New archives available at the Oskar Diethelm Library

The Oskar Diethelm Library, part of the DeWitt Wallace Institute for the History of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, has made new archival material available that could be of interest to H-Madness readers. It concerns the papers of Dr. Leopold Bellak and the papers of the Neuron Club. Below you find a short description of what they contain.

The papers of Dr. Leopold Bellak (1916-2000), an Austrian-born psychologist, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst and graduate of both the New York Medical College and the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. Bellak is notable for his work in projective tests, schizophrenia, adult attention deficit disorder, community mental health, and brief and emergency psychotherapy.

Notable among Dr. Bellak’s professional papers are materials related to projective tests he originated and projective tests to which he contributed. Bellak’s grant and research projects regarding validating and treating adult attention deficit disorder, quantification of psychiatric diagnosis on the basis of ego strength, preventative community child psychiatry, the first 24-hour walk-in clinic, and a national institute for schizophrenia research are included in the collection as well.

The library’s papers of Leopold Bellak contain five linear feet of material housed in twelve documents boxes. The collection includes correspondence, research, documents, publications, professional writings, notes, photographs, and other professional material dating from 1943-1993. The materials are primarily in English, but many of Bellak’s handwritten notes and some news articles are in German.

The finding aid for the Leopold Bellak papers is now available on the Archives and Manuscript Collections page of the website of the Oskar Diethelm Library.


The papers of the Neuron Club. The club, founded in 1925 by 17 western New York physicians, was created to foster informational exchange in the areas of neurology and psychiatry. At the club’s meetings, members and guest lecturers presented formal papers and made clinical presentations on an increasingly eclectic range of topics, from general medicine to medical law to contemporary socio-political struggles and their impact on both healthy and afflicted minds. The members disbanded the club in 1997, as the American Psychiatric Association’s local and regional branches expanded on the activities that the Neuron Club had performed since its founding.

The library’s papers of the Neuron Club contain club history and bylaws, correspondence, financial documents, membership documents, and minutes dating from 1925-2000, with the bulk of the material dating from 1925-1997. The materials are all in English.

The finding aid for the Neuron Club papers is now available on the Archives and Manuscript Collections page of the website of the Oskar Diethelm Library.

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