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History of Medicine Finding Aids

Bertram Brown Papers 1884-1988 (bulk 1960-1980)
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All Series Level Scope and Content Notes

Although the records cover the years 1884 through 1988, the bulk of the records were created from the years 1960 through 1980. The papers generally contain correspondence, memoranda, reports, congressional testimony, legislative material, press releases, news clippings, speeches, meeting materials and minutes, published articles, course papers, notes, photographic prints, audio and video recordings, and memorabilia. Significant topics of interest to researchers covered in the papers include federal mental health care policy, mental retardation, drug abuse and alcoholism prevention, community mental health centers, the causes of violence, criminal justice, child mental health, the effects of poverty and racism on mental health, and international mental health policy. Organizations of importance covered in the papers include the National Institute of Mental Health, The President's Panel on Mental Retardation, the President's Commission on Mental Health, and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Drug Abuse Prevention. The total volume of the papers is 65.75 linear feet.


This series documents Dr. Brown's medical education which combined training in medicine, psychiatry, and public health. The records largely consist of course handouts, lecture and seminar notes, notebooks, class papers, and examinations. Folders are arranged alphabetically by educational institution and thereafter by course, conference, and/or lecture topic.

Records largely cover Dr. Brown's medical education at Cornell University Medical School (1952-1960), an internship at Yale University School of Medicine, School of Pediatrics (1957-1960), and Harvard University School of Public Health (1959-1960) where he earned a Masters degree in Public Health. Other material in the series include notes taken by Dr. Brown during a position he held as a clinical clerk in neurology and neurosurgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the summer of 1955. Records from Dr. Brown's early education in Brooklyn public schools and from courses taken at Brooklyn College as an undergraduate from 1940-1952 are also contained among the records.

Dates for some of the undated records in this Medical Education series have been established using Cornell University Medical College announcements for 1952/53 through 1956/57.


(Lecture Notes, Handouts, Course Materials)


(Lecture Notes, Handouts, Course Materials)


This series contains records which document Dr. Brown's tenure at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a division of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (DHEW). Dr. Brown began working at NIMH as a staff psychiatrist at the Mental Health Study Center of NIMH in 1960. He held increasingly more responsible positions at NIMH leading to his appointment as Director in 1970.

The series has been divided into two subseries: Special Topics and Program and Policy Records, to reflect their contents and the original order of the records. Note that some of the same topics are covered in both of the subseries in the NIMH Series.


This subseries contains records maintained by Dr. Brown throughout his career at NIMH on selected special topics. The bulk of the records date from 1959 through 1974. The records include correspondence, internal memoranda, reports, congressional testimony, legislative materials, meeting minutes and notes, press releases, published articles, and clippings. Folders are arranged alphabetically by topic.

Topics in this series often relate to Dr. Brown's special assignments or federal commission appointments made either by the Secretary of DHEW or the President of the United States. Dr. Brown was appointed Special Assistant for Drug Abuse Prevention to the Secretary of DHEW, beginning soon after his appointment as Director of NIMH in 1970. Consequently, a significant portion of records in this series falls under the topic of drug abuse prevention and documents Dr. Brown's efforts to combat drug abuse at the federal level. As drug abuse became a major national issue in the early 1970s, DHEW became the lead agency in 1971 with Dr. Brown as chairman of a White House Inter-Agency Task Force established to coordinate federal drug abuse prevention programs. Documents regarding federal efforts to combat drug abuse include a group of Decisions Papers on drug abuse prevention from the President's Domestic Council; White House Inter-Agency Task Force reports on drug abuse prevention and narcotic addiction; Food and Drug Administration's methadone regulations; and a report to Congress prepared by DHEW titled "Marihuana and Health" in 1971.

Notable among the records regarding drug abuse prevention are statements of, and briefing materials for, DHEW and Department of Justice officials who testified at a series of congressional hearings on the topic from 1969 through 1971. A sample of the legislation covered in these records includes the Drug Abuse Education Act of 1969, the Drug Abuse and Narcotics Crime Control Act of 1969, and the Narcotic Rehabilitation Act of 1970. In addition, records in the series from NIMH's Narcotic Addiction and Drug Abuse Division, Anti-Drug Abuse Media Project, Clinical Research Center in Kentucky, and the Center for Studies of Narcotic and Drug Abuse document the agency's efforts at instituting drug abuse prevention programs.

Although NIMH's efforts to fight alcohol abuse and alcoholism were closely aligned with drug abuse prevention programs, the series contains fewer records on the topic of alcoholism. Records regarding alcoholism cover DHEW's strategy for implementing the Comprehensive Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse Act of 1970, the National Advisory Committee on Alcoholism, and an alcoholism treatment program for federal employees.

Dr. Brown became Chief of the Community Mental Health Facilities Branch of NIMH in March 1964 soon after the passage of the Community Mental Health Center's (CMHC) Act of 1963. Records on the topic of Community Mental Health Centers include mostly background materials on the CMHC's Act, including congressional testimony, legislative history, regulations, a section-by-section analysis, drafts, criticisms, cost projections, and a general history. Also of interest are reports and background material on NIMH's Mental Health Study Center (MHSC), a community mental health center established in Prince George's County, Maryland, in 1948. In 1965, the MHSC became a model study program for a comprehensive CMHC after passage of the CMHC's Act. Other notable records on CMHCs, include a "Workbook for Developing CMHCs," CMHC grant program guidelines, background material on the Hill-Burton Construction Program, and a 1966 DHEW report titled "Current Status of CMHC Program."

Other significant records cover violence, children, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, criminal justice, poverty, and the USSR. Records on the topic of violence cover Dr. Brown's membership on the President's Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence (Eisenhower Commission) after urban riots and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy occurred in 1968; and an NIMH study commissioned by the National Advisory Mental Health Council to study mass violence. Regarding the topic of children and mental health is a 1969 report titled "A Summary of Recommendations" by the Joint Commission on the Mental Health of Children. Records on the topic of "St. Elizabeth's Hospital" (SEH), which concern the transfer of SEH from NIMH control to the District of Columbia, contain historical documentation on facilities which housed the criminally insane at SEH. Materials from meetings of the Advisory Committee to the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice address the topic "criminal justice." The demands of the "Poor People's Campaign" in 1968 to DHEW and DHEW's responses are found under the topic "poverty." Reports of the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration's Women's Council, DHEW are listed under the topic "alcoholism." Transcriptions of Dr. Brown's interviews with participants in the U.S.-USSR Joint Committee for Health Cooperation may be found under the topic "USSR."


This subseries contains records which document Dr. Brown's responsibilities for developing and implementing program and policies while he held important leadership positions at NIMH. The bulk of the records date from 1966-1975 and largely cover his duties as Associate Director for Mental Health Service Programs in 1966, Deputy Director from 1967-1970, and Director of NIMH from 1970 through 1978. The records include correspondence, internal memoranda, reports, legislative material, meeting minutes, notes, organizational charts, press releases, published articles and clippings. The folders are arranged alphabetically by program or policy topic, and thereafter chronologically within the folder.

Notable among Dr. Brown's records as NIMH Director are his monthly reports and director's memoranda, budget justifications, and 5-Year Forward Plans for NIMH covering 1977 through 1983. The forward plans focused on improving the country's mental health care system, preventing mental illness, cutting costs, overseeing several reorganizations of NIMH, and coordinating a Presidential transition in 1968. They also contain records pertaining to Dr. Brown=s participation in small staff focus groups that discussed upcoming planning challenges. This series also contains special reports and records Dr. Brown maintained on research grant requests. Topics covered in the special reports cover a wide-range of important mental health policy issues including aging, child mental health, crime and violence, mental health emergency services, community mental health centers, and mental health financing. Attached to this report is Addendum B which provides a list of reports arranged alphabetically by topics covered to aid in locating reports.

Other important policy issues and administrative topics covered in the records include the administration of NIMH's regional offices, First Lady Roslyn Carter's mental health initiatives, federal-state cooperation in delivering mental health services, and equal employment and affirmative action policies at NIMH. NIMH's development of policies to advance women into the field of psychoanalysis and recruit minorities for leadership at NIMH during Dr. Brown's tenure is a prominent issue covered by the NIMH personnel records. Another program initiative in which Dr. Brown played a significant leadership role at NIMH was the promotion of a more effective partnership between State and Federal governments through his work with the Federal-State Relations Committee, an intergovernmental organization established to advance local governmental control in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Records pertaining to Dr. Brown's termination in 1978 by Joseph Califano, the Secretary of Health Education and Welfare, are also included in this series.


Of particular interest is Dr. Brown's activities as adviser, consultant, or board member with such organizations as the American Bar Association, American Psychiatric Association, Health Industries of America, Horizon Health Group, and the Rand Corporation. His work for these organizations in the late 1970s through the mid-1980s included: advising the National Pretrial Division Service Center, sponsored by the Commission on Correctional Facilities and Services, on legislative prison reforms and court cases; working as a fellow for the American Psychiatric Association's Council on National Affairs on policies affecting the mental health needs of minorities and women; serving as an Outside Director for Health Industries of America, a corporation which provided substance abuse and mental health services through the management of specialty hospitals, sub-acute facilities, and structured outpatient programs; acting as chairman of the board for the Horizon Health Group, a private health care development firm with a primary interest in developing psychiatric and alcohol treatment hospitals; providing consultant services for the Rand Corporation and the Hogg Foundation National Advisory Council; and membership on the American Psychiatric Association's Council on National Affairs.

Other records in this series pertain to Dr. Brown's professional activities during his time at NIMH but which were not part of his official assignment as an NIMH employee. These assignments included, but are not limited to, his appointment as Associate and then Clinical Professor to the George Washington University School of Medicine in 1969, and work as advisor starting in 1960 to the Patuxent Institute, a facility which housed convicted criminals with symptoms of antisocial or criminal behavior and mental illness. Records of particular importance in this series pertain to Dr. Brown's special assignment to President John F. Kennedy's Commission on Mental Health, and the President's Panel on Mental Retardation from 1961 through 1963. The Panel focused on the clinical services, residential care, education, and vocational rehabilitation of the mentally retarded.

This series contains records which pertain to Dr. Brown's professional activities outside of his official duties as a federal employee. The records include correspondence, memoranda, meeting minutes, reports, and charts documenting Dr. Brown's activities as a private consultant, board member, special adviser, educator, and private medical professional. The folders are arranged alphabetically by organizational affiliation or topic.


This series consists of meeting agendas and minutes, correspondence, brochures, handwritten notes, speeches, and other meeting materials compiled by Dr. Brown for attendance at meetings, conferences, and other events. Of particular interest are materials from conferences and meetings of the American Orthopsychiatric Association; the American Psychiatric Association; the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare; Public Health Service (PHS); Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA); National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH); the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health; National Association of Social Workers (NASW); and the Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards Luncheons.

The folders are arranged chronologically by the date of the meeting.


Although this series consists largely of the final version of the texts of Dr. Brown's speeches, it also contains correspondence, background material, and earlier drafts of speeches. Folders are arranged chronologically by day and year of the speech. Arranged at the beginning of the series is a folder with an index to speeches from 1963 through 1970 as well as three bound volumes of Dr. Brown's speeches from 1970 through 1973. For the remaining folders, the final text of the speech appears first in the folder and thereafter materials are arranged chronologically by date, with background materials arranged at the end of the folder. The folder title provides the speech title (if known), organization to which the speech was presented, place of the presentation (if known), and date. In those few instances in which the final transcript of the speech is not included among the records, earlier drafts or other materials pertaining to the speech are still provided for reference.

As Chief of the Community Mental Health Facilities Branch, Deputy Director (1968-1970) and Director (1970-1978) at NIMH, Dr. Brown made numerous speeches on a number of issues important to mental health in the country during that period. Recurring topics included child mental health, financing mental health, the new federalism, community mental health programs, training mental health providers, drug abuse and addiction prevention, mental health services for minorities, ethics and values in mental health, mental health research, national health insurance, and deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill.

Among the many speeches Dr. Brown gave, titles of interest include A Federal Challenge to the Community: "Health and Education Program for the Treatment of Drug Abuse and Addiction" (September 10, 1971); "Child Priority: A Progress Report--1972," (June 23, 1972); "War and Peace and Related Drug Abuse Issues" (November 3, 1972); "Mental Health in the Future--Politics, Science, Ethics, and Values" (April 13, 1973); "Mobile in April--Spring and the New Federalism" (April 4, 1973); "Community Mental Health Centers: As A System of Prevention" (November 21, 1974); and "Deinstitutionalization and Community Support Systems" (November 4, 1975).

Organizations for, and meetings at which Dr. Brown spoke included the Meeting of Advanced Health Care Delivery System Pilot Project, NATO Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society (October 17, 1972); Foundation for Child Development of the New York State Committee for Children Advocacy (December 12, 1972); International Health Conference (October 16, 1974); and the 1975 World Congress (August 11, 1975). The same, or slightly revised, speech was sometimes given to different organizations if appropriate to the occasion. Audio recordings of some speeches in this series are also included among the audiotapes in the audiovisual materials.


This series consists of published materials, unpublished manuscripts, and papers prepared by Dr. Brown or written jointly with other authors. The folders are arranged in alphabetical order by title of publication. Bracketed information in the folder title was added by the processor to identify co-authors or clarify the origin of the writings. The series contains journal articles, book reviews, published and unpublished reports, chapters and forwards for books, unpublished typewritten manuscripts, correspondence, drafts, memoranda, and reference materials. Recurring topics in these writings include community mental health centers, community psychiatry, the mentally retarded offender, public mental health hospitals, child and family mental health issues, and the federal role in mental health services.


The series contains personal and professional correspondence Dr. Brown received and composed over the course of thirty years. Contact with noted public and private officials included correspondence with Harry S. Truman, Jimmy Carter, Elliot L. Richardson, Caspar Weinberger, Walter Mondale, Warren E. Burger, Edward I. Koch, Winfield Dunn, Ann Landers, Coretta Scott King, and Nelson Rockefeller. Of particular interest is his correspondence with Sasha Gubkin, Barbara Gullage, and Janet Travell. In the early 1970s, Dr. Brown helped his cousins, the Gubkins migrate from the USSR to Israel. Correspondence with White House Physician Janet Travell shows the development of Dr. Brown's professional and personal friendship with her over many years.

Although the series largely consists of correspondence, it also includes clippings, memoranda, and poetry. To maintain the integrity of the original order of the records, folders are first arranged alphabetically by the last name of correspondent and the remainder chronologically by year.


This series consists of personal files maintained by Dr. Brown throughout his professional career and include biographical materials, newspaper clippings, personal mementos, cartoons, invitations, meeting notices, agenda books, date books, calendars, and other personal items.

The date books and calendars appear first in the series and are arranged chronologically. The remaining records are arranged in folders alphabetically by subject.


This series consists of audiovisual materials, including 42 audio cassette tapes, 1 reel-to-reel audio tape, 7 video cassette tapes, 1 video film tape, and 1.25 linear feet of photographic prints. The series provides audio and/or visual documentation of speeches, interviews, conferences, and special events in which Dr. Brown participated.

The series was divided into three subseries according to medium: Audio Recordings; Video Recordings; and Photographic Prints.


This series consists of honorary certificates and plaques that mark Dr. Brown's appointments and honor his achievements at state, national, and international levels. Materials include glass and wood plaques and paper certificates regarding Dr. Brown's service in the following areas: autism in children, marriage and family therapy, mental health services in the District of Columbia, psychiatry in Puerto Rico, and the Public Health Service. In addition, the series contains a certificate showing that Dr. Brown was made an honorary citizen of Tennessee in 1973.

The materials are arranged chronologically by year.