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Paul D. MacLean Papers 1936; 1944-1993
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Collection Scope and Content Note


Correspondence, photographs, research materials, reports, writings, and audiovisual materials (1936; 1944-1993, 17.5 linear feet) document the official portion of Paul MacLean's career in brain and behavioral research. Through his research at Yale Medical School and at the National Institute of Mental Health, MacLean was instrumental in developing and expounding the theory of the Triune Brain. Highlights of the collection include 33 years of project reports from the NIMH Laboratory of Brain Evolution and Behavior (1960-1993), MacLean's complete professional correspondence, and the lectures and speeches that defined his work. MacLean's published is not found within the collection.

This collection consists primarily of records relating to MacLean's work at Yale Medical School (1949-1956), and the Laboratory of Neurophysiology (1957-1971) and the Laboratory of Brain Evolution and Behavior (1971-1985) at the National Institute of Mental Health. The collection includes lectures given by MacLean throughout his career, as well as correspondence and building plans for the Laboratory of Brain Evolution and Behavior, opened in 1971.

Series 1 consists of MacLean's personal and professional correspondence with individuals and organizations. The series is divided into three sub-series: General Correspondence, Yale Correspondence, and NIH Correspondence. The General Correspondence sub-series includes correspondence with scientists and researchers regarding MacLean's research and professional duties, as well as some personal correspondence with scientists and friends, including several folders of correspondence with John Fulton. The NIH Correspondence sub-series includes correspondence from MacLean's time at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), including internal laboratory memorandum and correspondence with outside organizations.

Series 2: Yale Medical School contains documentary material from MacLean's teaching career at Yale Medical School, including research progress reports, budget reports, and material relating to courses taught by MacLean. The Project Reports sub-series includes progress reports of research done at the Yale Medical School pertaining to epilepsy and seizures, as well as correspondence relating to the funding of research. The progress reports include charts and graphs relating to the research. The Subject Files sub-series includes materials pertaining to MacLean's teaching duties at Yale Medical School, including the Basic Neurology and first year Physiology courses.

Series 3: National Institute of Mental Health contains material relating to MacLean's years at NIMH, including project reports, subject files, correspondence and records relating to lab personnel, and building plans for the Laboratory of Brain Evolution and Behavior. The series consists of four sub-series: Brain and Behavior Reserve, Project Reports, Subject Files, and Lab Personnel.

The Professional Activities series consists of over two hundred lectures and materials relating to MacLean's involvement in conferences and seminars, and his service on various committees and boards. The series is divided into four sub-series: Lectures; Conferences and Seminars; Correspondence; Committees and Boards. The Lectures sub-series consists of materials pertaining to lectures given by MacLean, including conference agendas, lecture notes, copies of lectures, and correspondence regarding speaking engagements. Many of these lectures were repeated, with some alterations, at more than one function. The Committees and Boards sub-series consists of materials relating to MacLean's involvement on various committees and boards, including editorial memorandum for the Journal of Neurophysiology and committee minutes and correspondence for the NINDS Search Committee.

Series 5: Writings contains reprints and writings of others collected by MacLean, abstracts of papers co-authored by MacLean and submitted for various journals and symposiums, and MacLean's writings and notes from the course of his career. Many of the materials contain handwritten notes by MacLean. Among the authors of these writings are Margaret Mead, J.L. Kubie and James W. Papez.

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