The Kansas Historical Society recently completed a two-year project documenting the contents of 2,500 cubic feet of records from the Menninger Foundation archives.
In addition to the papers of Menninger family member psychiatrists, the archives include corporate records documenting the early clinic, the school of psychiatry and the rise of professional psychoanalysis. The Menninger family members who engaged in the practice of psychiatry were C.F., Karl, Roy, Walter and William,
The Historic Psychiatry Collection includes the manuscripts of Sigmund Freud, Florence Nightingale and Benjamin Rush. Records in the archives date from 1644 through 2002. Record descriptions are available at kshs.org/13787. Selected records, including most of the Historic Psychiatry Collection, are available on Kansas Memory, the Historical Society's online digital archives. Visit kansasmemory.org; search for Menninger records.
History of Menninger Clinic
In 1925 C.F. Menninger and his sons Karl and William founded the Menninger Clinic in Topeka. The clinic was established as a community in which the mental health of patients would be considered along with the physical health. The clinic became an internationally known psychiatric hospital with postgraduate training programs for psychiatrists, psychologists, and people in allied fields.
The Menninger School of Psychiatry and the local Veterans Administration Hospital represented the center of a psychiatric education revolution. The Clinic and the School became the hub for training professionals in the bio-psycho-social approach. This approach integrated the foundations of medical, psychodynamic, developmental, and family systems to focus on the overall health of patients. For patients, this way of treatment attended to their physical, emotional, and social needs.
The Menninger Clinic relocated to Houston, Texas, in 2003.
Compilation of the descriptions and finding aids was made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency that operates the Kansas Museum of History, State Archives, Kansas Capitol Tour Center, and 16 state historic sites. For more information, visit the Historical Society website.