Schilder Society Records, 1935-1981

Schilder Society Records

Historical Note

The Society for Psychotherapy and Psychopathology was proposed and organized by Paul Schilder in 1935 to provide a forum for the interchange of ideas among the "divergent viewpoints" on the treatment of mental illness.

Paul Schilder (1886-1940) was a prominent psychoanalytic psychiatrist who had worked with Freud in Vienna and was associated for many years with New York's Bellevue Hospital. Schilder was especially interested in the integration of biological and psycho-dynamic approaches to the treatment and understanding of mental disease. His approach placed him at the time on the margins of the New York psychoanalytic community and he was excluded from the prestigious New York Psychoanalytic Institute and Society.

After Schilder's sudden death in a traffic accident in 1940 the Society continued under the leadership of several of his close associates and Schilder's wife, Dr. Lauretta Bender. It dedicated its annual January meeting to consideration of Paul Schilder's work. Other meetings were not limited to Schilder's views. In 1947, after a poll of the membership, the Society changed its name to the Schilder Society.

Membership was originally set at 75, but later changed to 60. New members could only be elected on the resignation or death of a member. The by-laws required that members failing to attend a prescribed number of meetings each year would have their memberships revoked.

In the 1950s low attendance at meetings was already a concern for the society's officers. By the 1970s membership had shrunk and attendance at meetings had dwindled. In 1980 the 15 members were polled to see if the society should disband. Apparently a few further meetings were held, but the society soon ceased to exist.

Collection Description

Scope and Content

This collection largely reflects the activities of the society after Paul Schilder's death in 1940. There is little from the period 1935-1943 except a few pieces of correspondence, a couple of programs, and some membership lists. The strongest series in the collection are the minutes, the membership, and the programs. The minutes, which only begin in 1943 and end in 1956, vary in their content. In 1945 the minutes begin to include summaries of the talks given and the points made in discussion. These reports remained quite extensive until the mid 1950s. The membership records, in various formats, cover the largest period of time. The society itself kept a record of the subjects of the talks presented and this information is available in the various series under programs. In addition to the record of the content of these talks to be found in the minutes, the various correspondence series sometimes contain letters that discuss or comment on some of the talks. The Society did not make a practice of keeping a transcript of the talks.

Arrangement of Collection

These records were found in several document boxes and 3 overstuffed black three-ring binders. The original arrangement of correspondence found in the boxes has been maintained. The contents of the binders were in no consistent order and included minutes, financial reports, membership, and attendance records. These were separated into series. A note is on each folder containing records taken from these notebooks. If necessary the notebooks could be reassembled.

Organized into eight series:

  • Organization
  • Membership
  • Executive Council
  • Secretary's Working Files
  • Programs
  • Financial
  • Photographs
  • Reference

Administrative Info

Collection processed and described by Dorothy Truman

Requests for permission to quote from or publish any materials should be directed to the reference librarian or curator in writing.

Preferred Citation

Schilder Society Records. The Drs. Barry and Bobbi Coller Rare Book Reading Room, New York Academy of Medicine Library.


The Schilder Society donated these records in 1957.

Collection Contents

Series 1: Organization

Box 1    Statement of Purpose and Proposed Membership, - 1935
Box 1    Constitution and By-laws, - 1943, 1947
Box 1    Miscellaneous Papers, Re: Revisions of Constitution and By-laws, - 1943
Box 1    Notices of Meetings, - 1949-1950, 1958
Box 1    Minutes, - 1943-1956

Series 2: Membership

Box 1    List of Officers and Members, - 1943
Box 1    List of Members, - 1935-1937
Box 1    Roll Call/Attendance Sheets, - 1944-1951
Box 1    Attendance Sign in Sheets, - 1944-1981
Box 1    Membership Mailing List, - 1946-1978
Box 1    Obituaries/Eulogies, - 1950-1963

Series 3: Executive Council

Box 1    Council Minutes - 1947, 1975-1976
Box 1    Correspondence, - 1947, 1953
Box 1    Working Papers/Agendas for Council Meetings, - 1937, 1947, 1951-1952

Series 4: Secretary's Working Files

Box 2    Job Description, - 1954
Box 2    Correspondence, Alphabetical - 1936-1956
Box 2    Questionnaires, - 1935-1955
Box 2    Annual Correspondence, - 1936-1981
Box 2    Miscellaneous Correspondence, - 1949-1962
Box 2    Correspondence, Re:Publication of Paul Schilder's Books, - 1941-1948
Box 2    Correspondence, Re:Deposits at NYAM - 1956, 1957

Series 5: Programs

Box 2    Compiled List of Programs/Program History, - 1935-1959
Box 2    Program Schedules, - 1935-1966
Box 2    Programs, - 1937-1975
Box 2    Texts of Papers Presented, - 1949-1950

Series 6: Financial

Box 3    Financial Statements/Treasurer's Reports, - 1943-1974
Box 3    Receipts, Disbursements, and Dues, - 1935-1949, 1975-1978
Box 3    Dues Ledger, - 1943-1948
Box 3    Dues Slips, - 1945, 1946, 1973, 1979
Box 3    Correspondence with Banks, - 1943-1948
Box 3    Bank Records, - 1944-1979
Box 3    Bills, - 1947-1977
Box 3    Dinner Reservations, - 1978

Series 7: Photographs

Box 2    Dinner, - 1949
Box 2    Slides, - 1959-1960
Box 2    List Identifying People in Slides, - 1960

Series 8: Reference

Box 2    Reprints, - 1947
Box 2    Continuing Education Programs, - 1976-1977

Find Similar Resources

This library also holds a portrait of Dr. Paul Schilder, which was donated by the Schilder Society in 1956.

Additionally, the records of the Salmon Committee and the Section on Neurology and Psychiatry at the New York Academy of Medicine may also be of interest to researchers. Several members of the Schilder Society had some connection to the Salmon Committee of the New York Academy of Medicine. Lauretta Bender, an original and life-long member of the Schilder Society, was the wife / widow of Dr. Schilder. A child psychiatrist she was the first woman awarded the Salmon medal in 1973. A A. Brill belonged to the Schilder Society when he was chosen a the Salmon lecturer for 1943. David M. Levy who was a member of the Schilder Society in the 1930s was also a member of the Salmon committee, and was the Salmon lecturer in 1946 and a medallist in 1967. Nolan D. C. Lewis was a long-time member of this society beginning in the 1930s. He remained as a non-resident member and then an emeritus member until 1978. Dr. Lewis was the Salmon lecturer in 1940 and a medallist in 1968 and he served as a member of the Salmon Committee. S. Bernard Wortis, who was also a Salmon committee member and the 1971 Salmon medallist , belonged to the Schilder Society in the 1930s and 1940s. The membership of the Section on Neurology and Psychiatry at the New York Academy of Medicine also included many members of the Schilder Society and Schilder himself presented papers at various section meetings.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of The New York Academy of Medicine Library. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Psychiatry -- New York (State) -- New York.Search ArchiveGrid
Psychiatry -- Societies, etc.Search ArchiveGrid
Psychotherapy.Search ArchiveGrid
Psychology, Pathological.Search ArchiveGrid
Bender, Lauretta, 1897-1987.Search ArchiveGrid
Brill, A. A. (Abraham Arden), 1874-1948.Search ArchiveGrid
Galdson, Iago, 1875-Search ArchiveGrid
Lewis, Nolan D. C. (Nolan Don Carpentier), 1889-Search ArchiveGrid
Levy, David M. (David Mordecai), b. 1892Search ArchiveGrid
Schilder, Paul, 1886-1940.Search ArchiveGrid
Wortis, S. Bernard.Search ArchiveGrid
Society for Psychotherapy and Pschopathology.Search ArchiveGrid