Marian Cabot Putnam Papers Open for Research

By , August 21, 2014
Marian C. Cabot (left) with companion.

Marian C. Cabot (left) with companion.

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of the Marian C. Putnam papers to researchers.

Marian Cabot Putnam was born in 1893. As a child, she travelled widely with her parents, psychiatrist and neurologist James Jackson Putnam and Marian Cabot Putnam. She received her bachelor’s degree at Radcliffe College in 1917 and went on to study medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School soon afterward. Immediately prior to receiving her M.D. in 1921, Putnam spent time in Europe with Edwards Park studying pediatric services.

After 1921, she spent three years with Arnold Gesell at the Yale Clinic of Child Development while holding a position as assistant professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine. She studied with Adolf Meyer at Johns Hopkins and Bronson Crothers  at the Boston Children’s Hospital; she also took psychoanalytic training in Vienna. She moved to Boston in 1938 and took a position at the Baker Guidance Clinic. She helped to found the Judge Baker Children’s Center in 1943 and she stayed at the Clinic, which was renamed in honor of her father in 1946, until her retirement in 1955. She was an early director of the Center and the first director of the Center’s Well Baby Clinic. During her time with the Center, she lectured on child development at Harvard Medical School, Boston University Medical School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Simmons College School of Social Work.

Putnam worked with children throughout her career as a child analyst and researcher in child psychological development. She focused on working with psychologically troubled children and wrote extensively about their care. The collection reflects her involvement with her father’s legacy as one of the first proponents of the psychoanalytic method in America; she was extensively involved in Nathan G. Hale’s production of The Emergence of American Psychoanalysis which was based on James Jackson Putnam’s correspondence with other figures in the field, including Sigmund Freud, William James, and Ernest Jones.

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