Dept. of Psychiatry (University of Michigan) Records and Publications

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Dept. of Psychiatry (University of Michigan) Records

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger Dept. of Psychiatry (University of Michigan) record group held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

Researchers may also be interested in the Dept. of Psychiatry (University of Michigan) Web Archives.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Abstract: Records of the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry. The collection contains administrative files and publications. Also includes records and video materials for the Annual Waggoner Lectureship.

History: The history of mental health care at the University of Michigan goes back to the late 1870s within the Medical School. Its development and that of the Department of Psychiatry evolved in part with William James Herdman’s career. Herdman was a faculty member at the university since 1875 that had developed an interest in the new field of psychiatry. He would work to make psychiatric research and teaching a part of the Medical School’s program/ curriculum.

When the Medical Department initiated the four-year program in 1890, Herdman was assigned to the new chair of nervous diseases and electrotherapeutics. In 1898, his title changed again to Professor of Diseases of the Mind and Nervous System and Electrotherapeutics. His work in the teaching of these disciplines as well as neurology was key in the university’s interest and efforts to establish facilities for research in these areas. Herdman and the regents of the university worked to get the state legislature’s to allocate funding to build a psychopathic hospital. This was to be a research and clinical facility that would serve the university, its medical community and the state of Michigan.

The hospital opened in 1906. Albert M. Barrett, who had succeeded Herdman as Professor of Psychiatry and Disease of the Nervous System, became its first director. Barrett would also oversee psychiatry and neurology within the Department of Nervous and Mental Diseases. This department was the predecessor of what later became the Department of Psychiatry. It was in 1920 that said department was divided into the Department of Neurology and the Department of Psychiatry. The latter would be chaired by Barrett until 1936.

Barret was succeeded in the role of chairman by associate professor of neurology Raymond Walter Waggoner in 1937. During his tenure Waggoner oversaw the completion of the Neuropsychiatric Institute by ensuring funding from the legislature and the university. Waggoner remained chair of the Department of Psychiatry until 1970.

Albert J. Silverman would serve as the next chairman for the department and would hold that title until 1984. John F. Greden, was appointed chair in 1985. Greden was instrumental in the proposal and establishment of the University’s Depression Center. In 2007, Gregory Dalack would succeed Greden in chairing the department, first as interim chair and as permanent department chair in 2010.

Please note:

Copyright is held the Regents of the University of Michigan.

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