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S. Spafford Ackerly papers

Identifier: KORN201

Psychiatrist S. Spafford Ackerly studied under Alfred Adler at Yale before coming to the University of Louisville in 1932 to be the first full-time faculty member in psychiatry and to head a mental health clinic. He began programs to educate medical students in psychiatry and to extend services to the greater Louisville community. At the medical school, he expanded the psychiatry curriculum and added innovative features so that by 1936, the department was named one of the eleven best. In the late 1940s, only University of Louisville and Harvard University offered a clinical program in psychiatry for medical students for all four years.

In addition to the papers an extensive oral history project conducted by Ackerly between 1960 and 1981 includes interviews with Alfred Adler's daughter Alexandra Adler, Columbia University professor of psychiatry Viola Bernard, M.D., Leon Eisenberg, M.D. of Harvard, and Lucille Jessner of Georgetown University. The collection also includes Ackerly's interviews with Leo Kanner, Karl Menninger, and George Stevenson, all pioneers in the field of child psychiatry.


  • 1895-1981


Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers


10 linear feet

Biographical / Historical

S. Spafford Ackerly (1895-1981) was distinguished professor emeritus of psychiatry, University of Louisville School of Medicine. He was a Guggenheim fellow and founded the Kentucky Psychiatric Society, of which he was president. He was vice-president of the American Psychiatric Association, and president of the American Orthopsychiatric Society. He was also a charter fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists and a life fellow of the American College of Physicians. He was a founding member of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry.


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S. Spafford Ackerly Papers
Mary K. Marlatt
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Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kornhauser Health Sciences Library Repository

Kornhauser Library
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