Biting off a chunk: The John C. Liebeskind History of Pain Collection as a model for collection development in the history of neuroscience

Russell A. JOHNSON

Neuroscience History Archives, Brain Research Institute and History and Special Collections Division, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
Tel. 310-825-6940, Fax. 310-825-4065


The John C. Liebeskind History of Pain Collection documents the intellectual and organizational development of pain research and pain management in the 20th century. The collection was launched in 1993 through the efforts of a diverse set of collaborators, including rare book and manuscripts librarians, archivists, and oral historians, as well as faculty in psychology, neuroscience, history, and library and information science. An initial set of oral history interviews by the behavioral neuroscientist John Liebeskind were complemented by a coordinated effort to acquire personal papers of pioneers and leaders in the pain field and records of national and international professional organizations. The History and Special Collections Division of UCLA's Louise Darling Biomedical Library - the collection's repository and website host - draws on the Liebeskind Collection and the library's strong rare book and secondary source collections to mount exhibitions and contribute to symposia which open historical windows on the nature, mechanisms, and treatment of pain. Following the initial period of hard work and creative funding, the project owes its continued success to seeking, obtaining, and nurturing the vocal and financial support of leaders of the professional societies, the advisory and material contributions of pain researchers and clinicians, and the commitment of library administrators. This paper will describe the challenges and rewards of creating and developing the Liebeskind Collection and discuss strategies for documenting the research, teaching, patient care, and other activities of a closeknit and dynamic community in a multinational, multidisciplinary field.


Panel 9C   (Developing History)
Saturday, 18 September 1999

The Neurosciences and Psychiatry: Crossing the Boundaries

Joint Congress of the European Association for the History of Psychiatry (EAHP), the European Club for the History of Neurology (ECHN), and the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences (ISHN)

Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland, 13-18 September 1999