Scope and arrangement
The Lafargue Clinic Records consist of material regarding the founding and operation of the clinic, and includes correspondence, memoranda, statistics, articles, manuscripts and news clippings about the clinic, and news articles by or about the professional staff. Half the collection consists of patient records and files on the professional staff.
The Lafargue Clinic records are arranged in three series:
The ADMINISTRATIVE FILES series, 1946-1958 (.8 lin. ft. ) contains information about the establishment and operation of the clinic. Much of the correspondence concerns invitations for Drs. FredricWertham and Hilde Mosse to address school groups and organizations, primarily in New York City. Topics they spoke about include various aspects of mental health, discipline for children, and Dr. Wertham's 1954 study about the harmful effects of violent comic books on children and their relationship to juvenile delinquency, discussed in his book entitled Seduction of the Innocent. A letter dated September 1, 1956 written to Kenneth Clark by Dr. Mosse deplores the lack of mention of the 1951 desegregation study conducted by the Lafargue Clinic, at a conference about desegregation chaired by Clark in 1956.
The folder "Statistics, 1946-1956" lists numbers of patients broken down by race, gender, adult or child, number of visits, and patient fees. The diagnoses and whether the individual improved are also provided, as are the names of the patients. The professional background of the staff is also indicated. The folders "Clinic Routine" contain information concerning the way the staff should take the patient's history, critiques of staff and related comments, 1949-1953.
The professional staff record, 1947-1966, contain applications and letters of recommendation for clinic employees, curriculum vitae and/or resumes, performance evaluations, conference programs, and letters of recommendation Dr. Mosse wrote for her own staff, some personal letters to her, notes she prepared, and other correspondence. The staff represented in these files include Kathryn Williams Battle, Charles Collins, and Ernst Jolowicz. Several of the staff immigrated to the United States from Europe before and during World War II, and they relate their experiences in these files.
This series also includes printed information prepared by Lafargue Clinic; this publicity encompasses reprints and news clippings, 1946-1958.
In the series WRITINGS, 1946-1981 (.3 lin. ft.) additional descriptions can be found concerning the clinic written by the staff, particularly several drafts of a chapter for an unpublished book by Mosse, "Child Psychiatry and Social Action," 1981. There are also published articles by Mosse and Wertham. An NBC television script "The House I Enter: A Portrait of the American Doctor" includes a scene of an interview with Wertham at Lafargue Clinic in 1957. This series also contains reviews of his book, Seduction of the Innocent.