The future of the Archives of the History of American Psychology just got substantially brighter. In June, the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation donated $2.1 million to establish an endowed directorship and fund programming at the archives, located on the campus of the University of Akron.
"This, the largest grant in [the foundation's] history, signals a commitment to putting our region at the forefront in psychology," says Suzanne Morgan, foundation chair and daughter of Margaret Clark Morgan. It is also the largest gift the archives have ever received.
"The majority of the endowment will go toward educating the public on issues affecting psychological science and practice, including those related to the promotion of mental health and the prevention of mental illness," says David Baker, PhD, archives director.
"The funding will allow us to bring programming that bears on very contemporary issues through the lens of history," adds Baker.
For example, in October the archives will host a conference marking the 50th anniversary of the 1957 article "The Adjustment of the Male Homosexual", published in the Journal of Projective Techniques, (Vol. 21, pages 18-31). This study bolstered the case that homosexuality is not a psychiatric illness, says Baker.
The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, based in Hudson, Ohio aims to improve mental health care in northeastern Ohio. Margaret Clark Morgans husband, the late Burton Morgan, was an entrepreneur who made his fortune in adhesives. Burtons father, John J.B.Morgan, PhD, was a well-known psychologist on the faculty at Northwestern University from 1925 to 1945.
"It's really quite a vote of confidence that a foundation thats not part of psychology proper would see the value in the work that we do and [appreciate] our ability to increase awareness and understanding of mental health issues," says Baker. "The archives are, in essence, the collective memory of psychology in America."
The archives were established in 1965 to promote research in the history of psychology by collecting, cataloguing and preserving the historical record of psychology. It is the largest repository of its kind and includes manuscripts from more than 740 psychologists, as well as equipment, testing materials and other artifacts. For more information, visit the archives Web site at www3.uakron.edu/ahap.