Scope and Content of Collection
Livingston, Robert Burr, 1918-
Title: Robert B. Livingston Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1935 - 1990
12.00 linear feet
(30 archives boxes)
Abstract: Papers of Robert B. Livingston, professor of neuroscience and medical administrator. The collection includes early correspondence
(1947-1952), writings, talks and lectures, project materials, and UCSD teaching materials. Also included are papers of Livingston's
mentor John F. Fulton. The papers are arranged in seven series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) SUBJECT FILES, 3) WRITINGS, 4) LECTURES
AND TALKS, 5) PROJECTS, 6) TEACHING MATERIALS, and 7) JOHN F. FULTON MATERIALS.
University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
La Jolla, California 92093-0175
Collection number: MSS 0418
Language of Material:
Collection materials in English
Collection is open for research.
Robert B. Livingston Papers, MSS 0418. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Robert Burr Livingston was born in 1918, received his bachelors degree from Stanford University in 1940 and graduated from
Stanford University School of Medicine in 1944, where he did his residency in internal medicine. His major academic appointments
include the Yale University School of Medicine (1946-1952), the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine
(1952-1957) and the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine (1964-1989). In 1956 he was appointed Director
of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1964 he became the founding chair of the Department of Neurosciences
at UCSD. Throughout his career, Dr. Livingston was active in several anti-nuclear weapons and peace organizations, including
the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which was awarded the 1985 Nobel Prize for Peace.
Dr. Livingston's research has been concerned with investigating combinations of nervous and mental functions, using neuroanatomical,
neurophysiological, behavioral, and clinical techniques. He has published widely in these fields, including chapters in John
F. Fulton's PHYSIOLOGY OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM and a dozen chapters in Best and Taylor's PHYSIOLOGICAL BASIS OF MEDICAL PRACTICE.
While a professor in the Department of Neurosciences at UCSD, he developed the Neurosciences Study Plan for students in neurosciences.
He is well known for his work in the cinemorphology of the human brain, using a technique developed at UCSD by Roy E. Mills
which involves slicing, staining and photographing very thin sections of the whole human brain in sequence. An award-winning
film on this subject, titled THE HUMAN BRAIN: A DYNAMIC VIEW OF ITS STRUCTURES AND ORGANIZATION was produced in 1976 by Sy
Dr. Livingston has also made significant contributions to the study of the relationship between chronic undernutrition and
human brain development, and he was involved in a project titled the "Committee for Undernourished People". In 1986, the Army
Medical Corps Research and Development Command selected Dr. Livingston's Laboratory for Quantitative Morphology in the Department
of Neuroscience at UCSD to establish a national research and development program to construct a prototype computer system
that would be capable of mapping in three dimensions and displaying the entire human brain at microscopic levels of detail.
Individuals involved at UCSD and Scripps Institution of Oceanography included R. Livingston, F. Bloom, H. Karten, D. Armstrong,
J. Morrison, W. Young, and S. Foote.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Robert Burr Livingston Papers document the career and professional activities of a noted neuroscientist, professor and
medical administrator. Materials include early correspondence (1947-1952), writings, talks and lectures, project materials,
and some UCSD teaching materials. Also included are papers of Livingston's mentor John F. Fulton. The bulk of Livingston's
papers were destroyed prior to the acquisition of these materials. The papers are arranged in seven series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE,
2) SUBJECT FILES, 3) WRITINGS, 4) LECTURES AND TALKS, 5) PROJECTS, 6) TEACHING MATERIALS, and 7) JOHN F. FULTON MATERIALS.
SERIES 1: CORRESPONDENCE
The CORRESPONDENCE series is arranged alphabetically by correspondent and includes letters from Leo Szilard, Jonas Salk, Linus
Pauling, Wilder Penfield, Carl Sagan, and Lewis Thomas. There is correspondence documenting Livingston's involvement with
the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences, the Foundations' Fund for Research in Psychiatry and the Institute
for Policy Studies, of which he was a founding member. A very rich correspondence covers the period from 1947 to 1952, while
Livingston was a member of the faculty of the Yale University School of Medicine and spent time in Europe receiving advanced
training. Of particular interest are letters to Paul C. Smith, editor and general manager of the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE,
that report on his interpretations of the climate and mood of post-war Europe.
SERIES 2: SUBJECT FILES
A large number of files document Livingston's various involvements in and his role as a founding member of the Institute for
Policy Studies. and, with Fritjof Capra, of the Elmwood Institute. The subject files also document Dr. Livingston's ongoing
interest in disarmament, peace and anti-nuclear issues.
SERIES 3: WRITINGS
The writings largely relate Livingston's interest in peace and disarmament. Also included are some incomplete drafts of his
chapters in John F. Fulton's PHYSIOLOGY OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM, as well as reprints of a few of his scholarly articles.
SERIES 4: LECTURES AND TALKS
This series includes several talks Livingston gave on issues of peace and disarmament, such as his lecture on deterrence and
on the Cuban Missile Crisis. It also includes his notes for the American Association for the Advancement of Science Holiday
Science Lecture series, presented to statewide honors high school students in Florida (1958) and Oregon (1959).
SERIES 5: PROJECTS
5A: Brain Mapping Project
This subseries is arranged alphabetically and consists largely of transcripts of a week-long meeting called the Task Definition
Workshop, where Livingston and others met to sort out the tasks and goals for this new project. The transcripts are arranged
chronologically. The subseries also contains data and digitized computer drawings of brain sections of monkeys, rats and other
5B: Committee for Undernourished People
These files are arranged alphabetically and contain correspondence with Vicky Newman. Also included are the major on-site
investigator for the project. It also contains Newman's dietary analyses and data on nutrition of pregnant women and mothers.
5C: HUMAN BRAIN Film
This subseries is arranged alphabetically and contains correspondence pertaining to THE HUMAN BRAIN Film, funded by Hoffman-La
Roche, Inc. The subseries also includes draft scripts for the film, as well as license agreements.
SERIES 6: TEACHING MATERIALS
The TEACHING MATERIALS series consists mainly of documents that Dr. Livingston collected to develop his Neurosciences Study
Plan at UCSD. There is very little documentation on courses which Dr. Livingston taught, although there are some files pertaining
to a genetics course that he taught. The series primarily documents Dr. Livingston's process for developing a teaching plan
for a graduate program in neurosciences.
SERIES 7: JOHN F. FULTON MATERIALS
The JOHN F. FULTON MATERIALS series consists mainly of Fulton's diary (1949-1957), which was sent to a number of people as
weekly correspondence, but also contains some of his writings on the history of medicine at Yale. The remainder consists
of correspondence between Livingston and Fulton, filed chronologically by year from 1949 to 1956. During the time Livingston
was at Yale, John Fulton was Livingston's supervisor. Fulton was chair of the Department of Physiology, and after retirement
he joined the Department of the History of Medicine at Yale.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Livingston, Robert Burr, 1918- -- Archives
Livingston, Robert Burr, 1918- -- Human brain
Fulton, John F. -- (John Farquhar), 1899-1960 -- Archives
University of California, San Diego. -- School of Medicine
University of California, San Diego. -- Dept. of Neuroscience
Institute for Policy Studies
Committee for Undernourished People
Malnutrition -- Research
Nutrition -- Research
Deterrence (Strategy) -- United States -- History
Brain -- Anatomy
Brain -- Imaging
Brain mapping -- Methodology
Neurologists -- United States -- Biography
Neurosciences -- United States
Szilard, Leo, -- correspondent
Salk, Jonas, 1914- -- correspondent
Pauling, Linus, 1901- -- correspondent
Penfield, Wilder, 1891- -- correspondent
Sagan, Carl, 1934- -- correspondent
Thomas, Lewis, 1913- -- correspondent
Smith, Paul C., -- correspondent
Tuchman, Barbara Wertheim, -- correspondent
Mellinkoff, Sherman M. -- (Sherman Mussoff), 1920- -- correspondent
Hultgren, Herbert N., -- correspondent
Fulton, John F. -- (John Farquhar), 1899-1960, -- correspondent
Livingston, Robert Burr, 1918- -- Human brain