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Maenchen papers SFCP.MSS.003
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Collection Details
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  • Conditions governing access
  • Conditions governing use
  • Preferred citation
  • Biographical note
  • Scope and contents note
  • Arrangement note

  • Title: Maenchen papers
    Identifier/Call Number: SFCP.MSS.003
    Contributing Institution: San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 4.25 Linear feet 10 cartons
    Date (inclusive): 1941-1984
    Abstract: The Maenchen papers consist of correspondence, child analysis documents, manuscripts and reprints authored by Maenchen, and child analysis manuscripts collected by her. There are also notes created by Maenchen, case studies collected by her, and miscellaneous documents. The materials within the collection span the years 1941-1984 and offer valuable insight into her career as a psychoanalyst.
    Language of materials : Materials are in English and German.
    creator: Maenchen, Anna, 1902-1991

    Conditions governing access

    For use by researchers and students of psychoanalysis subject to archive rules and regulations.

    Conditions governing use

    Subject to copyright restrictions.

    Preferred citation

    'The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis Archives' Record Unit/Accession # and/or Collection Title.

    Biographical note

    Anna Maenchen (1902-1991) was born into a Jewish landowner family in Kaunas, a small Lithuanian town near Kovno. Her father died when she was one year old in 1903, and she grew up in Russia, studying in Odessa, St. Petersburg and Kovno before moving to Austria and attending the University of Vienna beginning in 1921. She studied psychology and history in the philosophy department, where lectures by Sigmund Bernfeld led to contact with Anna Freud. She graduated in 1925 with a doctorate; her thesis was on Alexander Herzen and the problem of development in Russia.
    She married in 1927. Her husband, Otto Manchen-Helfen, was a Viennese historian and sinologist. She went with Maenchen-Helfen to Russia, where he took a senior position at the Marx-Engels institute in Moscow from 1927-1930 and wrote a book about the Asian part of the Soviet Union. Anna was interested in Russian educational methods, and visited the children in the Moscow laboratory of the Russian Psychoanalyst Vera Schmidt. In 1930 her husband began working as a lecturer at the University of Berlin, and she settled briefly in that city, where she joined the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. When the Nazis took control of the country three years later, she moved back to Vienna. She became a candidate in the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, where Anna Freud was her training analyst, and became part of Anna Freud’s ‘inner circle’. In 1936, she published an essay on thought inhibition and aggression from castration anxiety. 1938 the S.S. searched her apartment, and she hid with Mary O’Neil Hawkins, a psychoanalytic candidate. Later that year she emigrated with her son to the U.S. After a stay in New York and Alameda, she moved to Oakland, then to Berkeley. She lived for much of her life in Berkeley and was a training analyst at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute. She died in 1991 at the age of 88.

    Scope and contents note

    The Maenchen papers include correspondence, an assortment of child analysis documents, manuscripts and reprints authored by her, child analysis manuscripts collected by her, notes written by her, case studies collected by her, and miscellaneous items. The materials in the collection span the years 1941-1984 and feature work done by both Maenchen and her contemporaries in psychoanalysis. The correspondence is arranged by date and includes the years 1949-1976. The vast majority of the correspondence covers professional activities such as committee meetings and her involvement with psychoanalytic organizations. The child analysis documents include committee reports, details about child analysis training at institutions throughout the U.S., and separate folders containing materials relating to both the APA Committee for the Psychoanalysis of Children and Adolescents and the APA Committee on Child Analysis, two organizations that Maenchen was involved with. There are also four folders of manuscripts and one folder of reprints authored by Maenchen covering the years 1941-1984. Also in the collection is one folder of reprints authored by an array of psychoanalytic authors that are inscribed to her. Additionally, there are a number of manuscripts that she collected over the years authored by a variety of people in the psychoanalytic field. A smaller collection of professionally-oriented notes written by Maenchen and case studies (predominantly of children) written by others also make up the collection.

    Arrangement note

    The collection has been arranged in the following series: Correspondence, Child Analysis Documents, Maenchen Manuscripts, Maenchen Reprints, Child Analysis Manuscripts, Maenchen Notes, Case Studies, Miscellaneous, Child analysis manuscripts (oversized), and Miscellaneous (oversized).

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    American Psychoanalytic Association.
    Child analysis
    Children -- Research
    Psychoanalysis -- Case studies