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Guide to the Phillip Shapiro Papers, ca. 1960-1985
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Access Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Shapiro, Phillip. Papers,
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1960-1985
    Collection number: M0928
    Creator: Shapiro, Phillip.
    Extent: 15.5 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Abstract: Approximately a third of this collection consists of the papers from these two groups: publicity, minutes, organizational records, correspondence, and more. A second significant segment of these papers concerns Shapiro's involvements in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly those in support of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, and his work around prison issues, particularly the San Quentin Six. He also did work on medical aid for Vietnam, involvement in the Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam, and the rebuilding of Bach Mai hospital.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions


    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

    Acquisition Information

    Purchased, 1997.

    Preferred Citation

    Phillip Shapiro Papers. M0928. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


    We've been told since out first childhood disappointment that life isn't fair. Dr. Philip Shapiro, a prominent Bay Area Psychiatrist and Human Rights activist for over a quarter of a century, lived his life as if to say "not if I have anything to do with it." Through his involvement with groups such as the Medial Committee for Human Rights, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the California Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects, and the Black Panther Party (among others) Dr. Shapiro fought for the common man, and for those who could not fight themselves. Beginning in the Late 60's with the MCHR's outspoken protests of America's involvement in Vietnam, it was apparent that Dr. Shapiro was a man who acted on what he believed. On top of his daytime employment as a respected psychiatrist at San Francisco's Mt. Zion hospital, Dr. Shapiro was a tireless worker who organized meetings, speeches, protest marches, and charity functions to raise public awareness of what he felt was an extremely inhumane course of action be taken by our Government. Through his connections in the MCHR, Dr. Shapiro was attracted to other causes which he felt could use his assistance- everything from subsidized hospitals in the ghettos of Oakland (in collaboration with the Black Panther Party) to anti-nuclear proliferation to the rights of those in prison. He struggled to ensure that every man, regardless of race, financial status or beliefs, was treated as a man. Dr. Shapiro passed away in 1995, leaving behind him lifetime of accomplishments, friends, and admirers.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    The prominent San Francisco psychiatrist Phillip Shapiro stood at the forefront of the San Francisco Bay Area's progressive health workers for more than a quarter of a century, from the civil rights movement through the cold war of the 1980s. Dr. Shapiro's activities, particularly in issues relating to the medical profession, helped galvanize health workers into a politically active force. His archive consists of thirty-one boxes of written and printed materials and audiotapes, some fifteen linear feet in all. Dr. Shapiro became the West Coast mainstay of the medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR) which worked on human rights issues related to the practice of medicine. He also worked with Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), the Nobel Prize-winning group that opposed the building and proliferation of nuclear weapons. Approximately a third of the collection consists of papers from these two groups, including publicity, minutes, organizational records, and correspondence. A second significant segment of the papers includes Dr. Shapiro's activities in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly those in support of the Black Panther Party and work on prison issues and the San Quentin Six. The collection also contains papers relating to medical aid for Vietnam as well as his involvement with the Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam and the rebuilding of Bach Mai hospital. Dr. Shapiro's work with the prison support movement led to his involvement in groups opposing medical procedures on unwilling prisoners and unsuspecting patients in the larger medical care system. The latter part of the collection concerns the issue of prisons and Psychosurgery, as well as his involvement with the Committee for the protection of Human Subjects. Other materials include tape recordings of radio shows, news conferences, conferences and other public events relevant to his interests, as well as files relating to his professional interests. Finally, it is important to note that Dr. Shapiro made copies of his own correspondence; from these it will be relatively easy for researchers to identify the context of much of the material found in the collection.

    Access Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Cleaver, Eldridge.
    Cleaver, Kathleen.
    Hilliard, David.
    Huggins, Erika.
    Newton, Huey P.
    Pratt, Geronimo.
    Seale, Bobby.
    Bach Mai Hospital.
    Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.
    Committee for Protection of Human Subjects.
    Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR)
    Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam.
    Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)
    The San Quentin Six.