Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Webb Haymaker Founders of Neurology archive, 1946-1978
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (325.70 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Material
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Webb Haymaker Founders of Neurology archive,
    Date (inclusive): 1946-1978
    Collection number: 421
    Creator: Haymaker, Webb, M.D. 1902-1984
    Extent: 9.33 linear ft., 8 cartons plus 1 lantern slide box, 573 folders, 10 lantern slides
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
    Abstract: Much of this collection consists of correspondence, texts, and photographs created and gathered for an exhibit about individuals important in the history of basic and clinical neuroscience. The materials of this multi-authored, international endeavor were expanded, under leadership and editing by Webb Haymaker and backing by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and the Army Medical Library, U.S.A., into a printed volume of 133 biographical sketches, portraits, and short bibliographies, titled The Founders of Neurology . The Haymaker archive also contains over 700 portraits of the attendees at the 4th International Congress of Neurology, Paris, 1949, for which the original exhibit was created, plus portraits of numerous other individuals of interest to Haymaker. Correspondence folders from Dr. Haymakers files, limited mostly to the years 1949-1963, make up the other sizeable part of this collection. These give not only a revealing picture of Haymaker's generous, ever energetic and ever creative personality, but also show someone closely engaged in the U.S.'s post-World War II endeavor to reestablish contact with, and give aid to, the scientific establishment in Europe and Asia.
    Physical location: Restricted cage, Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences Division, University of California, Los Angeles
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English, German, French


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights in the physical objects belong to the UCLA Biomedical Library. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish if the Biomedical Library does not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Webb Haymaker Founders of Neurology archive (Manuscript collection 421). Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 6774090 

    Acquisition Information

    Dr. Haymaker made his first deposit of papers, photographs, and lantern slides to the UCLA Biomedical Library in 1961. Further materials were added over the years until 1978.


    Webb Edward Haymaker was born in 1902 and died in 1984. After his undergraduate years at Clemson College and the College of Charleston, SC, he entered the Medical College of South Carolina and received his M.D. degree in 1928. In 1934 Dr. Wilder Penfield invited him to become a Fellow at the newly created Montreal Neurological Institute. Haymaker spent a year there, earned an MSc degree from McGill University, and met fellow scientist Evelyn Anderson, PhD, whom he married in 1936. For six years he taught neuroanatomy at the University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco and University of California, Berkeley. In 1942 he was commissioned a First Lieutenant in the Army Medical Corps and assigned to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), in Washington, D.C. There he remained for approximately 20 years, rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel, then as civilian Chief of the Neuropathology Branch. Among his many influential publications during these years, he guided and edited a compilation of 133 biographical sketches of pioneering luminaries in neurology, The Founders of Neurology; this volume grew from an exhibit created for the 4th International Congress of Neurology, Paris, 1949. In 1961 Dr. Haymaker became Assistant Director for Life Sciences, then Senior Scientist, at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, focusing his research on the biological effects of heavy cosmic ray particles, especially on the brain.
    This short, bald account may be accurate as to major milestones, but conveys too little about the remarkable individual being described. Dr. Haymaker was a person of intense intellectual curiosity and ability, coupled with apparently unlimited energy and charm, someone who endeavored to aid every person who turned to him for advice or assistance, but also someone with a sense of humor to leaven the intensity of his supercharged life.
    Being, in his own words, "not a person to have his eyes glued to books", Haymaker interspersed education with going to sea, rising from ordinary seaman to helmsman on a four-masted schooner. In the break after his first year of medical school he crewed on a freighter, but jumped ship in Bremerhaven because he wanted to explore European education. He spent one semester at the University of Würzburg and the next at the University of Vienna, earning certificates in Anatomy and Physiology. Then he returned to the U.S. to complete a standard medical course - M.D., internship, residency in Pathology, further clinical/research work. After that he really began traveling, now more focused on seeking new ideas, new techniques in neurology and pathology. Haymaker spent a year in Paris, half as a hospital intern, half at the University to study CNS tissue culture. Then back to the U.S. for a year as Director of Laboratories in a state sanatorium. Next came Penfield's invitation and Canada for a year, London for two years, Madrid for a few weeks (cut short by the Spanish Revolution); later Haymaker wrote "these were the days when no aspiring neurologist should fail to reach these ... meccas." The traveling never stopped, and he seemed to enjoy it despite occasional exhaustion. After the end of World War II, official trips to Japan and South America were added to numerous assignments in Europe.
    Dr. Haymaker was a graceful and prolific writer and a dedicated editor. In addition to his numerous scientific papers and reports he authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited a number of major integrative works in neurology (e.g., Hypothalamus, Histology and Histopathology of the Nervous System, Peripheral Nerve Injuries) and in the history of neurology ( Founders of Neurology , 1953 and 1970, and Breakthroughs in hypothalamic and pituitary research ); he also translated and edited Robert Bing's Compendium of Regional Diagnosis... (from the 5th to the 16th editions). As a lecturer he was highly sought after, receiving many more invitations than he could possibly accept. The load of his correspondence was heavy, not surprising given the number of people he contacted on his travels and the number of projects, publications, and associations in which Haymaker was involved; but from the evidence in this collection it seems that he never flagged in his politeness, patience, and eagerness to help colleagues or strangers.
    Additional biographical details may be found in the following in memoriam articles: "Acta Neuropathol. (Berlin)", 66:1-2, 1985; "J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol.", 44:220-223, 1985; "Neurology", 35:392-392, 1985.

    Scope and Content

    This collection is mainly concentrated on the fourteen-year span (1947-1961) during which Dr. Webb Haymaker, released from active service in the Army, continued as Chief of the Neuropathology Branch, Army Institute of Pathology (later the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP)). When he resigned from this position in 1961 for relocation to NASA's Ames Research Center, he shipped the materials in his Founders of Neurology files to UCLA, where he had friends and knew that the history of neurology was a subject of active interest. He added further materials until 1978, mostly additional portraits, reprints, and illustrations of individuals contributing to basic and clinical neurology. Fortunately he also forwarded documents pertaining to persons whose correspondence folders he had previously deposited, thus considerably extending the span of at least some of his professional correspondence available for study.
    The largest percentage of the archive's content pertains to The Founders of Neurology in its various developmental phases: an exhibit at the 4th International Neurology Congress in Paris, 1949; 1st edition of the printed Founders..., 1953; and 2nd edition, 1970. The materials consist of chapter drafts, usually with editing; some correspondence with authors and editors of the biographical sketches; many portraits of the individuals who are chapter subjects, plus biographical and bibliographical notes, facts, and summaries.
    The Paris exhibit which preceded the published Founders was itself modeled on a smaller exhibit limited to history of neuropathology, which Haymaker and the Army Institute of Pathology presented at the 1948 annual meetings of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Neurological Association. The positive reception accorded the neuropathology exhibit fueled enthusiasm for creating an inclusive neurology exhibit at the Paris congress. For this ambitious plan which would need to be executed within one year, a team of collaborators needed to be gathered quickly. Haymaker, well respected and very well known internationally, was the man for the job. Letters from Haymaker to Stanley Cobb (Sept. 1948, Box 1, Folder 52) outline the planned methodology: the exhibit would include 100 deceased individuals, pioneers in neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuropathology, neurosurgery, and clinical neurology; it would present a portrait of each, with one text page on their life and contribution to neurology, plus a physical copy of one of their seminal works. A few photographs of the exhibit in situ at the Paris exhibition hall are in the collection.
    This is rich research soil, but some limitations need to be noted: 1. The multiple text drafts for the exhibit and subsequent chapters are not dated nor in any particular order; duplicate copies of one draft may have identical or differing editing notes; there are incomplete drafts and illegible marginal edits. To attain an insight into the editing process would demand much checking and cross-checking of texts, consideration of handwritings and papers, and intuition. 2. There is very little information as to who edited what; Haymaker was probably the final arbiter for all text and certainly the most active editor, but aside from identifying his and Robert Wartenberg's handwriting, it is hard to tell who else contributed. 3. There are no materials in the collection for 16 of the 34 individuals added to the 2d edition of Founders...; in fact, most of the 2d edition documents are held by the Otis Historical Archives (see "Related Materials" section below).
    The "Other Professional Correspondence " series provides an enlightening picture of Haymaker, both as scientist and person, during the mid-century years covered. It provides insight into the efforts on both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific to re-establish collegial connections and cooperation after World War II. With his pre-war experiences in Europe, his language facility especially in German, his scientific eminence and leadership position, Haymaker served as an ideal person to survey needs and capabilities of foreign research institutions; and his ebullience and charm made him widely welcomed. This section also reveals how much energy and time Haymaker devoted to projects such as planning an international congress, editing a voluminous, internationally-authored Festschrift for his friend Wartenberg, or authoring a scientific treatise on the hypothalamus.
    Finally, the collection is a treasury of portraits, both of historical figures and of Haymaker's contemporaries. The "founders" are represented as well as additional "founders" for possible future editions. Almost everyone whom Haymaker visited during the 1950s and 1960s or who visited him at the AFIP had a snapshot portrait taken by him. For many years he maintained a guest book at AFIP with visitors' signatures and their portraits, a volume which is available at the UCLA Biomedical Library (see "Related Materials" section below). This drive to create a photographic history of of his discipline led Haymaker to lobby for capturing the portraits of all the attendees at the 1949 Paris congress, and over 700 individuals complied and are now part of this collection. (Haymaker deposited copies of the photographs with the National Library of Medicine.)
    The collection is organized into the following series:
    • Series 1. The Founders of Neurology: Correspondence and Subjects, 1948-1973, bulk 1949-1953. 243 folders; 4.33 linear ft.; 4 cartons
    • Series 2. Other Professional Correspondence, 1946-1972, bulk 1950-1963. 166 folders; 2.66 linear ft.; 2.5 cartons
    • Series 3. 4th International Neurological Congress, Paris, 1949. 7 folders; 0.5 linear ft. ; 0.5 carton
    • Series 4. Other Portraits and Illustrations. 157 folders; 1.5 linear ft.; 1 carton
    • Series 5. Lantern Slides. 10 slides; 0.33 linear ft.; 1 box

    Related Material

    "Guest Book" compiled by Webb Haymaker; photographs and signatures of over 500 visitors to Dr. Haymakers laboratories in the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. UCLA Biomedical Library Manuscript Collection #119.
    "Haymaker Collection, 1930's-1970's". Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine, OHA #185

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    International Neurological Congress (4th : 1949 : Paris, France) - archive
    Haymaker, Webb, 1902-1984 - archive
    Neurologists - Biography
    Neurology - Biography