Scope and Content of Collection
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175
Title: Robert B. Livingston Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0418
54.3 Linear feet
(32 archives boxes, 38 records cartons, 6 card file boxes, and 10 oversize folders)
Date (inclusive): 1918 - 2000
Abstract: Papers of Robert Burr Livingston (1918-2002), professor of neuroscience and medical administrator. The collection includes
correspondence, writings, talks and lectures, project materials, UC San Diego administrative and teaching materials, photographs,
audiovisual materials, and digital files. Also included are papers of Livingston's mentor, neurophysiologist John Farquhar
Fulton (1899-1960), and his father, neuroscientist William Kenneth Livingston (1892-1966).
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 correspondence, writings, talks and lectures, project materials, and UC San Diego
teaching materials. Also included are papers of Livingston's mentor, neurophysiologist John Farquhar Fulton (1899-1960), and
his father, neuroscientist William Kenneth Livingston (1892-1966).
Accession Processed in 2005
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.
Accession Processed in 2017
Arranged in twelve series: 8) BIOGRAPHICAL, 9) CORRESPONDENCE, 10) WRITINGS, 11) PROJECTS AND RESEARCH, 12) UC SAN DIEGO,
13) ORGANIZATIONS AND COMMITTEES, 14) DALAI LAMA, 15) WILLIAM K. LIVINGSTON, 16) PHOTOGRAPHS, 17) SOUND RECORDINGS, 18) FILM
AND VIDEO, and 19) DIGITAL MEDIA.
Robert Burr Livingston was born in 1918 in Boston, Massachusetts. He received his bachelor's degree from Stanford University
in 1940 and graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine in 1944, where he did his residency in internal medicine.
Livingston served as a US Navy Medical Corps Reserve officer in Okinawa during World War II, and was awarded a Bronze Star.
His major academic appointments include Harvard Medical School (1946-1947); 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 (1965-1989). Livingston served as scientific director for both the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH)
and the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness (NINDB) from 1956-1965. In 1965 he founded the world's first
interdisciplinary neuroscience department at UC San Diego. Throughout his career, 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.
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
Physiology of the Nervous System (fourth edition, 1960) and a dozen chapters in Best and Taylor's
Physiological Basis of Medical Practice (eleventh edition, 1985). While a professor in the Department of Neurosciences at UC San Diego, he developed the Neurosciences
Study Plan for graduate students. He is well known for his work in the cinemorphology of the human brain, using a technique
developed at UC San Diego by Roy E. Mills which involves slicing, staining and photographing very thin sections of the whole
human brain in sequence.
The Human Brain: A Dynamic View of its Structures and Organization, an award-winning film on this research, was produced in 1976 by Sy Wexler.
Livingston has also made significant contributions to the study of the relationship between chronic undernutrition and human
brain development, including participating in the Committee for Undernourished People research project. In 1986, the Army
Medical Corps Research and Development Command selected Livingston's Laboratory for Quantitative Morphology in the Department
of Neurosciences at UC San Diego to establish a national research and development program to construct a prototype computer
system that would be capable of three-dimensional mapping and displaying the entire human brain at microscopic levels of detail.
Livingston also consulted on the autopsy of President John F. Kennedy, and served as science advisor to the 14th Dalai Lama
of Tibet. Livingston died in 2002 in La Jolla, California.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Robert B. Livingston Papers, MSS 418. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
Acquired 1996, 2002.
BULK OF COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. ALLOW ONE WEEK FOR RETRIEVAL OF MATERIALS. Boxes 64-76 on-site.
Materials containing personally identifiable medical information, original audiovisual media, and unprocessed digital media
are restricted. Researchers may inquire about access to these materials in advance of their visit.
The original film The Human Brain: Its Structures and Organization has been digitized.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Nutrition -- Research
Malnutrition -- Research
Brain mapping -- Methodology
Brain -- Imaging
Brain -- Anatomy
Neurosciences -- United States
Neurologists -- United States -- Biography
Livingston, Robert B. (Robert Burr), 1918-2002 -- Archives
Fulton, John F. (John Farquhar), 1899-1960 -- Archives
Livingston, W. K. (William Kenneth), 1892-1966 -- Archives
Szilard, Leo -- Correspondence
Bstan-ʼdzin-rgya-mtsho, Dalai Lama XIV, 1935
Salk, Jonas, 1914-1995 -- Correspondence
Pauling, Linus, 1901-1994 -- Correspondence
Penfield, Wilder, 1891-1976 -- Correspondence
Sagan, Carl, 1934-1996 -- Correspondence
Thomas, Lewis, 1913-1993 -- Correspondence
Smith, Paul C. -- Correspondence
Tuchman, Barbara W. (Barbara Wertheim), 1912-1989 -- Correspondence
Mellinkoff, Sherman M. (Sherman Mussoff), 1920-2016 -- Correspondence
Hultgren, Herbert N. -- Correspondence
University of California, San Diego. School of Medicine
University of California, San Diego. Department of Neurosciences
Institute for Policy Studies
Committee for Undernourished People