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Inventory of the American Pain Society Records, 1977-1991
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • History
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: American Pain Society Records,
    Date (inclusive): 1977-1991
    Collection number: 123
    Origination: American Pain Society
    Extent: 5 cubic-foot cartons
    Repository: Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library

    History and Special Collections Division
    University of California, Los Angeles
    Los Angeles, CA 90095-1798
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.


    The American Pain Society Records were given to the John C. Liebeskind History of Pain Collection by the American Pain Society in October, 1995.

    Publication Rights

    Information on permission to reproduce, quote, or publish is available from the History & Special Collections Division.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], American Pain Society records (Manuscript collection 123). Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, History & Special Collections Division, University of California, Los Angeles.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4230317 

    Access Points

    Bonica, John J., 1917 -.
    Wolff, B. Berthold.
    Fink, B. Raymond.
    American Pain Society.
    International Association for the Study of Pain.
    Pain. (MeSH)


    The American Pain Society (APS) was formed by American clinicians, researchers, and teachers in the field of pain in response to a growing interest in and need for a national pain organization that would also serve as a chapter of the International Association for the Study of Pain. The society was to foster research and education in the multidisciplinary field of pain in the United States.
    Organizational work began in 1977, when John J. Bonica, on February 18, sent a letter to twenty-six other key American colleagues asking them to attend a meeting in Chicago just sixteen days later as members of "the Advisory Committee for the founding of the American Pain Society." Despite the short notice, all but six of the invitees attended the meeting. (Bonica missed it as well due to complications from hip surgery.) All motions were unanimously approved: the decision to found a national society compatible with the IASP; the provision for regional, state, or other subgroups; that B. Berthold Wolff-who was co-chairing the meeting along with B. Raymond Fink--should chair a Steering Committee; and that there would be a Membership Committee.
    Membership in the Society was initially solicited by Wolff in a letter dated June 28, 1977 and sent to all American members of the IASP and its Eastern and Western Regional Chapters. Ultimately, there were 510 charter members of the Society by the time it was officially inaugurated in December, 1978. The APS had its first Annual Scientific Meeting in San Diego on September 9-10, 1979.
    In 1989, 63% of APS members responding to a survey voted that the APS should have its own journal. APS Journal debuted with the Spring 1992 issue and has been published as Pain Forum since 1995.
    In the past twenty years, membership has grown to include over 3000 pain professionals.

    Scope and Content

    The American Pain Society Records represent a period of growth for the Society. Although foundational documents are minimal, the collection features correspondence and records of the activities that built the organization, during the 1980s, into what it is today. These documents include financial papers, committee formations, the records of important general and board meetings, membership building practices, and publication records, including the membership's decision to publish a journal.
    The American Pain Society Records were processed in 1998 by David C. Gartrell. The collection is organized into five major series. Brief descriptions of each follow.