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Freudenberg, Rudolph Karl and Freudenberg, Gerda (née Vorster)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 PP/RKF
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: Freudenberg, Rudolph Karl and Freudenberg, Gerda (née Vorster)
Date(s): 1900-1984
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 62 boxes
Name of creator(s): Freudenberg | Rudolph Karl | 1908-1983 | psychiatrist
Freudenberg | Gerda | 1906-1995 | née Vorster | physician
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Rudolf Karl Freudenberg was born, 1908; Studied medicine at the Universities of Kiel, Munich and Freiburg; Qualified MD, 1932; Became house officer in surgery in Berlin, 1932; Married Gerda Vorster, 1932; Lost job on account of Jewish background; Obtained job at University Neuro-histological Institute, Vienna, 1935; Did work on physiology of insulin coma treatment, 1936; Invited to join the staff of Moorcroft House, a private psychiatric hospital in Hillingdon, Middlesex, and moved to England, 1937; Obtained British medical qualifications (Scottish Triple), 1939; During World War Two was involved in primate research on leucotomy; Obtained Diploma in Psychiatric Medicine, 1945; consultant and Deputy Superintendent at Netherne Hospital, Surrey, 1947; Physician Superintendent at Netherne, 1951-1973; Senior Principal Medical Officer and Head of Medical Mental Section at the Ministry of Health, 1961-1964; President of Psychiatry Section, Royal Society of Medicine, 1965-1966; Establishment of Netherne Postgraduate Medical Centre (later the Freudenberg Centre), 1969; retired from Netherne, 1973; Senior Principal Medical Officer and Chief Advisor on Mental Health Research at the Ministry of Health, 1973-1977, died, 1983.

Gerda Freudenberg was born, 1906; Qualified MD at Freiburg, 1932; Worked in medical posts in Berlin and married Rudolf Karl Freudenberg, 1933; Lost job in Berlin on account of Jewish background, 1935; Found jobs in Vienna, and later Berne, 1936; Joined her husband in England, with their first son, 1938; Worked with League of Friends of Netherne Hospital; Voluntary work for the Council for Music in Hospital, 1947-; Qualification for UK medical practice, 1950; died, 1995.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Rudolph Karl Freudenberg and Gerda Freudenberg relating to psychiatric practice at Netherne Hospital, Freudenberg's involvement with various professional bodies, and his writings on psychiatry, 1930s-1970s.

A. Rudolph Karl Freudenberg's Personalia
1 Personal papers and correspondence; 2 Offprints and publications; 3 Unpublished general papers; 4 Conferences; 5 Files of rough notes; 6 Films

B Netherne Hospital
1 Published articles and reports; 2 External reports on Netherne; 3 Unpublished articles on Netherne (excluding training); 4 Material for training; 5 Netherne Magazines; 6 Committees and meetings; 7 Printed guides; 8 League of Friends and other voluntary help; 9 General planning and memoranda; 10 Day hospitals and hostels; 11 Occupational and industrial therapy; 12 Rehabilitation (wider than purely industrial); 13 Questionnaires and forms; 14 Censuses; 15 Art; 16 Other directly Netherne material; 17 Photographs and slides; 18 Audio tapes; 19 Films; 20 Related material - not specifically Netherne

C Department of Health and Social Security

D Local related bodies
1 Cheshire Home, Wimbledon; 2 Schizophrenia Research Fund; 3 Surrey Council for Mental health; 4 Surrey Group of National Schizophrenia Fellowship; 5 Reigate and District Association for Mental Health; 6 National Association of League of Hospital Friends; 7 Disablement Income Group, Godalming; 8 Share Community Ltd; 9 Surrey Resettlement Ltd; 10 West Lambeth Community Health Council; 11 Industrial Therapy Organisation (Epsom) Ltd; 12 London Borough of Sutton: review of Health and Welfare Services; 13 Orpington Mental Health Association

E Other bodies
1 King Edward's Hospital Fund; 2 Mental Health Research Fund; 3 National Association for Mental Health; 4 Royal Medico-Psychological Association later Royal College of Psychiatrists; 5 Medical Research Council; 6 General Nursing Council 7 The Council for Music in Schools; 8 Council of Europe; 9 World Health Organisation

F General offprints

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English and German

System of arrangement:

As outlined in the Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

The majority of the papers is available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, by prior appointment with Archives and Manuscripts staff and after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking. Please note, however, that access to file PP/RKF/B.16/39 is restricted until January 2073 as it contains sensitive personal data. Access may be possible on consultation with the archivist. In addition, several files are closed in order to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998: PP/RKF/B.10/3/2 closed until January 2064; PP/RKF/B.10/6/2 closed until January 2061; PP/RKF/B.16/6, 12-16, 40 closed until various dates between January 2046 and January 2074; PP/RKF/E.2/2 closed until various dates between January 2065 and January 2071.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Readers are restricted to 100 photocopies in twelve months. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner (the Freudenberg family retains any copyrights that it owns in the papers).

Finding aids:

The catalogue to this collection has not yet been fully converted to electronic form: for detail, and to order material, see hard-copy list available in the Wellcome Library. Copies of the catalogue are available on request.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The archive is far from complete. Some items had been destroyed by the family prior to transfer, and the surviving material had been stored in several places. Some material received was so mould-damaged that it had to be destroyed immediately. The papers had become jumbled long before transfer, with many original files broken up, and the original order had in any case not been firm. There were, for instance, different file series at different stages, but none of them either clear-cut or complete. It was therefore entirely impossible to recover an original structure. The archive was Freudenberg's own, but included many files and papers created as part of his official positions at Netherne and the Department of Health and Social Security. The archive has been divided into categories which reflect the various facets of Freudenberg's work and interests, but these categories have been imposed on the material. Within each category, original files have usually been retained and file titles given.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The following copy photographs are held by Wellcome Images: Two paintings done as art therapy (probably at Netherne Hospital), and two papers for Art Therapy Exhibition, 1968 on "Art as an Aid to Treatment," L0049349-50.

At other repositories: Items of RK Freudenberg's scientific equipment have been placed in the Science Museum, London. Memoirs written by Dr Walter Freudenberg (RK Freudenberg's father) of his First World War service have been placed in the Imperial War Museum, London.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Copied from the Wellcome Library catalogue by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
In compliance with ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description - 2nd Edition (1999); UNESCO Thesaurus, December 2001; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Jan 2009

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