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Addis, Robina (1900-1986)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 PP/ADD
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: Addis, Robina (1900-1986)
Date(s): 1917-1986
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 26 boxes
Name of creator(s): Addis | Robina Scott | 1900-1986 | psychiatric social worker
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Robina Addis was one of the earliest professionally trained psychiatric social workers in Britain, qualifying in 1933. She went on to have a varied career, first in child guidance and then for the National Association for Mental Health, from which she retired in 1965.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers reflecting the many different areas of Robina Addis's life and work, including her training and research; her involvement with both British and international societies and associations in the mental health field; visits abroad; lecturing, teaching and writing. After her official retirement she continued her involvement with the National Association for Mental Health, but was also able to extend her interests by working for the Save the Children Fund and other organisations, and these activities are also reflected in the collection.

There are, however, many gaps in the papers. While RSA's early training and research are covered, her work in child guidance in the prewar and Second World War periods are represented mainly by lecture notes and publications. Her long career in the NAMH is chronologically well covered from 1950 onwards, but the quantity of material is not great and it can be assumed that most of the papers were retained in the Association's internal filing system. With certain exceptions most of the papers representing RSA's other activities date only from the 1960s onwards and it is impossible to say what proportion of the total survives. The sequences of lecture notes and publications, do, however, seem to be fairly comprehensive.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The collection is divided into sections as follows:
A. Personal and biographical 1942-1986
B. General correspondence 1962-1983
C. Training and early career
1. London School of Economics 1932-1933
2. Research 1933-1935
3. Child Guidance c.1930-1936
4. Northampton 1939-1940
D. National Association for Mental Health (later MIND) 1946-1984
E. Societies and Associations
1. Semaines Internationales d'Etudes pour l'Enfance Victime de la Guerre 1945-1951
2. World Federation for Mental Health 1948-1986
3. Family Welfare Association 1960-1984
4. International Association for Suicide Prevention 1967-1977
5. Inter Clinic Conference and Child Guidance Trust 1970-1981
6. Save the Children 1971-1986
7. Professional Social Work Bodies 1961-1986
F. Visits and other activities
1. Nigeria 1961-1985
2. The Philippines 1964-1965
3. Other activities c.1933-1985
G. Teaching and examining 1953-1976
H. Lectures 1933-1975
J. Writings 1935-1977
K. Notes, subject files, collected publications and reports
1. Notes c.1942-c.1977
2. Subject files 1938-1970
3. Collected publications and reports 1917-1985
L. Photographs [1950-1975]

The arrangement of the collection is largely the result of an imposed order. Many of the papers were in labelled files and, where one of these has been retained, the original file title has been indicated in inverted commas in the list. However, many of the files overlapped significantly in content or contained a diverse accumulation of material and therefore they have been split, weeded of duplicate or ephemeral items, and their contents have been refiled where appropriate. The files themselves were in no easily discernible order. During cataloguing, material relating to different stages in RSA's career or her involvement with different organisations, was grouped together. The remaining files fell into three main categories: those containing correspondence of a general nature, those relating to projects with which RSA was involved and subject files containing both published and unpublished papers collected together and relating to a particular topic. Although RSA did not seem to make any clear distinction between these categories in the way in which she ordered her papers, some guidance was given in the original file title which was often (although not always) of an individual (for correspondence), an organisation, or a topic and it was felt that division of the files along these lines would be appropriate. Other elements of RSA's record-keeping practices which were more apparent, such as her grouping of lectures and writings into series of chronologically divided files, have been retained.

Conditions governing access:

The bulk of the papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking. Because of the sensitive nature of some aspects of Addis' work, restrictions on access and closure periods have been applied to some items, as follows:
PP/ADD/B.6: Restricted Access until 1 Jan 2082
PP/ADD/B.7: Restricted Access until 1 Jan 2086
PP/ADD/C.1/6-10: Closed until 1 January 2034
PP/ADD/D.4: Closed until 1 January 2055
PP/ADD/D.5: Closed until 1 January 2058
PP/ADD/D.6: Closed until 1 January 2063
PP/ADD/D.12: Restricted Access until 1 January 2060. Readers must complete a Restricted Access application form to apply for access to this file.
PP/ADD/D.28: Closed until 1 January 2047

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.

Finding aids:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

These papers were given to the Wellcome Library in April 1987 by David Addis, Robina Addis's nephew (accession 259; 353).

Allied Materials

Related material:

Many of Robina Addis's books have been given to the Modern Medicine collection of the Wellcome Library. The papers of Charles and Dorothea Singer are held as PP/CJS.

The papers of Robina's father, Sir Charles Addis (1861-1945), are in the Library of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 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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