Scholar Exhibits

The Edwin G. Boring and Hanns Sachs Collection

In his book A History of Psychology in Autobiography, Dr. Boring admits that in 1933, at the suggestion of his friends and family, he began psychoanalysis treatment with a former colleague of Freud, Hans Sachs. Boring remained in psychoanalysis for a year, doing 5 sessions a week, but he found it to be ineffective in alleviating his concerns. Boring had hoped to achieve a change in personality by the end of this experience and was disappointed to find that he still had his old mindset. Four years later, both Sachs and Boring wrote about the experience in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. The two men agreed that the psychoanalysis was not successful. Coincidently, the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute bears Hanns Sach's name for its library and archives. While the bulk of Hanns Sach's papers did not get preserved and perished in the home of George Wilbur after his death, BPSI holds his legacy, two audio interviews with people who knew him well, his biographical materials, and his endowment entrusted to the library by Sach's lawyer and benefactor, David R. Pokross.

Murray Cohen, PhD

Cohen is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Boston University, where he taught from 1956 to 1996. For the last three years, and two more years in retirement, he taught the BU undergraduate course "History of Psychology". A graduate of NYU, he got his Master degree in psychology at the University of Missouri, and then went on to receive his doctorate at BU in 1955. He was a psychology director of the Acute Intensive Treatment Service at the Brockton Veteran Administration hospital. He also served as a BU chair of the doctoral program in clinical psychology in the 1970s. Murray Cohen has been a long time member of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, where he helped to develop the Freud courses. His main area of research and clinical work has focused on sexual violence.

Sanford Gifford, MD

Gifford served as Director of the Hanns Sachs Library from 1966 to 2000 and has remained Director of BPSI Archives since then. He has been devoted to expanding our archival collection and making it available to scholars around the world. With an art history degree from Harvard University, Dr. Gifford went on to study medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. He worked at the Colorado Springs Psychopathic Hospital, completing his residency at the Mount Sinai Hospital in San Francisco. When World War II broke out and psychiatrists were needed in the army, Sanford Gifford trained at the School of Military Neuropsychiatry at Lawson General Hospital in Atlanta. Deployed to the psychiatric hospital in Manila, he treated soldiers with what was later called PTSD for three years. After the war he started his career at the VA hospital, treating patients and conducting studies in psychosomatic medicine and the psychology of twins with Henry M. Fox and Arthur F. Valenstein. A founder of the BPSI Oral History project, Dr. Gifford has been recording conversations with noted psychoanalysts and their relatives for over forty years. Even in retirement, he continued teaching at the Harvard Medical School, working at the West Roxbury VA hospital, and chairing the History and Archives Committee of the American Psychoanalytic Association. He is the author of numerous publications, including the biographies of Hanns Sachs.

Olga Umansky, MLS

Umansky has been an archivist and a head librarian of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute since 2007. She is in charge of many archival initiatives, including conversion of the society audio archives into a digital format, collection of new oral histories, implementation of XML finding aids, digital imaging, web publishing, online exhibits, and historic research. Most recently, Olga has been leading an effort of several co-authors to publish a new biography of Grete Bibring. In addition to her archivist's duties, Olga manages a busy research library for member psychoanalysts, students, and independent researchers. Graduate of the Simmons College GSLIS of 1997, Olga holds a BA in Philology from the Kharkov State University, and is a member of the New England Archivists (NEA). Her previous careers included library database design at Wolters Kluwer/Ovid Technologies, technical product management at SilverPlatter Information, processing of archival collections at the Boston Public Library, and radio journalism in Ukraine.