Scope and Content
Title: Percival Bailey Personal Collection of Papers and Photographs,
Date (inclusive): 1902-1992
Collection number: 339
Creator: Bailey, Percival 1892-1973
Extent: 2 cartons (3.0 linear ft.)
University of California, Los Angeles. Library.Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences
Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
Abstract: Dr. Percival Bailey was an important contributor to many fields of the basic and clinical neurosciences, and a distinguished
teacher and author. This is a collection of papers and photographs from Dr. Bailey's home files. Included are documents
about his personal life and family, mementos of many, but not nearly all of the many honors and awards that came to him,
manuscripts of charming autobiographical essays and his thoughts about psychiatry and psychiatrists. Many aspects of his
professional life and his remarkable mentoring of an outstanding group of mid-20th century neurosurgeons emerge from the
papers. The photographic record is especially rich in documenting his students and colleagues from around the world.
Physical location: Southern Regional Library Facility.
Language of Material: Collection materials in English
Collection is open for research.
Property rights in the physical objects belong to the UCLA Biomedical Library. Literary rights, including copyright, are
retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright
and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish if the Biomedical Library does not hold the copyright.
[Identification of item], Percival Bailey Personal Collection of Papers and Photographs, Ms. Coll. no. 339, Louise M. Darling
Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles.
The collection was a 1994 gift from Irene Bailey Freyer to UCLA.
Dr. Percival Bailey was a renowned and much-honored scientist, clinician, teacher and administrator, who made major contributions
in neuropathology, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurosurgery and psychiatry. He was born May 9, 1892 in a small town in
the southern tip of Illinois, an area know as Little Egypt. An intelligent and energetic student, determined to escape his
hard-scrabble background through education, he worked his way from a one-room elementary school to Southern Illinois State
Normal College, and from there to a Ph.D. at the University University of Chicago and a simultaneous M.D. at Northwestern
University. Outstanding teachers, especially in anatomy and neurology, aroused his special interest in the nervous system.
After his internship, in 1919 Bailey was accepted to join Harvey Cushing's neurological surgery team at Harvard. This valuable
and rewarding, but also difficult, association between the two men continued in an on-and-off fashion until 1928. Bailey
spent a year in Boston, then returned to Chicago for a year with the neuropathologist George Boris Hassin, back to Boston,
then a year of study with Pierre Marie in Paris in 1921/1922, and back to Boston again. In 1925, now a married man, Bailey
returned to Paris and worked with the psychiatrist Henri Claude for a year. Then back to Boston and Cushing for the last
time. In 1928 Bailey became the head of the Department of Neurological Surgery of the newly established University of Chicago
School of Medicine.
Dr. Bailey remained as Professor of Surgery and Professor of Neurology at the University of Chicago until 1939. Then he joined
the University of Illinois as Professor of Neurology and Neurological Surgery until his retirement in 1968. Although his
scientific and teaching activities continued, around 1950 diminished eyesight forced a cessation of his surgical and histological
work. This provided time to shift some of his attention more to psychiatric study of the nervous system, which had always
attracted him, and from 1951 until his retirement in 1967, Dr. Bailey served as Director of the Illinois State Psychopathic
Institute and Research and Educational Consultant to the Illinois Department of Public Welfare.
Dr. Bailey died August 11. 1973. This Renaissance Man, who spoke French and German fluently, read widely in philosophy, history,
art, and wrote charming essays, was widely beloved and honored. More than 200 neuroscientists and surgeons from around the
world, most his former students and colleagues, personally joined in his 60th birthday celebration in Chicago. He was a
recipient of several honorary doctorates, including Docteur honoris causa de l'Université de Paris, was named Chevalier de
la Légion d'Honeur de France and a chosen a member of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. "A Biographical
Memoir" with bibliography by Bailey's pupil, colleague and friend Dr. Paul C. Bucy, published by the National Academy of
Sciences, 1989, provides a full account of Dr. Bailey's life and accomplishments.
Scope and Content
This collection, preserved and possibly edited by Yevnigé Bashian Bailey (Mrs. Percival Bailey), provides a enlightening
picture of Dr. Bailey as human being, thinker, doer, teacher. Autobiographic and biographic accounts elucidate his life
and musings, his interactions with mentors and mentees, his travels; and these accounts are enriched by an extensive photographic
record. Not to be found, however, except by indirection, are the records of his scientific and clinical life, his over 260
journal articles, chapters, and books. The collection does include drafts of the chapters of his autobiographical volume
"Up from Little Egypt", and drafts of his thoughts about Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis.
The collection is organized into the following series:
- Series 1. Personal Papers, 1912-1978. 27 folders
- Series 2. Honors and Awards, 1949-1983. 12 folders
- Series 3. Professional and Personal Writings, 1935-1972. 29 folders
- Series 4. Professional Life, 1949-1992. 18 folders
- Series 5. General Correspondence, 1946-1973. 3 folders
- Series 8. Photographs, 1902-1973. 23 folders
University of Illinois at Chicago. Health Sciences Library Special Collections: "Unpublished writings of Percival Bailey,
1945-1965". WZ 100 B155u 1945
University of Illinois at Chicago. Health Sciences Library Special Collections: "Percival Bailey Collection", more than 600
rare and important volumes donated by Percival Bailey
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Bailey, Percival, 1892-1973
Neurosurgery --United States--Manuscripts