Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Robert B. Livingston Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 418
Mandeville Special Collections Library
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
Language of Material:
12.0 Linear feet
(30 archives boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1935 - 1990
Papers of Robert B. Livingston, professor of neuroscience and medical administrator. The collection includes early correspondence
(1947-1952), writings, talks and lectures, project materials, and UCSD teaching materials. Also included are papers of Livingston's
mentor John F. Fulton.
Livingston, Robert Burr, 1918-
Scope and Content of Collection
The Robert Burr Livingston Papers document the career and professional activities of a noted neuroscientist, professor and
medical administrator. Materials include early correspondence (1947-1952), writings, talks and lectures, project materials,
and some UCSD teaching materials. Also included are papers of Livingston's mentor John F. Fulton. The bulk of Livingston's
papers were destroyed prior to the acquisition of these materials. The papers are arranged in seven series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE,
2) SUBJECT FILES, 3) WRITINGS, 4) LECTURES AND TALKS, 5) PROJECTS, 6) TEACHING MATERIALS, and 7) JOHN F. FULTON MATERIALS.
SERIES 1: CORRESPONDENCE
The CORRESPONDENCE series is arranged alphabetically by correspondent and includes letters from Leo Szilard, Jonas Salk, Linus
Pauling, Wilder Penfield, Carl Sagan, and Lewis Thomas. There is correspondence documenting Livingston's involvement with
the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences, the Foundations' Fund for Research in Psychiatry and the Institute
for Policy Studies, of which he was a founding member. A very rich correspondence covers the period from 1947 to 1952, while
Livingston was a member of the faculty of the Yale University School of Medicine and spent time in Europe receiving advanced
training. Of particular interest are letters to Paul C. Smith, editor and general manager of the
San Francisco Chronicle, that report on his interpretations of the climate and mood of post-war Europe.
SERIES 2: SUBJECT FILES
A large number of files document Livingston's various involvements in and his role as a founding member of the Institute for
Policy Studies and with Fritjof Capra of the Elmwood Institute. The subject files also document Dr. Livingston's ongoing interest
in disarmament, peace and anti-nuclear issues.
SERIES 3: WRITINGS
The writings largely relate Livingston's interest in peace and disarmament. Also included are some incomplete drafts of his
chapters in John F. Fulton's
Physiology of the Nervous System, as well as reprints of a few of his scholarly articles.
SERIES 4: LECTURES AND TALKS
This series includes several talks Livingston gave on issues of peace and disarmament, such as his lecture on deterrence and
on the Cuban Missile Crisis. It also includes his notes for the American Association for the Advancement of Science Holiday
Science Lecture series, presented to statewide honors high school students in Florida (1958) and Oregon (1959).
SERIES 5: PROJECTS
The PROJECTS series is arranged by project in three subseries: A) Brain Mapping Project, B) Committee for Undernourished People,
The Human Brain Film.
A) The Brain Mapping Project subseries is arranged alphabetically and consists largely of transcripts of a week-long meeting
called the Task Definition Workshop, where Livingston and others met to sort out the tasks and goals for this new project.
The transcripts are arranged chronologically. The subseries also contains data and digitized computer drawings of brain sections
of monkeys, rats and other animals.
B) The Committee for Undernourished People subseries includes research subject files, arranged alphabetically. Also included
is correspondence with Vicky Newman, Newman's dietary analyses, and data on nutrition of pregnant women and mothers.
The Human Brain Film subseries is arranged alphabetically and contains correspondence pertaining to the film, funded by Hoffman-La Roche,
Inc. The subseries also includes draft scripts for the film, as well as license agreements.
SERIES 6: TEACHING MATERIALS
The TEACHING MATERIALS series consists mainly of documents that Dr. Livingston collected to develop his Neurosciences Study
Plan at UCSD. There is very little documentation on courses which Dr. Livingston taught, although there are some files pertaining
to a genetics course that he taught. The series primarily documents Dr. Livingston's process for developing a teaching plan
for a graduate program in neurosciences.
SERIES 7: JOHN F. FULTON MATERIALS
The JOHN F. FULTON MATERIALS series consists mainly of Fulton's diary (1949-1957), which was sent to a number of people as
weekly correspondence, but also contains some of his writings on the history of medicine at Yale. The remainder consists of
correspondence between Livingston and Fulton, filed chronologically by year from 1949 to 1956. During the time Livingston
was at Yale, John Fulton was Livingston's supervisor. Fulton was chair of the Department of Physiology, and after retirement
he joined the Department of the History of Medicine at Yale.
Robert Burr Livingston was born in 1918, received his bachelors degree from Stanford University in 1940 and graduated from
Stanford University School of Medicine in 1944, where he did his residency in internal medicine. His major academic appointments
include the Yale University School of Medicine (1946-1952), the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine
(1952-1957) and the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine (1964-1989). In 1956 he was appointed Director
of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1964 he became the founding chair of the Department of Neurosciences
at UCSD. Throughout his career, Dr. Livingston was active in several anti-nuclear weapons and peace organizations, including
the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which was awarded the 1985 Nobel Prize for Peace.
Dr. Livingston's research has been concerned with investigating combinations of nervous and mental functions, using neuroanatomical,
neurophysiological, behavioral, and clinical techniques. He has published widely in these fields, including chapters in John
Physiology of the Nervous System and a dozen chapters in Best and Taylor's
Physiological Basis of Medical Practice. While a professor in the Department of Neurosciences at UCSD, he developed the Neurosciences Study Plan for students in
neurosciences. He is well known for his work in the cinemorphology of the human brain, using a technique developed at UCSD
by Roy E. Mills which involves slicing, staining and photographing very thin sections of the whole human brain in sequence.
An award-winning film on this subject, titled
The Human Brain: A Dynamic View of its Structures and Organization was produced in 1976 by Sy Wexler.
Dr. Livingston has also made significant contributions to the study of the relationship between chronic undernutrition and
human brain development, and he was involved in a project titled the "Committee for Undernourished People." In 1986, the Army
Medical Corps Research and Development Command selected Dr. Livingston's Laboratory for Quantitative Morphology in the Department
of Neuroscience at UCSD to establish a national research and development program to construct a prototype computer system
that would be capable of mapping in three dimensions and displaying the entire human brain at microscopic levels of detail.
Individuals involved at UCSD and Scripps Institution of Oceanography included R. Livingston, F. Bloom, H. Karten, D. Armstrong,
J. Morrison, W. Young, and S. Foote.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Robert B. Livingston Papers, MSS 418. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: ALLOW ONE WEEK FOR RETRIEVAL OF MATERIALS.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Committee for Undernourished People.
Fulton, John F., (John Farquhar), 1899-1960
Institute for Policy Studies
Livingston, Robert Burr, 1918-
Mellinkoff, Sherman M., (Sherman Mussoff), 1920-
Penfield, Wilder, 1891-1976
Smith, Paul C.
Thomas, Lewis, 1913-
Tuchman, Barbara Wertheim
University of California, San Diego. School of Medicine. Dept. of Neuroscience.
Deterrence (Strategy)--United States -- History
Malnutrition -- Research
Neurologists -- United States -- Biography
Neurosciences -- United States
Nutrition -- Research