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Nina Ridenour papers

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Creator: Ridenour, Nina

Date: 1926 - 1977 (bulk 1950s-1960s)

Level of Description: Sub-collection/group

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: Menninger Historic Psychiatry Coll., Ridenour, Boxes 1-7

Unit ID: 223273

Abstract: Nina Ridenour's papers consist of correspondence; press releases and other publicity materials; book reviews (both those for her own books and reviews written by her); manuscripts and draft versions, sometimes with annotations and corrections; comments and critiques; biographical data; bibliographies; reading and research notes; reference materials; a grant application; outlines and lecture notes; invitations; newspaper clippings; scripts; books, pamphlets, and other publications; and other related materials. Some correspondents include Menninger family members and Menninger Clinic staff, Aldous Huxley, Clara Beers (Clifford Beers' widow), and Abraham and Bertha Maslow, among others.

Topics in these materials include publications and publishing (especially Ridenour's books Mental Health in the United States--a 50-Year History, Mental Health Education: Principles in the Effective Use of Materials, and Health Supervision for Young Children); mental health education; the play "My Name is Legion" (based off Clifford Beers' autobiography and co-written by Ridenour and Nora B. Stirling); the American Theatre Wing's community plays, for which Ridenour wrote numerous discussion guides; children's mental health; term papers Ridenour wrote while in school; professional organizations and professional positions with which Ridenour was associated, especially the Ittelson Family Foundation; consciousness; extra sensory perception (ESP)/parapsychology; and other related topics.

The materials span Ridenour's career and provide an excellent overview of her work and professional interests and concerns.

Summary: Nina Ridenour's papers consist of correspondence; press releases and other publicity materials; book reviews (both those for her own books and reviews written by her); manuscripts and draft versions, sometimes with annotations and corrections; comments and critiques; biographical data; bibliographies; reading and research notes; reference materials; a grant application; outlines and lecture notes; invitations; newspaper clippings; scripts; books, pamphlets, and other publications; and other related materials. Some correspondents include Menninger family members and Menninger Clinic staff, Aldous Huxley, Clara Beers (Clifford Beers' widow), and Abraham and Bertha Maslow, among others.

Topics in these materials include publications and publishing (especially Ridenour's books Mental Health in the United States--a 50-Year History, Mental Health Education: Principles in the Effective Use of Materials, and Health Supervision for Young Children); mental health education; the play "My Name is Legion" (based off Clifford Beers' autobiography and co-written by Ridenour and Nora B. Stirling); the American Theatre Wing's community plays, for which Ridenour wrote numerous discussion guides; children's mental health; term papers Ridenour wrote while in school; professional organizations and professional positions with which Ridenour was associated, especially the Ittelson Family Foundation; consciousness; extra sensory perception (ESP)/parapsychology; and other related topics.

The materials span Ridenour's career, though the bulk come from the 1950s and 1960s and provide an excellent overview of her work and professional interests and concerns.

Space Required/Quantity: 3.50 cubic feet

Title (Main title): Nina Ridenour papers

Part of: Menninger Foundation Archives. Historic Psychiatry sub-collection.

Biography

Biog. Sketch (Full): Nina Ridenour was born on 12 December 1904 in Vincennes, Indiana to Horace Daniel and Ada Allen Ridenour. She received most of her primary education in the Vincennes public schools, but in 1921 her father was appointed a U.S. Marshall for the Panama Canal Zone, and Ridenour completed her senior year at Balboa High School. Thereafter Ridenour received her Bachelors in psychology from Radcliffe College (then a women's college, now a part of Harvard University); her Masters in sociology from Colorado College; and her doctorate in educational psychology from New York University, finishing in 1941. That same year in August she married Maximilian Arnold Boll, though she continued to use her maiden name for professional purposes.

In the midst of earning her degrees, Ridenour served as an assistant to the staff psychologist for the Dennison Manufacturing Company in Detroit; was an instructor at Colorado College; served as Detroit Children's Center chief psychologist; and was the assistant executive secretary to the State Charities Aid Association - New York City and State Committees on Mental Hygiene. Her later professional opportunities were international, serving as director for the division on world affairs of the National Committee for Mental Hygiene from 1947-1949 and executive director of the International Committee on Mental Hygiene, positions that allowed her in 1948 to organize the first postwar International Congress on Mental Health, held in London. Because of her efforts to formulate international mental health guidelines, the World Federation for Mental Health--developing out of this conference--became a consulting organization to UNESCO, or the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

Serving again with the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, in 1949 Ridenour was appointed the first director of the education division. She participated in the 1950 Midcentury White House Conference on Children and Youth and continued to develop pamphlet material for mental health education. She also served as executive director to the Ittelson Family Foundation, an organization that focused under her leadership on the mental, physical, and social well-being of children.

Ridenour wrote numerous pamphlets, three books, and other publications on mental health and mental health education. She was also a playwright, at times working with the American Theatre Wing and its community plays.

Scope and Content

Specific Contents Identified:

Headings or descriptors assigned to subsections of the material, for example labels on a particular box or group of boxes.

  • 1926 BA diploma from Radcliffe College; MA diploma 1930 (removed from 118-16-03-19); 1941 PhD diploma (removed from 118-16-03-20)

Related Records or Collections

Associated materials: Ridenour (Nina) Papers, Archives of the History of Psychology, University of Akron.

Index Terms

Subjects

    Ittelson Family Foundation
    National Committee for Mental Hygiene
    Script
    Ridenour, Nina -- Archives
    Ridenour, Nina -- Career in psychology
    Ridenour, Nina -- Manuscripts
    Ridenour, Nina -- Mental health education; principles in the effective use of materials
    Ridenour, Nina -- Mental health in the United States: a fifty years history
    Ridenour, Nina -- My name is legion
    Child mental health
    Mental health -- United States -- History -- 20th century
    Mental health education -- United States -- History -- 20th century
    Parapsychology -- United States -- History -- 20th century
    Psychology

Creators and Contributors


Agency Classification:

    Organizations/Corporations. Menninger Foundation Archives. Historic Psychiatry. Individuals. Nina Ridenour.