M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives


Finding Aid for the
PAPERS, 1968-1972


For reference queries contact Grenander Department Reference staff or (518)-437-3935.

Finding Aid Compiled by
Geoffrey A. Huth
June 2, 1989

M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York 
1400 Washington Avenue / Albany, New York 12222 / (518) 437-3935

VOLUME: 0.25 cubic feet.

ACQUISITION: All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Phillip Sirotkin.

ACCESS: Access to this record group is unrestricted.

COPYRIGHT: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.


Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Box and Folder List

Biographical Sketch

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Phillip Leonard Sirotkin was born in Moline, Illinois, on Aug. 2, 1923. He married Cecille Sylvia Gussack on May 1, 1945, and they had two children: Steven and Laurie. He received his B.A. from Wayne State University in 1945, his M.A. in 1947 and his Ph.D. in 1951, both from the Universtiy of Chicago.

Sirotkin was a lecturer at the University of Chicago (1949-50), an instructor (1950-52) and an assistant professor of political science (1953-57) at Wellesley College, associate director of Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, Boulder, Colorado (1957-60), executive assistant to the director of the California Department of Mental Hygiene (1960-63), assistant director of the National Institute of Mental Health (1964-66), associate director of NIMH (1967-71) and a consultant at NIMH (1971-73), executive vice president for academic affairs at the State University of New York at Albany (1971-76), and executive director of Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Boulder, Colorado (1976-).

Scope & Content Note

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In 1967, Philip Sirotkin, while associate director of the National Institute of Mental Health, was part of the First U.S. Mission on Mental Health to the U.S.S.R. In February 1969, the Mission published its report. Three years later, the New York Review of Books published a series of articles on the Soviet Union's commitment of dissidents to mental institutions. R. B. Silvers, editor of the New York Review of Books, wrote letters to all seven members of the Mission requesting that they respond to documents supporting this claim.

The papers contain correspondence sent to Sirotkin as a member of the Mission, documents in English translation (including reports by Soviet officials on the mental health of people accused of crimes against the state, statements by people who had been confined in Soviet mental institutions, and appeals from prominent Soviet dissidents such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn and V. N. Chalidze on behalf of those confined), articles about Soviet dissidents who were sent to mental institutions, and a note'about the authenticity of the Soviet documents by Peter Reddaway.

Box and Folder List

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Box 1

1. Correspondence, 1972.
2. Reports by Soviet Authorities on Compulsory Confinement, 1968-1971.
3. Letters and Statements by Soviet Citizens Who Are or Have Been Confined in Mental Institutions, 1968-1971.
4. Statements and Appeals by Soviet Citizens on Behalf of Those Under Confinement, 1970-1971.
5. Statements and Articles by Peter Reddaway, 1971.

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Last updated August 21, 2007