Finding aid for the David Shakow papers

David Shakow papers
Drs. Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology
Phone: 330-972-7285
Shakow, David, 1901-1981
63.03 linear feet
The David Shakow papers contain largely materials from his extended career in psychology and psychiatry, including research on schizophrenia, clinical psychology, and teaching and education.
View finding aid for the David Shakow papers.
Boxes M1300-M1399; M1500-M1559; M1638-M1648.2; M3926-M3938.4; M2156, M1621
The records are in English

Biography of David Shakow

David Shakow was born January 2, 1901 in New York and grew up in Manhattan. He received both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Harvard University. Shakow began doctoral study in psychology at Harvard, which was interrupted in 1932 when he began his work at the Worcester State Hospital in Massachusetts. While at Worcester State, Shakow studied under G. H. Kent, one of the pioneers of schizophrenia research. Shakow's own research on schizophrenia helped to humanize people living with the disorder. He eventually earned his doctorate from Harvard in 1942. Shakow's dissertation "The Nature of Deterioration in Schizophrenia" was well-received and considered to be a seminal work.

Shakow remained at Worcester State for several years, during which he began one of the first internship sites in the country. Shakow had strong ideas about training in clinical psychology, and helped to develop the scientist/practitioner model. He chaired the APA committee whose proposed uniform standards for education were the basis of the Boulder Conference.

Shakow then taught psychology at the University of Chicago and psychiatry at the University of Illinois Medical School until 1954, when he began work at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He chaired the Laboratory of Psychology at NIMH for a number of years, where he continued to research schizophrenia. David Shakow died on February 25, 1981 at the age of 80.

Scope and Content

The David Shakow papers contain much discussion and information about the Worcester State Hospital, including correspondence about jobs at Worcester as well as personnel lists and newspaper articles. There are also instruction manuals for departments of Worcester State Hospital. The collection also contains information on schizophrenia including papers and correspondence. The Stanford-Binet test is represented throughout the collection with test results, correspondence, articles and information about the test. Publications and written works by Shakow and his colleagues are also represented in the collection.

Additional materials from 1971 through 1985 were added in 2006 and include personal mementos, a notebook c. 1920, some writings, and materials about William James, picture puzzles, and geometric puzzles. Of note are his collected papers "Homo Scientius et Homo Professionalis - Sempervirens" and "Clinical Psychology: Seen Some Fifty Years On" and "The David Shakow Symposium" the record of a symposium presented to/and for him on his seventieth birthday. There is also a "Family Tree" of the colleagues and students of Shakow.Various awards and Shakow's doctoral hood are located in oversized stacks, M2156 and M1621.

Statement of Arrangement

The David Shakow papers are arranged by topic or individual person into 191 document cases.

Restrictions on Use

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on the materials for research purposes, and the collection is open to the public.

Separated Material: Separated Material

The following items have been transferred to the appropriate CCHP collections:

Audio tapes/Sound Recordings collection Menninger Lecture/Dr. Wang and Dr. Sifneos, March 24,1980 "Morning Session/Dr. Bellak Brief Therapy

Video tapes/Moving Images collection Reading Faces Dr. Leopold Bellak/Reading Faces Dr. Leopold Bellak Reading Faces Good Day Media Interview Mr. Bellak Clips: Dr. Bellak...Larchmont Park Eco people with Mercedes Maharis Dr. Leopold Bellak on this book "Reading Faces" WCBS TV, Lives We Live, Fri, Mar. 27 at noon. Best years of your life, recorded 9/19/75 Dr. Leopold Bellak Mid-morning L.A., KHJ channel 9 10:00 am 5/13/81 Oversized Stacks Various awards and Shakow's doctoral hood have been transferred to M2156 and M1621 in oversized stacks.

Subject Headings

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Clinical psychology


Shakow, David, 1901-1981


Worcester State Hospital

Material Types:



Stanford-Binet Test

Preferred Citation

Cite as: [identification of item], [folder number, box number], Archives of the History of American Psychology, The Drs. Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology - The University of Akron

Processing Information

Updated by Samantha Hurst, October 2021.