Harold Barton Collected Papers
In the early 1940s National Mental Health Foundation originated in 1944-1945 when Harold Barton and three associates, serving at Byberry State Hospital in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), announced plans for a national campaign to improve the conditions in mental hospitals. The exposure of these conditions through the efforts of men serving in CPS, and their efforts to be a nonviolent presence in mental institutions, began a new movement in mental health care in the U.S. The National Mental Health Foundation still exists today as the National Mental Health Association.
- Majority of material found within 1944-1949
- Barton, Harold E. L., 1916-2005 (Person)
Language of Material
Materials are in English.
Limitations on Accessing the Collection
The collection is open for research use.
Copyright and Rights Information
There are usage restrictions on photographs in this collection.
This collection helps to document the growth of interest in mental health (or mental hygiene as it was called in the middle of the twentieth century), among men and women involved with Civilian Public Service in World War II. The seeds of the National Mental Health Foundation were planted in 1944-1945 when Harold Barton and three associates, serving at Byberry State Hospital in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), announced plans for a national campaign to improve the conditions in mental hospitals. This, in part, stemmed from their own anger and frustration at the appalling treatment of patients they found at Byberry, where the lack of trained personnel (due to the war effort), severely limited the ability of care for patients according to hospital administrators' standards. Barton's diary notes and other material found in this collection provide important eyewitness accounts of the struggle to treat patients as humanely as possible. The exposure of these conditions through the efforts of men serving in CPS, and their efforts to be a nonviolent presence in mental institutions, began a new movement in mental health care in the U.S. The National Mental Health Foundation still exists today as the National Mental Health Association.
1.2 Linear Feet (15 linear inches)
The Harold Barton papers are divided into several sections: his papers regarding his service in CPS and work at Byberry State Hospital; his efforts to form and administer the Mental Hygiene Program of CPS; his involvement -- as a part of CPS and beyond -- with the National Mental Health Foundation; and, reference material about mental hospitals and treatment/care of patients.
The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these papers.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Lois Barton, August 2006 [acc. 06A-042].
Photos of Barton and others, as well as photos of conditions at Byberry State Hospital, were removed to the SCPC Photograph Collection. Photographs by Charles Lord.
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Processed by Anne M. Yoder, Archivist, October 2006.
- Barton, Harold E. L., 1916-2005
- Byberry State Hospital (Pa.)
- Civilian Public Service. Camp (Philadelphia, Pa.)
- Civilian Public Service. Mental Hygiene Program
- Conscientious objectors -- United States -- History -- Sources
- National Mental Health Foundation
- Pacifists -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Psychiatric hospitals -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- History -- Sources
- Psychiatric hospitals -- United States
- Quakers -- Oregon -- Eugene -- History -- Sources
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Conscientious objectors -- United States -- Sources
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 2018: The file list was standardized in Summer 2017 by Mary Olesnavich in preparation for importing into ArchivesSpace. Tessa Chambers added the notes in Fall 2017.
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