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Julius S. Schreiber Papers

Identifier: MS C 602


Collection contains correspondence, reports, printed materials, and photographs document Dr. Julius Schreiber's psychological orientation of American soldiers during World War II and his efforts to improve American society through the National Institute of Social Relations just after the war.


  • 1933-1984


18.29 Linear Feet (20 boxes + map drawers)


Physical Location

Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine

Language of Materials

Collection materials primarily in English

Access Restrictions

Collection is restricted. Portions of the collection are restricted according to HMD's Access to Health Information of Individuals policy. Contact the Reference Staff for information regarding access. For access to the policy and application form, please visit

Copyright and Re-use Information

Donor's copyrights were transferred to the public domain. Archival collections often contain mixed copyrights; while NLM is the owner of the physical items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. It is the user's responsibility to research and understand any applicable copyright and re-publication rights not allowed by fair use. NLM does not grant permissions to publish.

Privacy Information

Archives and manuscript collections may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in any collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which the National Library of Medicine assumes no responsibility.

Biographical Note

Julius S. Schreiber (1908-2001) was born in the Ukraine and in 1913 his family immigrated to Cincinnati, Ohio. He earned his college degree at the University of Cincinnati in 1928, completed his medical degree there in 1932, and immediately embarked upon his career at Fresno County General Hospital in California. After just one year he was commissioned in the Army Medical Corps Reserve and spent the next few years studying psychosomatic aspects of pulmonary tuberculosis in Denver. He then served as director of the Research and Shock Therapy Division of Stockton State Hospital in California while continuing post graduate work in neurology and neuropathology in San Francisco.

After studying for more than a year at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York from 1939-1940, he returned to Stockton. There he remained until called for active duty in April, 1942. Stationed at Camp Callan, California, Dr. Schreiber psychologically evaluated recruits for their fitness to serve. In the course of his duties he noticed how little the recruits knew about the war's purpose and their role in it. Hoping through education to produce a better class of soldier, Dr. Schreiber initiated a mental health training program which he administered as chief of the Neuropsychiatric Section.

Higher echelons of the army admired his ambitious curriculum at Camp Callan. In late October, 1943 Dr. Schreiber transferred to Washington, D.C., and was assigned to the Army Orientation Branch. He served as chief of the Programs Section directing the creation of guides for discussion leaders throughout the army. The discussion group concept, or group therapy, involved meetings led by an instructor who had been briefed with talking points for a particular subject, here applied to conditioning soldiers' psychological health when facing combat and other warfare environments. Group leaders would encourage a group to talk about the topic, ideally to the extent that a variety of viewpoints could be heard. Through these varied opinions and with guidance by the leader, the group would gain a thorough understanding of the situation or topic. In July, 1945 Schreiber was transferred to the National Jewish Welfare Board where he prepared educational aids for Jewish community centers assisting returning veterans in their readjustment to civilian life. He left this position upon his discharge at the end of October, 1945.

Dr. Schreiber's work at the Army Orientation Branch directly influenced his subsequent life work. Early in 1945 he conceived of a plan to form an organization which would provide for the general American public the same type of assistance that discussion groups had provided soldiers. By 1945 Dr. Schreiber felt Americans were becoming increasingly apathetic and prejudiced, suffering from what he saw as a social illness. Similar to producing better soldiers through discussion-based education, he believed that he could use the same techniques to improve American society.

While working with the National Jewish Welfare Board, he was further encouraged and assisted in the formation of the National Institute of Social Relations (NISR). Planning was well under way before he left the Army. Upon its incorporation in early 1946, the NISR established six community discussion councils in the northeast and south. Under his directorship, however, the NISR failed in its effort to bring change. In the highly charged post-war atmosphere, some attacked the NISR's programs as communistic, while others drew negative parallels between communism and the Jewish race, who made up much of NISR's leadership and who provided much of the organization's funding. Whether due to suspicions of communism, anti-semitism, the concept of voluntary community discussion, or other reasons, the NISR failed in promulgating its mission and subsequently dissolved financially. By December, 1948 Dr. Schreiber had no connections to NISR and was in private practice in Washington, D.C.

During his time with the NISR in Washington, Dr. Schreiber also was active in psychiatric organizations such as the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, the Public Education Committee of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, and the Public Education Committee of the American Psychiatric Association. After 1948 he continued these associations and also became a member of the Washington Committee of the Menninger Foundation. He remained in Washington after his retirement and died, at the age of 93, in 2001.

Collection Summary

Correspondence, speeches, articles, reports, business records, photographs, film strips, and printed matter (1933-1984) document Dr. Julius Schreiber's professional psychiatric career, notably his work leading mental hygiene programs at Camp Callan, California, and his efforts to promote racial and ethnic cooperation, social harmony, and democratic values as a founder and director of the National Institute of Social Research. The collection is organized chronologically by the institutions where he worked and principally reflects Schreiber's original filing structure. Correspondence appears throughout the collection and, in parts, extensively illustrates Schreiber's activities. Reports generated during his military work and by the NISR summarize the collected efforts of Schreiber's two principle endeavors. Publications by the army and NISR comprise much of the printed matter, mainly collected by Schreiber for reference purposes. There are relatively few photographs, mostly depicting people and locations involved with the NISR. Personal and biographical information, such as military orders documenting his service and some personal and group photographs, is limited and is spread throughout the collection.

Series 1, Stockton State Hospital, contains a scattering of documentation from Dr. Schreiber's time at Stockton State Hospital. His writings subseries (1941-1943) reflects his interest in insulin shock therapy and its application in the treatment of stuttering. Patient records also document these topics, along with some brief work on anthropometry. These records are restricted according to HMD's access to personal health information policy.

Series 2 covers both Dr. Schreiber's psychiatric work and mental hygiene programs at Camp Callan, California. Army regulations and manuals, reports, guides, and outlines document the techniques and subject matter developed for troop mental orientation to warfare and combat. The few articles he wrote from this period complement his clinical and educational activities. Dr. Schreiber also retained copies of psychological evaluations made at Camp Callan, organized by patient name and by diagnoses. These records are restricted according to HMD's access to personal health information policy.

Series 3 holds numerous reports and subject files which give insight into the sources that Schreiber used in formulating discussion guides. A large section is devoted to various discussion guides and presentations which illustrate the range of information that the Orientation Branch believed needed addressing. Schreiber's writings during this period reveal his interest in orientation and education but also presage his later work on social justice, as in "Prejudice -- roadblock to progress." Correspondence fully documents this period, including his transition from the Orientation Branch to the National Jewish Welfare Board during his last few months in the Army.

Series 4, National Institute of Social Research is the largest and most complete part of the collection. Correspondence provides an almost daily account of the National Institute of Social Research's entire two-year journey. The complete letterbook copies of letters sent from NISR headquarters along with 11 folders of Dr. Schreiber's personal correspondence are the most comprehensive subseries. Several other subseries and topics are covered by correspondence in part. Administrative records are incomplete. Publications, in the form of periodicals, pamphlets, posters, and other promotional objects, represent the public face of the NISR. Included with this material are many original drawings and cartoons which were published as illustrations. The six community discussion councils are well represented by reports and in subject files, which also address concepts of community and the development of discussion techniques.

Series 5, Private Practice, covers a large period of time but offers little research value. Correspondence is sparse and of little professional importance except those portions which appear in the subject files. The most informative segments of this series are devoted to Dr. Schreiber's involvement with the Menninger Foundation and with the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, both of which are concentrated during the late 1940s and early 1950s.


Collection contains correspondence, reports, printed materials, and photographs document Dr. Julius Schreiber's psychological orientation of American soldiers during World War II and his efforts to improve American society through the National Institute of Social Relations just after the war.

Physical Location

Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine


Gift, Stephen Schreiber, March 26, 2001. Acc. 2001-031.


Processed by
Jim Labosier
Processing Completed
November, 2013
Encoded by
Jim Labosier
Finding Aid to the Julius S. Schreiber Papers, 1933-1984
Unverified Partial Draft
Jim Labosier
November, 2013
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English
Edition statement

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Archives and Modern Manuscripts Collection Collecting Area

8600 Rockville Pike
Bldg 38/1E-21, MSC 3819
Bethesda MD 20894 US
1-888-FINDNLM (1-888-346-3656)