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Child Study Center, School of Medicine, Yale University, records concerning the longitudinal study

Call Number: RU 282

Scope and Contents

The records consist of notes, reports, photographs, and interviews documenting the longitudinal study conducted at the Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine.


  • 1942-2002


Conditions Governing Access

Series I, II (boxes 53-55), III, IV (boxes 59-84), and V are restricted until 2050. Researchers wishing to use the records before this date must secure written authorization from the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology, Yale Child Study Center.

Original audiovisual materials, as well as preservation and duplicating masters, may not be played. Researchers must consult use copies (designated by a box with a 'U' suffix), or if none exist must pay for a use copy, which is retained by the repository. Researchers wishing to obtain an additional copy for their personal use should consult Copying Services information on the Manuscripts and Archives web site.

Some records in this finding aid have been redacted, as they include student names, donor names, and other restricted data. These records will not appear in the published finding aid.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Estate of William Kessen, 1989 and 1999. Transferred from the Child Study Center, Yale University, 1996, 2000-2001, 2014. Gift of Deborah Trofatter, 2011.


The records are arranged in five series: I. Family Data, 1950-1990s. II. Administrative Files, 1950-1982. III. Photographs, no date. IV. Katherine Wolf Records, 1942-1963. V. Data on Families (duplicates), 1950-1964.


61.37 Linear Feet (129 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The records consist of notes, reports, photographs, and interviews documenting the longitudinal study conducted at the Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine.

Biographical / Historical

The Yale longitudinal study was planned as an ambitious exploratory study of personality (ego) development in the first years of life. The research team was composed of pediatricians, child psychologists, nursery-school teachers, psychiatric social workers and psychoanalysts, specialists in early childhood development. The initial investigators, including Ernst Kris, Sally Provence, then-director Milton Senn, Charlotte del Solar and Katherine Wolf, began to recruit families and pilot the data collecting apparatus in early 1950.

Potential subjects were approached after their first obstetrical contact at the Yale-New Haven Hospital. Mothers were recruited if they were white, married, between eigthteen and thirty-five years, expecting their first child, presenting no severe physical or mental health complaints, expecting to reside in the vicinity of New Haven for several years, and if they expressed interest in participation.

Twenty-two families were initially recruited. Eventually ten families were followed completely, and there are also records for another six discontinued subjects. The collection of data for the study proper began in 1950. In its original conception the children were to be followed from birth through their first five years of life, but as the study progressed some subjects continued to be followed well into their teenage years.


Formerly manuscript collection MS 1967.


Forms part of Yale Record Group 27-E (YRG 27-E), Records of departments, offices, programs, and projects of the Yale School of Medicine.

Processing Information

The processing of the collection was begun in the early 2000s and completed in 2013. Box numbers were changed during that time.

Guide to the Child Study Center, School of Medicine, Yale University, Records Concerning the Longitudinal Study
Under Revision
compiled by Diane E. Kaplan, Christine Weideman and staff of Manuscripts and Archives
January 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
(203) 432-1735
(203) 432-7441 (Fax)


Sterling Memorial Library
Room 147
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511

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