Papers and Digital Collection of World-Leading Psychiatrist and Neurologist Max Fink Open for Research

Papers of Max Fink and Digital Collection Open for Research. October 2017.

Papers of Max Fink and Digital Collection Open for Research. October 2017.

Stony Brook University Libraries announce the opening of the Max Fink Papers and Digital Collection. The Max Fink Digital Collection, a subset of the papers, includes nearly 7,000 items (20,000 pages) of Dr. Fink’s original notes on experimental psychiatry, outgoing letters to colleagues, professional writings, and an autobiographical memoir completed in 2017.


The archive documents the extraordinary career of psychiatrist and neurologist Max Fink, MD. Dr. Fink, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology Emeritus at Stony Brook University, is a world-leading expert and defender of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). His studies of ECT began in 1952 at Hillside Hospital in New York and he has published prolifically for six decades on the use and effects of ECT. In 1979, he authored Convulsive Therapy: Theory and Practice, the book medical historian Edward Shorter and internationally recognized psychiatrist David Healy called the “definitive medical text on electroconvulsive shock.” Dr. Fink has authored more than 800 articles and several books.


Comprised of nearly 250 linear feet (475 boxes) of research materials dating from the 1880s through 2017, the collection includes Dr. Fink’s notes, manuscripts, publications, correspondence, grant reports, and visual materials on the study of convulsive therapy (electroshock), catatonia, melancholia, pharmaco-electroencephalography, and psychopharmacology. Opening the papers will provide new opportunities for scholarship and insights into Dr. Fink’s pioneering research in these specialized areas of psychiatry.


The availability of the collection is the culmination of an extensive, multi-year effort of archival processing, cataloging, and digitization, which was supported by Max and Martha Fink.


Contact for the Max Fink Papers: Kristen J. Nyitray, Director, Special Collections and University Archives, University Archivist
Contact for the Digital Collection: Victoria Pilato, Digital Projects Librarian

Kristen Nyitray

Associate Librarian; Director, Special Collections and University Archives; and University Archivist at Stony Brook University Libraries
Contact her for research assistance with rare books, manuscript collections, historical maps, and SBU history. E-mail:
Kristen Nyitray
Posted in Digital Collections, Health Sciences Library, History, Manuscripts, Medicine, Special Collections & University Archives, Spotlight