Biographical Note: Louisa Pinkham Howe was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, in 1915 to Wenona and Henry Pinkham. Dr. Howe graduated with a B.A. from Radcliff College in 1937, and subsequently earned her M.A. (1939) and Ph.D. (1949) in sociology from Harvard University. She was the first woman to hold the Sigmund Freud Memorial Fellowship. She worked in the US Bureau of Prisons, taught sociology at Skidmore and joined the faculty at the Menninger Foundation. Here she testified in the famous trial, Brown vs. the Topeka Board of Education, and her disposition, that segregation was psychologically damaging to children, played an important part in the Supreme Court decision of 1954. She held teaching positions and carried out research in the University of Kansas, UC Berkley, Harvard School of Public Health, and many other places. In her later years Dr. Howe became interested in the therapeutic uses of movement, and joined the faculty of the Psychomotor Institute. She was active in many professional organizations, including American Sociological Association and Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, published many scientific papers, several of them on the problems of drug-abuse, and fought for social justice throughout her life.

Summary: the collection constitutes one manuscript box of papers, correspondence, historical Brown vs. Board of Education disposition materials, obituaries and biographies. The BPSI Archives also holds typescripts of the two interviews given by Louisa Howe to Catherine Holt and David J. Kallen in 1995-1996 (see Oral History Transcripts, 1961-2002). The materials were donated to BPSI by Dr. Howe’s daughter Catherine Frances Holt of Berkley, California.

Finding Aid for this collection is available here (viewing it requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).


Related BPSI Collections
Oral History Transcripts

Related Sites
Origins and History of Pesso System/Psychomotor Therapy by Louisa P. Howe
Psychomotor Institute Endorsement Letter from Louisa P. Howe, Ph.D (1995).