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historical photo of lab

History & Progress

Pictured: Otto Folin, PhD, director of McLean’s Chemical Laboratory from 1900 to 1908. McLean was the first psychiatric hospital to establish basic and clinical laboratories to study biological factors in mental illness.

McLean has been a setting in many books and films and a central subject of many history texts. Below are books that contain more information about the hospital’s rich history in the field of psychiatry:

  • Little, Nina Fletcher. Early years of the McLean Hospital. Boston, MA: Francis A. Countway of Medicine, 1972.
  • Sutton, Silvia B. Crossroads in psychiatry. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, Inc., 1986.
  • de Marneffe, Francis. McLean Hospital: a personal memoir. Westwood, MA: Coolidge Hill Press, 2010.
The old McLean Asylum in Charlestown, mid-1800s
The old McLean Asylum in Charlestown, mid-1800s