1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY
1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY

Phillip Sirotkin Papers


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Sirotkin was Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University at Albany. Collection consists of materials pertaining to the hospitalization of political dissidents in Soviet mental institutions, retained by Sirotkin as a member of the First U.S. Mission on Mental Health to the Soviet Union.


Sirotkin, Phillip
Date Coverage:
0.25 cubic ft. (about 0.25 boxes)

Phillip Leonard Sirotkin was born in Moline, Illinois, on August 2, 1923. He married Cecille Sylvia Gussack on May 1, 1945, and they had two children: Steven and Laurie. He received his B.A. from Wayne State University in 1945, his M.A. in 1947 and his Ph.D. in 1951, both from the Universtiy of Chicago.

Sirotkin was a lecturer at the University of Chicago (1949-50), an instructor (1950-52) and an assistant professor of political science (1953-57) at Wellesley College, associate director of Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, Boulder, Colorado (1957-60), executive assistant to the director of the California Department of Mental Hygiene (1960-63), assistant director of the National Institute of Mental Health (1964-66), associate director of NIMH (1967-71) and a consultant at NIMH (1971-73), executive vice president for academic affairs at the State University of New York at Albany (1971-76), and executive director of Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Boulder, Colorado (1976-).

n 1967, Philip Sirotkin, while associate director of the National Institute of Mental Health, was part of the First U.S. Mission on Mental Health to the U.S.S.R. In February 1969, the Mission published its report. Three years later, the New York Review of Books published a series of articles on the Soviet Union's commitment of dissidents to mental institutions. R. B. Silvers, editor of the New York Review of Books, wrote letters to all seven members of the Mission requesting that they respond to documents supporting this claim.

The papers contain correspondence sent to Sirotkin as a member of the First U.S. Mission on Mental Health to the U.S.S.R. Included are documents in English translation (including reports by Soviet officials on the mental health of people accused of crimes against the state, statements by people who had been confined in Soviet mental institutions, and appeals from prominent Soviet dissidents such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn and V. N. Chalidze on behalf of those confined), articles about Soviet dissidents who were sent to mental institutions, and a note about the authenticity of the Soviet documents by Peter Reddaway.

The collection has no series.

All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Phillip Sirotkin.

Processed by: Geoffrey A. Huth

Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on

Published: 2018-03-06 04:04:52 -0500

Converted to EAD, 2015 December

Encoded in EAD by Gregory Wiedeman, 2015

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Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Phillip Sirotkin Papers, 1967-1972. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Sirotkin Papers).

Contents of Collection



1 1Correspondence1972


1 2Reports by Soviet Authorities on Compulsory Confinement1968-1971


1 3Letters and Statements by Soviet Citizens Who Are or Have Been Confined in Mental Institutions1968-1971


1 4Statements and Appeals by Soviet Citizens on Behalf of Those Under Confinement1970-1971


1 5Statements and Articles by Peter Reddaway1971