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William Ronald Dodds Fairbairn

Pioneering psychiatry.

Fairbairn (1889-1964) was born and educated in Edinburgh and became a pioneering psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. He served in the army during World War I and in 1915 he visited Craiglockhart, where W. H. R. Rivers was pioneering psychotherapeutic work with shell-shock victims. By the end of the war he had decided to become a psychotherapist. His work has recently started to attract considerable attention, particularly his sensitive studies of child abuse.

His library of about 400 books was presented to the Psychiatry Library by Nicholas H. Fairbairn, and subsequently passed to Special Collections. The collection includes many key texts from the golden age of early 20th century psychiatry, some with annotations.

The books have been fully catalogued and can be found on DiscoverEd, the library's discovery platform. Fairbairn’s manuscripts are in the National Library of Scotland (Acc.11258).