Wolf Wolfensberger, Ph.D., was a world-renowned advocate for and expert on the care of the developmentally disabled. A faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and a researcher at the former Nebraska Psychiatric Institute (NPI) of the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) from 1964 to 1971, he later joined Syracuse University as director of the Training Institute for Human Service Planning, Leadership and Change Agentry. Born in Mannheim, Germany, Wolfensberger immigrated to the United States with his family in 1950. As a young man growing up during World War II, he witnessed and was profoundly influenced by Nazi atrocities against mentally and physically disabled persons. In 1999, he was selected by representatives of seven major mental retardation organizations as one of 35 individuals worldwide who had the greatest impact on mental retardation in the 20th century.
The McGoogan Library of Medicine at the UNMC has received a large research collection from the estate of the late Wolf Wolfensberger, Ph.D. (1934-2011). The collection presents a unique opportunity for continuing scholarly research and activities from one of the field’s most influential thinkers. It includes books, archival materials, and artifacts. The collection will be sorted, organized, and processed and will then be available for use by researchers. Digitized materials are available online.
For more information on Dr Wolfensberger and his work, please visit the following websites that are managed by the International Social Role Valorization Association (ISRVA):