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J. Ray Langdon, M.D. papers

Guide to the J. Ray Langdon, M.D. papers
circa 1944-2015

Collection number: HMC-1332.
Creator: Langdon, J. Ray, 1924-1981., M.D.
Title: J. Ray Langdon, M.D. papers.
Dates: circa 1944-2015.
Volume of collection: 1.0 cubic feet and 2.3 GB.
Language of materials: Materials in this collection are in English.
Collection summary: Professional papers of a former Alaskan psychiatrist.

Biographical note:
Joseph Raymond (J. Ray) Langdon was born in 1924 in Colorado. In 1947, Langdon married Thelma, and the couple had five children. He received his M.D. in 1950 from the St. Louis University School of Medicine. From 1953-1955, he was a Captain in the United State Air Force, serving in the Psychiatric Unit at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. From 1956 to 1958, Langdon served as medical director at Morningside Hospital in Portland, Oregon. Prior to the establishment of mental health facilities in Alaska, those with mental illnesses in the state were sent to Morningside Hospital. In 1958, Langdon and his family came to Alaska, where he was the assistant director of the Alaska Division of Health, and in 1960, he founded and directed Langdon Psychiatric Clinic in Anchorage. Langdon was elected president of the Alaska State Medical Association in 1971 and served until 1972, was a founding member of Alaska Goodwill Industries, and served as president of the Alaska Chapter of the American Psychiatric Association from 1973 to 1974. Langdon was also an alternate delegate to the American Medical Society House of Delegates from 1972 to 1981. He also served as president of the Alaska Health Manpower Corporation, which was an agency formed to encourage improvements in the health service system in Alaska. Additionally, he served as chief medical consultant to the Alaska Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, to the state court system, and the Alaska Native Health Service Hospital. In 1961 and 1981, he was awarded physician of the year by the Alaska State Medical Society, becoming the first Alaskan to receive the honor twice. J. Ray Langdon died in 1981.

Collection description:
The collection contains the professional papers of J. Ray Langdon. The collection includes Langdon’s speeches, correspondence relating to psychiatry in Alaska and Morningside Hospital, as well as newspaper and journal articles about Langdon, Morningside Hospital, and mental health.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged in no discernible order.

Digitized copies: A majority of the newspaper clippings from this collection have been digitized for preservation purposes and the originals destroyed. The collection also contains digitized copies of the Langdon family film. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Digital materials: The digital contents of this collection are not available online. Access may only be provided on-site in the Archives research room. For more information about potential distance access to digital records, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: Archives and Special Collections holds copyright to materials created by J. Ray Langdon. The collection contains materials not created by Langdon, which may be subject to copyright restrictions.

Preferred citation: J. Ray Langdon, M.D. papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Works used in preparation of inventory: Biographical information taken from materials in this collection.

Separated materials: “Morningside hospital. Hearings before a subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations, House of Representatives, Eighty-fifth Congress, first session” was removed from the collection and added to the Consortium Library’s Rare Books collection. Other medical books belonging to Langdon were also added to the Consortium Library’s Rare Books collection.

Related materials: Archives and Special Collections also holds the papers of J. Ray Langdon’s wife, Thelma P. Langdon: HMC-1331, Thelma P. Langdon papers. University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives also has a collection belonging to Langdon: J. Ray Langdon, M.D. papers, USUAFV6-585.

Acquisition note: Mary Langdon and Steve Langdon, J. Ray Langdon’s children, donated the collection to Archives and Special Collections in 2019. Both Mary and Steve Langdon signed deeds of gift at the time of donation.

Processing information: This collection was described and rehoused by Veronica Denison in 2019. Original folder titles were retained and our reflected in the container list below.

Container list:

Box/Folder Description Dates
1/1, Server JRL [J. Ray Langdon] Personal: Certificate to practice medicine and surgery in the Territory of Alaska; CV, news article “The Thorny Therapist” (digitized), correspondence, and biographies of J. Ray Langdon circa 1958-1981
1/2 Langdon Psychiatric Clinic brochure; US Navy and Air Force discharge documents; Copy of marriage license undated, 1944-1955
1/3 Correspondence: Alaska Department of Health 1957-1958
1/4 JRL-Div of M.H. [Division of Mental Health]: Letter regarding job offer, memo and news clipping regarding “Courtney boy” 1958
1/5 Xerox copies of correspondence and news clippings, most of which pertain to mental health 1958-1959
1/6 Photographs: J. Ray Langdon, mental health clinic staff, 15th annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Philadelphia undated, 1959
1/7 Memoranda and correspondence regarding mental health in America, Morningside Hospital Investigation, and mental health in Alaska 1957-1958
Server Morningside Probe news clippings 1957-1958
1/8 Xerox copies of news clippings mostly regarding mental health and Morningside Hospital; Alaska Reporting Service 1960 April 24 Division of Health and Welfare—Morningside Hospital discussion 1960
1/9 Background of Alaska’s Mental Health; Document asking for volunteers to help find graves and information about Morningside Hospital 1952-2015
1/10 J. Ray Langdon’s speeches 1969-1980
1/11 Speech and lecture materials undated, 1971, 2005
1/12 A.L.I. or Bust: An Alaskan Experience by Aaron Wolf and R. Collin Middleton undated
1/13 J. Ray Langdon articles 1959-1981
1/14 Meeting minutes of the Fairbanks Medical Association 1971 October 14
Server Langdon news clippings: News clippings regarding Langdon’s death and being named physician of the year 1981
1/15 Correspondence regarding Langdon’s death, memorial service information, and eulogies, news clippings and articles about Langdon, Alaska Legislature Citation 1981-1982
1/16 Memorial book [Removed from binding] 1981
Box 2 Film [Note: film was digitized from individual 3-inchfilm reels and transferred to 8mm film reels by the Langdon family, which was then digitized): Depicts family vacations to the lower 48, holidays, , including Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and Halloween, playing baseball at Mulcahy Park (in Anchorage), Portage Glacier, Fairbanks, Homer, Dawson Creek, Yukon River, Statehood, Fur Rendezvous, Denali, Eklutna, Copper Center, Valdez, Alyeska circa 1949-1966
Server, 1/17 Digitized copies of 8mm film; Description of family film written by the Langdon family circa 1949-1966
1/18 Correspondence: J. Ray Langdon transition to AK 1958-59 1958-1959
1/19 JRP personal/to: includes letters written by Thelma to their son, US Navy discharge certificate, Civil Aeronautics Administration war training service discontinuation notice, US Navy order to report for induction, Colorado College transcripts, Alaska Department of Health Service Rating Report, letters to friends circa 1943-1959



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