Donald Woods Winnicott

  • Winnicott, Donald Woods, 1896-1971.
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


This collection contains published and unpublished papers by Winnicott; correspondence and other files, professional and family; personalia and appointment diaries; paediatric clinical records from the London County Council Rheumatism Clinic where he worked in 1920s and 1930s, and Paddington Green Children's Hospital [closed for reasons of Data Protection]; other case material of child and adult patients [mostly closed for reasons of Data Protection]; material relating to his work with Oxfordshire Evacuee Hostels during World War II; files on his involvement with child psychiatry in Finland and the establishment of the Finnish Psychoanalytic Association; slides of "squiggles". There is also some Clare Winnicott material, largely to do with her management of Winnicott's literary estate after his death. There are also original 'squiggle' drawings - both those drawn by Winnicott and his child patients in the course of their therapeutic sessions, and those he drew himself after work for personal enjoyment. A brief account of Winnicott and squiggles can be found here.



Physical description

50 boxes, 4 o/s items, 13 audio tapes, 16 digital items


A. Writings, 1926-1984
A/A Typescripts, 1930s-1974
A/B Book draft: Human Nature, 1980-1988
A/C Typescript and published obituaries/eulogies, 1948-1969
A/D Typescript reviews and commentaries, c. 1937-c.1969
A/E Published reviews, 1937-1969
A/F Published letters to editors, 1937-c.1989
A/G Offprints, 1926-1949
A/H Offprints, 1950-1959
A/J Offprints, 1960-1964
A/K Offprints, 1965-1984
A/L Bibliographies, lists of contents of projected volumes, etc
A/M Manuscript papers
B. Correspondence, 1915-1982
B/A Alphabetical sequence, 1915-1969
B/B Themed correspondence, 1930s-198, 1934-1956, n.d.2
B/C Correspondence with Joyce Coles, 1950-1971
B/D Family and personal correspondence C. Institute of Psychoanalysis matters, 1936-1966
D. Clinical work - correspondence, 1936-1956
E. Paediatric Clinical Records, 1920s-1971
F. Adult Clinical Records, 1920s-1960s
G. Personal and biographical, 1900s-1970s
H. Clare Winnicott, 1943-1984
J. Squiggle slides, n.d.
K. Appointment diaries, 1949-1971
L. Oxfordshire Evacuee Hostels Scheme, 1941-1946
M. Finland: child psychiatry and psychoanalysis, 1959-1970
N. Records of Winnicott's analysand "HBC", 1947-1976
P. Audio tapes: recordings made by Winnicott, 1960-1965.

Acquisition note

The papers now catalogued as PP/DWW/E/1, formerly in the possession of Mr A Britton, Clare Winnicott's executor, were given by the Winnicott Trust to the library at Wellcome Collection in April 1985. Additional Winnicott papers were received from the Winnicott Trust in November 2007 and in February 2009. A further small group of very miscellaneous correspondence and case material was received in April 2010 from the Winnicott Trust. Some additional material was received from the Winnicott Trust in May 2011

Biographical note

Donald Woods Winnicott, MA, FRCP (1896-1971) was a paediatrician and psychoanalyst and an important figure in British child analysis and the Object Relations school, noted in particular for his development of the idea of the "transitional object". He popularised his ideas about motherhood and child development via radio broadcasts and accessible books. There is an entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and in Munk's Roll of Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians, Vol VI.
1896 Apr 7 Born in Plymouth, youngest child and only son of Sir Frederick Winnicott
Educated at the Leys School and Jesus College, Cambridge
1917 interrupted his medical studies in 1917 to serve as a surgeon-probationer on a Royal Navy destroyer
1920 qualified MRCS LRCP at St Bartholomew's Hospital
1923 appointed consultant at the Queen's Hospital for Children, in harge of London County Council's rheumatic and heart clinic for next 10 years. Also appointed consultant at Paddington Green Children's Hospital and began ten-year training analysis with James Strachey
1923 July 7 married Alice Buxton
1934 qualified as a psychoanalyst
1936 supervised by Melanie Klein (and later by Joan Riviere)
1940 became a training analyst
1944 FRCP
1945 Getting to Know Your Baby published
1951 Dec 28 married (following divorce in 1949) Clare Nimmo Britton
1957 Publication of The Child and the Family and The Child and the Outside World
1971 21 Jan died of heart failure
1974 Posthumous publication of Playing and Reality

Related material

At Wellcome Collection:
Additional Clare Winnicott papers are in GC/148.

In other repositories
Winnicott's personal papers are at New York Cornell University; Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children has clinical records including notes of DW Winnicott, 1929-1935 (with index); St Mary's Hospital has records of Winnicott as Professor of Clinical Psychology, Child Clinic at Paddington Green.

Copyright note

Copyright is retained by the Winnicott Trust and permission to copy, or to publish or disseminate copies of this material must be obtained from that body.

Terms of use

Permission must be obtained from the Winnicott Trust before access can be granted to this collection. In addition, some catalogued items have access restrictions which are explained in the item-level catalogue records. Requests to view uncatalogued material are considered on a case by case basis. Please contact for more details.

Accruals note

The following is an interim description of material that has been acquired since this collection was catalogued. This description may change when cataloguing takes place in future:

Additional letters, case material, lectures, articles and tape recordings of D.W. Winnicott, comprising four files, one notebook and five cassette tapes. (Seven reel to reel tapes received with this accession have been transferred to the Library's Moving Image and Sound Collection.)

Permanent link


Accession number

  • 194
  • 1555
  • 1643
  • 1738
  • 1814
  • 1871