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Library of Congress Digitizes Freud Collection

by on March 3, 2017

The Library of Congress has recently digitized the Sigmund Freud Collection. Seventy years after his death, Freud remains one of the most identifiable figures in psychology. He was the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method of treating issues through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst. Among his most prominent contributions were dream analysis and his theoretical model of the unconscious balance between the id, ego, and superego.

The Polonsky Foundation, a UK registered charity, made a generous donation to the Library of Congress that made the digitization process achievable. The foundation regularly supports various facets of scholarship in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. This grant is not the foundation’s first foray into helping fund the digitization of significant collections at key libraries; they have also supported the New York Public Library, Vatican Apostolic Library, and Cambridge University Library. Dr. Leonard Polonsky, CBE said, “We are delighted to support the Library of Congress in the important project of making Freud’s legacy more widely available, both to researchers and the broader public.

The collection consists of several groups of material. Among them are:

  • Family Papers (1851-1978): estate records, legal documents, school records, and immigration papers;
  • General Correspondence (1871-1996): original letters, transcripts, and correspondences with notable figures such as Karl Abraham, C.G. Jung, and Otto Rank;
  • Subject File (1856-1988): school university and military records, patient case files, wills, and other printed matter;
  • Writings (1877-1985): holographs of manuscripts, printed publications, and galley proofs;
  • Interviews and Recollections (1914–1998): interviews with Freud’s associates, patients, and family members conducted by K.R. Eissler; and additional ephemera and oversized artifacts.

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