The Society's library is one of the most comprehensive collections in the world to cover psychical research and related topics. Housed in London and Cambridge, it contains over six thousand volumes, plus all the major series of journals dealing with psychical research. It also contains extensive archives of material built up during the life of the Society, now housed mainly at the Cambridge University Library. SPR members are also now able to access its Online library at Lexscien.
SPR Library Database projects
The SPR Library has two on-going projects:
1. Research Articles database
The Librarian is maintaining a list of references to papers on modern psychical research projects which appear in academic journals other than the mainstream psychical research periodicals – for example, ‘Perceptual and Motor Skills’, Psychological Bulletin, The Lancet, Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine.
The references are classified by topic, and the objective is to bring the article to the attention of researchers so that they may find it, as those periodicals are not kept at the SPR. The current list may be viewed by researchers visiting the Library, and up until now Donald West has undertaken the task of identifying references, but continuance of this work needs other interested contributors.
Does your research take you outside of the usual sources? Have you accessed any articles on psi, outside of the mainstream, which could be added to this source? Perhaps you would like to volunteer your support to find further articles? If so, please contact Karen Patel, Librarian (firstname.lastname@example.org).
2. The Spontaneous Case File
The second database project comes from Guy Lyon Playfair, with substantial input from our Australian member Paul Cropper, and is a growing collection of more than 150 press reports of poltergeist cases dating from early in the 19th century to the present
Of special interest are some of the early cases which were described in exceptional detail, making interesting comparisons with more recent cases from all over the world. These have often included video recordings, some showing 'live' incidents, which will give researchers an opportunity to observe cases in progress and hear live testimony from eye-witnesses.
This archive can also be viewed at the SPR Library, by arrangement.