Online Library

SPR members can now view and search online (including a free download allowance of 500 pages a month!) the contents of all issues of the Journal, Proceedings and Paranormal Review/Psi Researcher, as well as a number of rare classic texts of psychical research. Registration.

Additionally, members optionally receive special a discounted rate of £18 per year (normally £95) for access to most of the major parapsychological journals through Lexscien - all issues of the Journal of Parapsychology, Research in Parapsychology, Journal of Scientific Exploration, European Journal of Parapsychology, Revue Métapsychique (coming soon), Journal of Exceptional Human Experience (coming soon) and Parapsychology Abstracts International (coming soon).

How to register

The SPR Online Library is free to all SPR members, but you do need to register with the Library of Exploratory Science (Lexscien), within which the SPR Online Library is housed. Registration is keyed to your e-mail address; if the SPR Office already has your e-mail address on file, the Library of Exploratory Science will recognise you and give you immediate access to the SPR Online Library. If not, please contact the SPR Office and give them your email address. You may register before doing so, but you will only be able to view the non-member area (including the JSPR Abstracts Catalogue) until the SPR Office has updated your access rights.

When you register, a password will be sent to your email address. Use your e-mail address and password to log in to the library. If you'd like, you can change your password once you've logged in.

Contents

The SPR Online Library currently contains the following material:

  • The Journal of the SPR from 1884-2007
  • The Proceedings of the SPR from 1884-2002
  • The SPR Abstracts Catalogue
  • Psi Researcher / Paranormal Review

These volumes span 120 years and represent some 60,000 pages of material. In addition to the Journal and Proceedings, the Library also contains the newly-published SPR Abstracts Catalogue , which gives abstracts for all the articles and other items published in the JPSR and PSPR, and the Paranormal Review (formerly The Psi Researcher). The full text of these publications is searchable on-line, and you may download any of the pages (but only for personal research purposes). We hope to carry on developing the Online Library by linking the abstracts in the SPR Abstracts Catalogue to the articles in the JSPR and PSPR sections of the library in order to make the Library even more versatile.

The SPR Abstracts Catalogue is a new publication of the SPR, presently only available through the SPR Online Library. It contains abstracts for everything published within the JSPR and PSPR. In addition to abstracts for papers, it also gives abstracts for essays, correspondence, obituaries, book reviews, etc. The abstracts are arranged into themed collections, allowing papers to be seen within the context of related papers and the correspondence they generated. This gives a wonderful insight into the development of various ideas (and controversies) in psychical research, and provides some historical context for individual papers and other material. We are sure that this Catalogue will rapidly become an indispensable research reference, and ensure that the historical work of the SPR continues to inform and influence modern psychical and parapsychological research.

The SPR Online Library is contained within The Library of Exploratory Science (Lexscien), an online library of research literature on anomalies and controversies in science and the humanities. Lexscien was created by the Centre for Fundamental and Anomalies Research.

Library Features

The SPR Online library has some special features that are different from those of standard digital libraries. To keep costs down, whole printed volumes were converted into electronic text using an automated process, without proof-reading. The text generated in this way can have errors due to imperfections on the printed pages such as dirt, scribbled annotations, foxing, or poor print quality, but in general errors in words one might want to search on occur less than once in 10,000 words. The text generated in this way also excludes any pictures that might occur on the printed pages. To compensate for these effects, every text page is paired with a photographic image of the original page in PDF format, so that you can resolve any ambiguities or errors in the text version, and see the graphics and original layout.

The Online Library allows you to search through the complete text of all the Library's holdings. When you do a search, the library software identifies all the individual pages that contain your search terms ('hit pages'), and lists all the volumes that contain those pages. You can then navigate between and around the hit pages within each volume.

Each page can be viewed as plain text with your search words highlighted, so that you can easily identify text of interest and copy it to the computer's clipboard ready for direct pasting into your research notes. As you work, you can mark the start and end pages of any excerpt you want to refer to later, and save it to a personal online Reference Notebook. You can also download any of these excerpts from your Reference Notebook to your own computer, either as a text or PDF file. For example, you might extract a whole article or a few pages from a book. The automated text-generator did not subdivide the volumes into articles, but you can use the excerpting facility to achieve the same effect.

There is an Advanced Search facility enabling you to specify sophisticated search parameters (e.g. Boolean search strings) and special constraints (e.g. limiting the search to specific volumes or a date range). It is also possible just to browse through the Library's holdings.
A detailed guide to how to use the Online Library can be read on-line here.

Project History

The SPR Online Library Project, involving the preparation and loading of all this literature, is the SPR's most ambitious knowledge management project to date. It is fitting that the project was initiated in 2002, the 120th anniversary of the SPR. The Online Library Project was funded jointly by The Society for Psychical Research, The Bridge Trust, Oliver Knowles OBE and The Centre for Fundamental and Anomalies Research (C-FAR).

Many people have contributed generously to the project. We would particularly like to thank the following:

For facilitating the project:

  • David Rousseau
  • Bernard Carr
  • Philip Holborn
  • Mary-Rose Barrington
  • Alan Murdie

For donations of literature:

  • Stephen Braude (including the ultra-rare PSPR v4)
  • Mary-Rose Barrington
  • Tony Cornell (about two thirds of the total collection!)
  • Alan Gauld
  • Emma Greening
  • Emily Kelly
  • Andreas Sommer
  • Zofia Weaver
  • Donald West
  • Richard Wiseman

For assistance with the project execution:

  • Peter Johnson (coordinating the gathering of literature)
  • Wyllys Poynton (photocopying unobtainable literature)
  • David Rousseau (project management, electronic data generation)
  • Julie Rousseau (software development, data processing)
  • Zofia Weaver (design evaluation, software testing)
  • Mike Weaver (design evaluation, software testing)

The project was managed by C-FAR <http://www.c-far.org> , and the library was built by eDocsWorks Ltd <http://www.edocsworks.com/>