Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

Description of your institution:

Name of institution: Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto
Mailing address: 120 St. George Street, Toronto ON, M5S 1A5
Email address:

Description of how and when your institution started acquiring archival, library or artifact collections relating to parapsychology:

The Fisher Library is new to collecting in this subject area. The library acquired a comprehensive collection of works on psychical research donated by Toronto-area psychoanalyst and historian of psychology, Adam Crabtree in 2014. This comprehensive collection includes rare books and periodicals relating to psychical research.

The Fisher Library also has a collection of books, artifacts and archival material relating to phrenology.

Your main collections in the field, including the names of prominent creators:

Psychical research collection donated by Adam Crabtree. The psychical research collection also includes items from Bill Williams’ personal library.

Phrenology book collection that includes highlights from Johann Gaspar Spurzehim, George Combe, Lorenzo and Orson Fowler, Charlotte Fowler, Lydia Fowler, Samuel Robert Wells.

Your collections page relating to parapsychology holdings:

To access the psychical research collection, you can browse all 1273 books by searching the first three letters of the call number prc in our catalogue and choosing the “Search by call number” option.

The phrenology books are catalogued with various call numbers relating to the history of science and medicine, philosophy and religion in the Fisher Library’s collections. These can be accessed through keyword and subject searching.

Finding aids for your main parapsychology collections:

The Fisher Library has acquired Adam Crabtree’s archives but they are unprocessed for now.

Any relevant external websites of prominent creators of your holdings:

Adam Crabtree profile:

Published works created using your parapsychology collections, including books, plays, artwork, both non-fiction and fiction:

Sarah Sussman (University of Texas) dissertation: Divining a Usable Past: Psychical Research and the High-Culture Novel, 1880-1940. More information can be found here:


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