|Name of institution:||Senate House Library, University of London|
|Mailing address:||Senate House, Malet Street.|
Your collections page relating to parapsychology holdings:
Archival sources for psychic investigations, magic and the paranormal: https://london.ac.uk/senate-
Description of your institution:
Senate House Library is the central Library of the University of London and the School of Advanced Study. From medieval illuminated manuscripts and rare first editions through to clandestine publications and more recent political pamphlets, Senate House Library’s collection of over 2 million books, 50 special collections and 1,600 archival collections is unique in its breadth and diversity of material. The Library and its collections have been continuously developed since the 1870s and include highlights such as the first folios of Shakespeare published in 1623, a roll depicting the funeral of Anne of Cleves from 1557 and Lord Byron’s unfinished draft for the end of Don Juan dated 1823. Offering Arts, Humanities and Social Science Research in the heart of London’s student and research community, members of the library have access to millions of books and journals, digital resources, and beautiful study spaces. The Library is open to the public as well as students and academics of the University of London and other higher education institutions. Membership is required; day tickets and short-term memberships are available and free access to the archives is possible by prior arrangement.
Description of how and when your institution started acquiring archival, library or artifact collections relating to parapsychology:
Collecting in parapsychology and the paranormal began with the deposit of Harry Price’s collection of books and papers acquired during his long career in psychical research and intended to support the study of the subject. The collection was bequeathed to the Library following Price’s death in 1948 and since then the Harry Price Library of Magical Literature has grown and many more archive collections on the subject have been deposited, notably the papers of Eric John Dingwall in the late 1980s, now fully catalogued. The Library continues to collect contemporary, antiquarian and manuscript material for the Harry Price Library, part of the Special Collections, as well as current scholarship on the paranormal, the occult, magic and witchcraft for the Modern Research Collections.
Your main collections in the field, including the names of prominent creators:
The Harry Price Library of Magical Literature and Harry Price Archive (ref. HP). Price’s collection with additions of books on psychical research, the paranormal, unexplained phenomena, witchcraft and magic from the 15th century to the present day. Correspondence, investigation files, manuscripts scrapbooks and cuttings, photographs, slides, films, artefacts and ephemera on Price’s work, life and interests.
Eric John Dingwall papers (MS912). Research Material, consisting principally of scrapbooks, notes, index slips, photographs and printed material collected and compiled by anthropologist and psychical researcher Eric Dingwall. The collection includes material collected by Frederick Barlow and the papers of the Society for the Study of Supernormal Pictures and Dingwall’s correspondence in series MS912/4, closed until 2025 under the terms of deposit.
Caroline Augusta Foley Rhys-Davids papers (MS1082) 107 diaries and notebooks containing automatic writing and notes on the afterlife, along with drafts for her work, What is your Will?, published in 1937.
Matthew Manning papers (MS1161) Automatic drawings; drafts of Manning’s books including The Link, The Strangers ; correspondence of Peter Bander; magazine articles about Matthew Manning and psychic phenomena.
Ida Holden papers (MS1083) Notes, recordings and negatives relating to thought transference and extra sensory perception.
Harold Frost scrapbooks and photographs (MS1005) Scrapbooks with some handwritten notes and typescript notes of sittings with mediums of various circles including the Mark’s Tey circle in Essex.
Smaller collections include the John Lord papers of notes and drafts on parapsychology (MS1176), Edinburgh séances of Emmeline Vyner (MS1224), Paul Tabori papers (MS1006) typescripts and notes for fiction and non-fiction books and scripts, correspondence between Trevor Hall and Harry Price Librarian Alan Wesencraft (UoL/UL/4/37)
Finding aids for your main parapsychology collections:
The Harry Price Library and other works on parapsychology can be searched via the library catalogue: https://catalogue.libraries.
Archive collections are listed to file level, or collections level on the Library’s archive catalogue: https://archives.libraries.
Any relevant external websites of prominent creators of your holdings:
Published works created using your parapsychology collections, including books, plays, artwork, both non-fiction and fiction:
Harry Price published numerous books and articles on his work, these can be found on the Library’s catalogue.
Biographies of Harry Price include:
- Hall, Trevor H., Search for Harry Price (London: Duckworth, 1978)
- Morris, Richard, Harry Price: the Psychic Detective (Stroud: Sutton, 2006)
- Tabori, Paul, Harry Price: the Biography of a Ghost-Hunter (London: Athenaeum Press, 1950)
- A British Movietone interview with Price can be found on YouTube: https://youtu.be/u6I0JtOQMAA
- Many books have looked at Price’s investigations, recent publications include:
- Adams, Paul, The Enigma of Rosalie: Harry Price’s Paranormal Mystery Revisited (Hove: White Crow books, c2017)
- Josiffe, Christopher, Gef!: the Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose (London: Strange Attractor, 2017)
Fictional and dramatic works featuring Price include:
- Spring, Neil, The Ghost Hunters (London: Quercus, 2013), the basis for the 2015 ITV1 film Harry Price: Ghost Hunter.
- …and the goat remained a goat… (The Hauntings of Harry Price), a musical collaboration between Professor Richard Wiseman and The
- Creative Matyrs.
- On Eric Dingwall: Josiffe, Christopher, ‘Dr Dingwall’s Casebook’, The Fortean Times, 299-300 (2013), 44-49, 50-54.