The Society for Psychical Research (SPR)

The Society for Psychical Research (SPR)


Name of institution: The Society for Psychical Research (SPR)
Mailing address: 1 Vernon Mews London W14 0RL
City: London
Country: United Kingdom
Email address:

Your collections page relating to parapsychology holdings:

Contact Melvyn Willin or Cambridge University Library

Description of your institution:

An educational charity (founded 1882) devoted to the scientific research of psychical research and parapsychological matters. Its archives consist of:  thousands of documents held at Cambridge University Library (CUL); a library of several thousand books at CUL or at the SPR main office in London; and an audio-visual collection consisting of thousands of tapes and videos housed in Essex with the Archives Liaison Officer (Melvyn Willin).

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

The SPR started acquiring material at its inception in 1882 and since then has added to the collection through donations and purchases.

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

Audio-visual: Melvyn Willin has full details

Photographs: Cyril Permutt collection.

Prominent collections about mediums and researchers, some donated by the individual:  Donald West, Maurice Grosse, Guy Lyon Playfair, Anthony Donald (Tony) Cornell, Andrew MacKenzie, Mrs Rosalie Thompson, William Henry Salter, Charles Drayton Thomas, Eva C. (Marthe Béraud), Edith Lyttelton, Mina (Margery) Crandon, William Fletcher Barrett, Daniel Dunglas Home, Eusapia Palladino, Helena Blavatsky, Eileen J. Garrett, Richard George Medhurst, Eric Robertson Dodds, Walter Whately Carington, Williams Crookes, Herbert Francis Saltmarsh, Manfred Cassirer, Rosalind Heywood, Anita Gregory, Rudi Schneider, Willi Schneider, Brian C. Nisbet, J.H. Michael Whiteman, Kenneth J. Batcheldor … and many others!

There are also research collections about these and many other topics:  Aberfan tragedy; Borley Rectory; cross correspondences; extrasensory perception (ESP); poltergeists and hauntings; and study of Jourdain and Moberley’s ‘An Adventure’.

Finding aids for your main parapsychology collections:

Cambridge University Library Manuscripts or Melvyn Willin

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:

Since 1884, the SPR has published the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research (JSPR) which has had a virtually unbroken publication record.  In addition, the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research (PSPR) have  been published since 1882, on an irregular, periodic basis.  The SPR’s quarterly magazine, originally called the Psi Researcher and now the  Paranormal Review, has been issued on a quarterly basis since 1991.   For details of back issues available for purchase and for information about membership, including subscription to SPR periodicals, please contact secretary Peter Johnson.

Published monographs and other works that make use of the SPR archives are too numerous to begin to catalogue.


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