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A Major Collection of Sigmund Freud, His Circle, and His Publishing House

FREUD, SIGMUND. A Collection of nearly 500 volumes and more than 250 letters, prints, photographs, memoranda, ephemera, and other objects.

Various places, 1880s-1940s

More than 750 items, most in original bindings and very good condition. A detailed inventory is available.

This enormous collection documents the works, life, and circle of Sigmund Freud, one of the towering figures of the 20th century. Freud was an originator of
modern psychology and the father of psychoanalysis. His pioneering clinical techniques continue to exert a profound influence on psychotherapy. His theories of personality, identity, consciousness, the unconscious, sexuality, desire, memory, childhood, conflict, and human behavior have shaped discourse in countless fields for more than a century.

Few figures have had so decisive and fundamental an influence on the course of modern cultural history as Sigmund Freud” (Library of Congress). Freud’s ideas and his conception of mankind have profoundly influenced culture, the arts, and science. His theories have provided fertile ground for literary and historical theory. They have inspired novelists and poets, artists and musicians, playwrights and filmmakers. Freud’s understanding of the mind and personality continue to shape our views, and his language has entered everyday usage and become part of daily life. Freud’s work and legacy remain the subject of intense debate. “The controversy which exists in relation to Freud is more heated and multi-faceted than that relating to virtually any other post-1850 thinker (a possible exception being Darwin)” (IEP).

Painstakingly formed over nearly thirty years, the collection fully documents the history, writings, and ideas of Freud and his followers, and their publication and dissemination, making it an invaluable research tool for the study of the 20th century.

The collection comprises:

Freud’s works. A tremendous, comprehensive run of Sigmund Freud’s published works, representing most of the author’s works published in his lifetime, usually in multiple editions. 1880s-1940s. Freud was not only the dominant figure in the history of psychoanalysis but also its most prolific author, publishing scores of works. The collection includes an extensive run of Freud’s works in their original printed wrappers. The dazzling run of 22 rare offprints by Freud is likely the largest in private hands. Many of these items are present in unique or rare forms ranging from galley proofs to presentation and association copies, including, for example,  an extremely rare presentation copy of Das Unbehagen in der Kultur (Civilization and Its Discontents, 1930) inscribed by Freud to his son Ernst.

Iconography. An important collection of Freud portraits. 1914-1939. These portraits show Sigmund Freud as an icon of 20th-century thought and culture, as a subject for distinguished artists, as a private individual, and as he presented himself though his publishing arm, the Internationale Psychoanalytische Vereinigung (IPV). Portraits include etchings, lithographs, bronze relief medallions, and photographs. A number of these objects are signed by Freud.

Manuscripts by Freud. A collection of autograph items representing Freud at key moments in his career. 1883-1932. The Freud autograph items range from from his early years as a medical doctor in Vienna to the publication of Die Traumdeutung to his public recognition as a leading thinker and his last days.

Manuscripts relating to Freud. A collection of more than 20 letters by members of Freud’s circle and other leading thinkers. 1922-1956. A few examples include Karl Abraham (seeking an analyst in Berlin and mentioning Sandor Rado and Hans Sachs), Franz Alexander (concerning the troubles in America in regard to the perception of psychoanalysis), Sandor Ferenczi (on poetry, with an original photograph of Ferenczi), Ernest Jones (to Sador Rado, concerning his biography of Freud), Theodor Reik (concerning a critique of Freud’s Dostoevsky paper), and Romain Rolland (stating that he cannot support Freud as a candidate for the Nobel Prize).

Freud’s Library. A major collection of 80 works from Freud’s library. 1908-1937. This is the largest single holding in private hands (and the third most extensive collection anywhere) of works from Freud’s library. Most of the known books and offprints from Freud’s library are at the Freud Museum in London and at Columbia University. Scattered smaller holdings are at the Library of Congress and the Freud Museum in Vienna. These items, written mainly in German and mainly offprints, cover a wide range of subjects of interest to Freud including psychoanalysis, homosexuality, mental disorders, sex, folklore, childhood, Jewish history, philosophy, anthropology, biology, and medicine. Provenance: the Vienna Psychoanalytical Society, donated by Freud from his personal library. In 1938 the Nazis dissolved the society and destroyed its library. These volumes were secretly preserved.

Rarities. The following selected rarities reflect a fraction of the collection’s vast research and exhibition potential: galley proofs of Freud’s “If Moses Were an Egyptian” and “On Narcisissm,” a presentation offprint of Jones’s obituary of Freud, an inscribed copy of Mann’s Freud un die Zukunft, a printed document announcing the formation of the IPV, a series of Otto Rank telegrams concerning Freud’s first cancer operation, and countless others.

Archive of the Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag (IPV). An enormous collection of IPV publications and related material comprising hundreds of pieces. 1919-1937. Sigmund Freud founded the IPV in 1919 to publish his own works and those of other psychoanalysts. He called the IPV “meine Schöpfung … mein Kind” (my creation … my child). Its importance for the worldwide growth of psychoanalysis cannot be overstated. This enormous collection, the most important in private hands, includes: nearly 200 publications of the IPV in original bindings, including many unique copies; 100 announcements, broadsides, flyers, advertisements, etc. relating to the IPS and its publications; 100 pieces of correspondence between the Verlag’s directors (Otto Rank, A. J. Storfer, and Martin Freud) and the firm’s bookbinder providing a wealth of detail on matters relating to publication of the IPV’s books; and other important documents concerning the IPV’s founding and its financial affairs.

Journals. A comprehensive collection of complete runs of leading journals of psychoanalysis. 1909-1941.These complete runs of leading psychoanalytic journals contain key writings by virtually all of the major thinkers in the field. They provide an essential resource for the study of the development and spread of psychoanalysis and Freud’s ideas and influence.

This is a major research collection for the study of the 20th century.

A detailed inventory is available on request.