The Archives and Manuscripts Collection holds material on psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis and the functioning of the mind. The treatment and care of people with mental and nervous illness is also covered. Most materials date from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Read more about featured collections
A Victorian lunatic asylum begins to reveal its secrets
Dr Richard Aspin, Head of Research at Wellcome Library, pursues the dramatic account of a Victorian barrister admitted to a lunatic asylum in 1875 in the casebooks of Ticehurst House Hospital. From the Wellcome Library blog.
Melanie Klein papers
Archivist Lesley Hall takes a look at the archive that covers the life and career of influential psychoanalyst and "controversial explorer of the infant psyche" Melanie Klein. Playwright Nicholas Wright used the archive to research his play Mrs Klein, which contrasts the private and public life of the psychoanalyst. From the Wellcome Library blog.
William Walters Sargant papers
Sargant was an outspoken supporter and practitioner of what he termed the "practical rather than philosophical approaches" to the treatment of mental illness, pioneering various physical treatments over the use of psychoanalytic techniques. Full catalogue description of the archive, including historical background.
Art, asylums and advocacy: histories of mental health
Read about a series of blog posts that reflect different aspects of mental health in our archive collections. Topics include the work of Mind, the mental health charity; art therapy; and post asylum convalescence.
Archives sources guides
Our archivists have compiled extensive lists of material relating to psychiatry, psychology and psychoanalysis.
These in-depth sources guides provide access to detailed information held in the Archives and Manuscripts catalogue. From here you may also request material from closed stores for viewing in the Library.
Psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis: institutions
Papers of researchers, theorists and clinicians, and some material representing patients’ experiences
Psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis: people
Records of institutions providing care, and also of professional societies and pressure groups
Several of these collections are being digitised and will be added to the asylum records collection. See the digitisation schedule for details of current availability of the originals.
How to order material
All of the items in the Library's Archives and Manuscripts Collection must be requested from the closed stores for viewing in the Rare Materials Room. Find out more about request and delivery services.
Contact an archivist
To contact an archivist, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +44 (0)20 7611 8899 during Library opening hours.