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Sigmund Freud Rare Book Collection: A Resource Guide

This guide provides an overview of a collection of early editions of Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud's works and books from his personal library available for research in the Library of Congress Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

Introduction

Oil portrait painting of Sigmund Freud, 1936
Wilhelm Victor Krausz. Oil portrait of Sigmund Freud. ca. 1936. Sigmund Freud Papers. Library of Congress Manuscript Division.

This guide is meant to acquaint researchers with early and important editions by and about Sigmund Freud in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress. The types of items covered here include books, pamphlets, offprints, and bibliographies.

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was an Austrian neurologist and the creator of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating mental illness and neurosis through dialogue between the patient and a psychoanalyst. His writings and theories had enormous influence not only in medicine, but in Western culture and how even average lay people view themselves and the world around them. Freud positioned himself as a paragon in the field, and his followers followed his every writing and pronouncement with great interest, often vying with each other to gain his favor or later to carry on as leaders in the movement he created after his death. The Sigmund Freud Collection, which arose from the donation of his papers to the Library of Congress, very much reflects a passion for all things Freud assembled more than 30 years after his death and serves as a monument to his important position.

These resources can be requested in the Rare Book Reading Room (LJ-239) in the Thomas Jefferson Building.

About the Rare Book & Special Collections Reading Room

The unique materials of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, now totaling over 1 million items, include books, broadsides, pamphlets, theater playbills, prints, posters, photographs, and medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. At the center is Thomas Jefferson's book collection, which was sold to Congress in 1815. The Rare Book & Special Collections Reading Room is modeled after Philadelphia's Independence Hall. This room is home to the divisional catalogs, reference collection, and reference staff. Collections are stored in temperature and humidity controlled vaults.