Edward F. Edinger Archives
Library of Congress, Washington D.C.
We are delighted to announce that in the fall of 2016 the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. acquired Edward F. Edinger's archival collection via a generous donation from his partner Dianne Cordic, Jungian Analyst and one of the founders of the CG Jung Study Center. Over the past 18 months, the Manuscript Division of the LOC has perused and catalogued each one of his papers and manuscripts. Also included in this archival collection are Dr. Edinger's personal papers dating from 1951 – 1998, his lectures; writings; books, journals, and other printed matter; audio and visual recordings; slides and photographs; and documents pertaining to his career as a Jungian analyst. Scholars can access the archival material via the Manuscript Division in the James Madison Building.
This body of work includes subjects such archetypes, the collective unconscious, Greek mythology and philosophy, individuation, the psyche, psychotherapy, symbols, and the transformation of the God-image. The work acknowledges Dr. Edinger's dedication to Jung's psychology as a religious response to the "death of God" in Western civilization.
An image expresses this understanding. It was painted shortly after Dr. Edinger's first dream in analysis with M. Esther Harding, M.D., who was analyzed by CG Jung.
The dream is as follows:
After some difficulty, I caught a golden-colored fish. It was jumping up from the floor; I managed to catch it with a particular method. And then my task was to extract the blood from that fish and heat it until it reached a permanently fluid state. So I was in a laboratory, and I had a beaker of this fish blood that was being heated to make it permanently fluid. And the danger was that the blood might clot during this process. As I was in the laboratory boiling the blood of this fish, an older man—he was a scientist, a man that I had worked with in a research capacity—came into the laboratory and told me what I was doing would never work. The blood was sure to clot, he said. But I didn't think so, and I was going to continue heating it. I felt quite sure that it was going to succeed.
Eventually, Dr. Edinger interpreted the dream to mean that his life work in the "laboratory" of Jungian psychology was to "extract" the meaning of the Christian myth, all myths, and help to provide a new, more modern "container" so that the "life blood" of our culture would continue to "flow." The materials in this archive demonstrate that he was successful.
Special thanks to Susan McGuire, Jungian analyst, in Studio City, California, and Director of Public Programs for the CG Jung Study Center, for her inspiration to approach the Library of Congress with this material, for thoughtfully organizing and compiling the archival materials and negotiating the acquisition.
For access to the Library of Congress Edinger collection, click here.