Sigmund Freud's (1856-1939) discoveries concerning the unconscious mind have had a major influence on Western thought and have permeated contemporary culture. His development of psychoanalysis contributed an essential method for the understanding, treatment and research of psychological disturbance.

The Sigmund Freud Archives, Inc. is an entirely independent organization, founded in 1951. It is dedicated to collecting, conserving, collating and making available for scholarly use all of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic and personal papers, his correspondence, photos, records, memorabilia, etc.

Sigmund Freud Archives (SFA) was founded and incorporated on December 15, 1950. The original trustees were K. Eissler, H. Hartmann, E. Kris, B. Lewin, and H. Nunberg. The SFA was founded as a non-profit corporation for the following reasons:

  • To discover, assemble, collect and preserve manuscripts, publications and other documents and information relating to the biography of the late Sigmund Freud and to his medical psychoanalytic and other scientific activities.

  • To establish archives of Sigmund Freud material.

  • To engage in research, writing, publishing and other activities relating to the work of Sigmund Freud; and to voluntarily aid and cooperate with other persons and groups who may be engaged in similar, or related, activities.

The bulk of the correspondence and scientific papers of Sigmund Freud were acquired by Sigmund Freud Archives from Anna Freud and numerous other donors The collection was given to the Library of Congress between 1952 and 2005.

The mission of SFA has always encompassed the acquisition and preservation of all documents and memorablia by Sigmund Freud, and closely related to Sigmund Freud. The preservation currently involves the necessary digitization of the entire Freud Collection at the Library of Congress, and the treatment of the document paper and films to avoid otherwise inevitable deterioration over time.

Allied to the Sigmund Freud Collection at the Library of Congress are papers and correspondence of other eminent psychoanalysts, including Anna Freud, Jacob Arlow, Heinz Hartmann, E. Jacobson, etc.

The SFA was one of the original trustees of the Freud Museum in London.

These documents are protected and preserved at the United States Library of Congress, in the Freud Collection, established with the collaboration and donation of Sigmund Freud Archives. The Sigmund Freud Archives has a policy of derestriction, except for ethical and legal constraints, and 98 percent of the collection is now accessible.

All documents are released unaltered save for the deletion of patients' names to preserve anonymity and confidentiality. All interested persons may apply to the Library of Congress for permission to see non-restricted documents on the basis of equal access.

Papers of Anna Freud and other eminent psychoanalysts are available in allied collection at the Library of Congress.

Comprised of some 80,000 items, the Archives welcomes direct donations of relevant documents as well as funds to be used for further acquisitions.