About the Archives

The Sigmund Freud Archives was incorporated in 1951. Its original trustees were Kurt R. Eissler, Heinz Hartmann, Ernst Kris, Bertram Lewin, and Herman Nunberg, with Eissler serving as the organization's founding Executive Director. At its creation, the Archives adopted the following aims: to locate, collect, and preserve manuscripts, letters, publications, and other documents relating both to Sigmund Freud's biography and to his medical, psychoanalytic, and scientific activity; to establish an archive of Sigmund Freud's papers; and to assist and cooperate with persons and groups engaged in similar or related activities.

Sigmund Freud Archives acquired the bulk of Freud's personal correspondence and scientific papers from Anna Freud, and expanded the collections with biographical and professional artifacts received from numerous other donors. The Archives continues to locate documents and to welcome donations. It became one of the original trustees of the Sigmund Freud Museum in London.

Sigmund Freud Archives donates the documents and artifacts it acquires to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., where they become part of the Sigmund Freud Papers, Sigmund Freud Films, Sigmund Freud Photographs, and related psychoanalytic and historical collections. The Archives made its first donation in 1952; it made its most recent in 2018.

For further details on the history of the creation and development of the Sigmund Freud collections at the Library of Congress see: https://www.loc.gov/collections/sigmund-freud-papers/articles-and-essays/brief-history-of-the-collection/

The mission of the Sigmund Freud Archives has encompassed not only preserving documents and artifacts but also providing worldwide accessibility. Access has been greatly expanded through the digitization of the Sigmund Freud Papers, Films, and Photographs at the Library of Congress and through the project to digitize the audiotapes of the Eissler interviews. The work of digitization has included the treatment of document paper and films so as to avoid the otherwise inevitable deterioration of materials over time.