The heritage of parapsychology and Spiritualism

The Netherlands has a long-standing tradition in parapsychology as a field of serious academic studies. In fact, one can argue that the Amsterdam-based Psycho-Physical Laboratory of Mr. Floris Jansen, which existed from April 1906 until July 1908, was the first ever laboratory dedicated to experimental parapsychology. From the internationally-renowned Heymans experiments with the subject Van Dam at the University of Groningen in 1920 onwards to 2008, parapsychology was actively studied inside the walls of a Dutch university. Unfortunately little to nothing of this long standing history has been preserved. Therefore, the HJBF started a project in 2007 to collect archival materials, books and journals concerning the history of parapsychology and the Spiritualistic movement in the Netherlands.

The goal of this project is to complete, as good as possible, collections of books, specialized journals, and magazines representing the history of Dutch parapsychology as a scientific activity and the Dutch Spiritualist movement. In the past decade, thousands of – often very rare – books, journals, and magazines on the topic have been handed over by HJBF to the National Library of the Netherlands and several university libraries, where they are now preserved and publicly available.

As for 20th-century archival materials on parapsychology and  the Spiritualist movement in the Netherlands, the HJBF actively collects, completes, and indexes these materials. After indexing these collections are transferred to established archival repositories in the Netherlands. Having these rare and scientifically important collections secured in professional archival institutions ensures that future researchers will have unlimited access to these rare materials.

A list of archives and libraries that have a collection of books, journals, magazines or archival material on parapsychology, psychic healing or the Spiritualistic movement is available here.