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Archive for July, 2014

Contributed by Emily Gainer.

Werner Wolff (1904-1957) was a man of many interests – psychology, anthropology, graphology, and religion. Gordon W. Allport wrote to Wolff on March 24, 1952: “In fact, I think you are the broadest-gauged psychologist alive” (Box M4845, Folder 4). Wolff’s research and writing in these areas are documented in the Werner Wolff papers, which are now open for research at the CHP.

 

Werner Wolff portrait, 1944.  Box M4844, Folder 1.

Werner Wolff portrait, 1944. Box M4844, Folder 1.

Wolff was born in Germany and completed his doctorate under Max Wertheimer at the University of Berlin in 1930. He was a Lecturer of Psychology at the University of Barcelona and Madrid from 1933-1936, before coming to the United States in 1939. Wolff taught at Bard College in New York from 1942 until his death in 1957.

Wolff’s German passport. Wolff left Germany in 1933.  Box M4844, Folder 2.

Wolff’s German passport. Wolff left Germany in 1933. Box M4844, Folder 2.

 

Wolff may be most remembered as the originator of experimental depth psychology. His first book in English was The Expression of Personality: Experimental Depth Psychology (1943). Additionally, he studied expressions and graphic form, specifically that unconscious movements and handwriting are keys to an individual’s personality. He also translated the hieroglyphics of the ancient natives of Easter Island and the Mayans.

 

Wolff studied “forms of expression (expressions of personality)”, part of which was to take a person’s portrait, then split the portrait down the middle and reverse half the face.  The new portrait of the person’s “right” and “left” face was shown to the person, who was asked which face he preferred.  This type of study reached a general audience when it was covered in Life magazine on January 18, 1943.

Wolff studied “forms of expression (expressions of personality)”, part of which was to take a person’s portrait, then split the portrait down the middle and reverse half the face. The new portrait of the person’s “right” and “left” face was shown to the person, who was asked which face he preferred. This type of study reached a general audience when it was covered in Life magazine on January 18, 1943.

 

Wolff’s research and involvement in the psychology field brought him in contact with some notable individuals. For example, the papers contain correspondence with art and artists, such as Langston Hughes, Louise Bogan (Poet Laureate), and Archibald MacLeish (Pulitzer Prize winner).

 

A letter from Langston Hughes to Wolff, 1951. Box M4869, Folder 4.

A letter from Langston Hughes to Wolff, 1951. Box M4869, Folder 4.

 

Letter from Vice President Richard Nixon responding to Wolff’s proposal for an Inter-American Institute of Psychology, 1957. Box M4898, Folder 2.

Letter from Vice President Richard Nixon responding to Wolff’s proposal for an Inter-American Institute of Psychology, 1957. Box M4898, Folder 2.

 

Wolff placed this 1955 letter from Helen Keller in a folder titled, “Handwriting”.  One of Wolff’s main areas of study was how handwriting and signature relate to one’s personality. Box M4857, Folder 4.

Wolff placed this 1955 letter from Helen Keller in a folder titled, “Handwriting”. One of Wolff’s main areas of study was how handwriting and signature relate to one’s personality. Box M4857, Folder 4.

 

For more information about the contents of the Werner Wolff papers, search the finding aid. Please contact us to view the manuscript materials.

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-Contributed by Nicole Dunlap.

Incunabula. Vellum. Colophon. It may sound like I’m speaking another language, and although it is technically English, rare books kind of do have a language of their own. My duties here at the CHP are usually limited to processing and digitizing the apparatus collection. However, lately I decided to expand my horizons and dive into the world of old and rare books at the CHP. I had no idea of the vast amount of analysis and study that goes into this specialization, not to mention a whole set of vocabulary!

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This month’s Book of the Month blog is going to be a little different. Usually someone here at the CHP takes some time to highlight one of the books we have in our collection. I’m going to highlight THREE books. But I’m not going to discuss content. We are going to explore some of the physical aspects of these books. I want to give you, and myself, a little taste of the kinds of things rare book librarians and collectors concern themselves with. You may be surprised. I sure was!

The books we are going to talk about are three very different works. One is in French, one in Latin, and one in English, and the publishing dates range from 1634 to 1842. I’m going to take some time to investigate each book a little further to show you the kinds of things specialists in this field look for.

Book #1:

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Title: De Lacrymis Libri Tres (Roughly translates: Book Three of the Leading Physicians of Paris)

Language: Latin

Author: Pierre Petit (1617-1687)

Publisher: Parisiis, Apud Claudium Cramoisy, 1661

Physical Characteristics: 221 pages (but page 221 is wrongly numbered as 212)
-Possible vellum binding. Vellum is the skin of a calf used for book binding.

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-Includes index in the front of the book with a list of chapters.
-Includes index in the back of the book that includes a list of vocabulary terms.
-Stamp at the end of the book that translates to “Thank you Jesus.”

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-Illustration on the inside of the front cover.

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-Illustration on cover page. Text translates to “I will sacrifice fat or lean offer.”

Book #2:

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Title: Pantology; or, A Systematic Survey of Human Knowledge

Language: English

Author: Roswell Park

Publisher: Hogan & Thompson, Philadelphia, 1842

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Printer: C. Sherman & Co.

Physical Characteristics: 540 pages
-Unique gold design on binding, front cover. Possible illumination. A book is illuminated when it is decorated by hand, often with gold, silver and colored inks.

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-Includes bibliography and index.
-Stamp on inside of cover that says “H.H. Thompson” with date of June 30th, 1883. Often times, incunabula (books printed in the infancy of printing, typically before 1501) have what’s known as supralibros, which are heraldic motifs stamped on the outer surface of the binding in order to identify the owner.
-Includes many illustrations throughout text.

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Book #3:

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Title: Nouvelles Pensees Sur Les Causes de la Lumiere, du Debordement du Nil et de l’Amour d’Inclination (Roughly translates: New Thoughts on the Causes of Light, Overflow of the Nile, and the Love of Inclination). There is also a second text included titled: Nouvelles Coniectures sur la Digestion (Roughly translates: New Conjectures on Digestion).

Language: French

Author: Marin Cureau de la Chambre

Publisher: Pierre Rocolet, Paris, 1634

Physical Characteristics: 163 pages
-Rebound with colorful patterned binding.
-Marginal notes included throughout the text.

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-Illustration on cover page.
-Includes an extract from the License of the King

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-Detailed illustrations included throughout.

There are many other features that rare book collectors look for when examining these kinds of texts, such as:

-Colophon: a note at the end of the book that includes name of work, author, printer, place of printing and date

-Rubrication: when a heading or section of a book is written or printed in red letters

-Tooling: a designed impression made on the cover of a book, engraved by a metal tool

-Woodcut: when an illustration is made using wood rather than metal

And many more! Like I said, it’s like there is a whole other language to describe these books!

I learned a lot while examining and researching these old texts. I had no idea how much goes into collecting and preserving rare books. Every little detail is evaluated and deciphered. It’s amazing! Although I only got a tiny little taste of what it would be like to specialize in old and rare books, I enjoyed every last minute. It really is a special treat to touch something made in 1634. Ah, and the smell! (You book nerds out there know what I’m talking about). Take some time to explore something you know very little about; it may surprise you how rewarding it is. So, open up that book into the unknown, whatever that may be for you, turn the pages, and dive in!

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Stephanie_ M Harrower - Headshot-B wm

Molly Harrower, 1906 – 1999

 

-Contributed by Stephanie Cameron.

Stephanie Cameron has volunteered and worked at the Center for the History of Psychology for several years and is currently processing photographs from the Molly Harrower papers.

Molly Harrower (1906-1999) received her Ph.D. in 1934, working with E.G. Boring, Arnold Gesell, and Kurt Koffka. Over the course of her career, she focused on  electrical brain stimulation, the Rorschach test, psychodiagnostics, consulting, and psychotherapy. She also served as a Military Consultant for the United States Air Force and Army.

Medical Field Service School

Medical Field Service School

As one of the first women to practice psychology in a male dominated profession, Harrower experienced the effects of prejudice and inequality by men and women. Refusing to waver in her aspirations, she accomplished many of her goals and became the first woman to dine in the Montefiore Hospital doctor’s dining room.

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At the age of 61, Harrower joined the University of Florida as a faculty member and taught Clinical Psychology.

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Harrower, tubing with her students.

 

While Harrower dedicated her life to the field of psychology, research, practice, and writing, she had several hobbies. She was passionate about animals and their care, writing poetry, swimming, and golfing. For her 80th birthday, she took an opportunity to swim with manatees.

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Based on the interpretation of the rich Molly Harrower collection housed at the Center for the History of Psychology, Harrower would have encouraged us to work past our barriers, think outside of the box, and to LIVE!

As she said in 1946, “Life, you will lose a lover when I die!” (cited in Harrower, 1946, Time to squander, time to reap. New Bedford, MA: Reynolds)

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