Posts Tagged ‘Latin America’

-Contributed by Rodrigo Miranda.

On October 8th Latin-American countries celebrate Latin-American psychologist day! As a way to celebrate this date, we initiated a project at the Center for the History of Psychology (CHP). Our major goal is to find international content in the CHP collections.

The first stage of this project was searching for documents related to the 22 Iberoamerican countries in the CHP’s collections. We used the names of these countries as keywords. We looked at all digital Findings Aids and Inventories and in this initial step we found almost 300 entries!!

There are countries with more entries than others. For instance, Mexico was the country with the highest number of entries, 84. Interestingly, Brazil was next one with 43. Unfortunately, we did not find entries for all Iberoamerican countries.

Table 1.

Countries with the highest number of entries in the initial search.











Puerto Rico


We found a variety of material from the 1920s and 1930s through the 2000s. For example, in Henry Lidgren papers (USA), we found a report sent to UNESCO about Social States, Intelligence and Educational Achievement in the 1960s. This text was written in co-authorship with Hilda de Almeida Guedes (Brazil), researcher on psychology and education. Another example was found in the Gardner and Lois B. Murphy papers (USA) collection. This source shows the discussions between Gardner Murphy and Wayne Holtzamn (USA) on data they collected in cross-cultural research on personality development, including Mexico.

There is material from different scientific societies and conferences, such as meetings of the Inter-American Society of Psychology. Another example is the frequent mention of Iberoamerican psychologists in the International Council of Women Psychologists (ICWP). Analyzing such material would help us see the formation of scientific communities, the issues that circulated in these groups, the dialogues between psychologists, etc. More specifically, these materials provide a view of the participation of Iberoamerican countries in a larger psychological community.

This initial analysis shows us future research directions. We can see how psychologists organized themselves informally and how they established international networks. There are many letters between psychologists talking about Iberoamerican countries or data about those places. We also can find budgets for research, the circulation of material between psychologists and countries, and so on. These sources can help us to tell stories of psychology in circulation around the world. Also they can help us to see the participation of psychologists in the Iberoamerican organization and circulation of psychology. In addition, they allow us to see how other countries have built images about the Iberoamerican countries.

Fig4 Fig1 Fig2 Fig3

This is a work-in-progress project, i.e., we continue to look for more material on the history of Iberamerican psychology at the CHP. One next step could be use as keywords the nationality and not the name of the countries. For example, use “Peruvian” rather then “Peru” in searching for entries related to this country. We also can search for names of state capitals or major cities in each country. Our work also could also examine the most commonly found type of source, and especially to see in what context these documents appear.

Are you interested on these materials? CHP invites you to take a tour of its online collection here. Or come schedule an in-person visit!

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