Parapsychology papers

Part of:
Stephen Abrams (1938-2012): archive
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


Comprises correspondence, papers and published material related to Abrams' interest in parapsychology, including his studies at the University of Chicago and University of Oxford, his extrasensory perception research, his writings on a range of topics and his correspondence with and about Carl Jung and his concept of synchronicity.



Physical description

31 boxes, 6 audio reels


The papers have been arranged by the cataloguer into the following series:

PP/SAB/A/1: University of Chicago papers

PP/SAB/A/2: Postgraduate studies administrative papers

PP/SAB/A/3: Postgraduate academic research

PP/SAB/A/4: Parapsychology work files

PP/SAB/A/5: Parapsychology correspondence files

PP/SAB/A/6: Carl Jung papers

PP/SAB/A/7: Essays and writings for publication

PP/SAB/A/8: Parapsychology societies

PP/SAB/A/9: Collated parapsychology reading

Biographical note

After studying at Shimer College, Chicago and the University of Chicago, Abrams moved to England in 1960 to to work on an extrasensory perception (ESP) doctoral thesis at the University of Oxford. He headed the University's parapsychology laboratory at the Department of Biometry. In the summer of 1961 he visited Duke University to participate in LSD experiments with J.B. Rhine and in 1962 he visited the Soviet Union to discuss ESP research with Russian parapsychologist Leonid Vasiliev.

The University of Oxford closed down the Parapsychology Laboratory in 1964 and Abrams temporarily moved to the University of Cambridge to take up the Perrett-Warrick Studentship of Trinity College. He returned to Oxford in 1965 to write up his D.Phil thesis and he sat his viva but was never awarded a PhD.

Whilst at the University of Chicago, Abrams had become interested in Carl Jung's concept of synchronicity. He believed parapsychology could be used to test the concept and in 1957 he began a correspondence with Jung that lasted until Jung's death in 1961. His interest in Jung and his work lasted throughout Abrams' life and in 1978 presented three lectures on BBC Radio 3 under the title "Misunderstanding Jung".

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