Joseph Berke Papers

  • Joseph Berke
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


This collection is currently uncatalogued. The following is a summary description that may change when the collection is catalogued.

Papers relating to Dr Joe Berke's career and professional activities as a psychotherapist and author. The archive includes manuscripts and typescripts for publications and lectures by Dr Berke; clinical and professional subject files and correspondence; papers relating to Arbours Centre and Housing Association; correspondence , papers and manuscripts relating to Mary Barnes; press cuttings and articles; audio visual material relating to Berke's work and the Arbours Centre, and files relating to Dr Berke's personal and professional memberships, collaborations and interests including Judaism and counter culture.



Physical description

72 boxes


Acquisition note

Donated in November 2017 (Acc 2384) and March 2018 (Acc 2447) by Dr Joseph Berke. A further 25 boxes were donated in March 2022 (Acc 2656) by Berke's family.

Biographical note

Dr Joseph Berke (1939-2021) studied at Columbia College of Columbia University and graduated from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He moved to London in 1965 where Berke worked with R. D. Laing when the Philadelphia Association was set up, and was resident at Kingsley Hall, where he helped Mary Barnes, a nurse who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Barnes later became a famous artist, writer and mystic. A stage play based on the book that Berke and Barnes wrote together (Mary Barnes: Two Accounts of a Journey Through Madness) was adapted as a stage play by David Edgar. Berke collaborated on a number of projects with R. D. Laing including the Dialectics of Liberation international conference in London,15-30 July 1967. Berke was the principal organizer of the conference. Dr Berke died in January 2021.


Related material

Further papers are held at the Planned Environment Therapy Archives and Special Collections: Joe Berke papers and Arbours Association Archive.

Copyright note

Transferred to Wellcome, except in the case of publications.

Terms of use

This collection is currently uncatalogued and cannot be ordered online. Requests to view uncatalogued material are considered on a case by case basis. Please contact for more details.

Ownership note

Papers created and collated by Dr Joseph Berke in the course of his professional career, transferred to Wellcome. Papers in Acc 2384 were sent offsite for remedial treatment before being transferred to Wellcome.

Permanent link


Accession number

  • 2384
  • 2447
  • 2656