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Senate House Library

The paranormal, the occult and the magical

Discover the strange and unexpected: traditions of belief, practice and investigation in the occult, unexplained and magical.

Subject Librarian: Tansy Barton

Phone: 020 7862 8475

The Library’s collections in parapsychology and the paranormal began with the deposit of psychical investigator and author Harry Price’s collection of books and papers in the late 1930s. The Harry Price Library of Magical Literature has grown since then and includes over 13,0000 items on psychical research and parapsychology, the occult, spiritualism, the paranormal, the unexplained, phenomena, magic and witchcraft.

The Archives contain several collections on psychical research and spiritualism including the research and correspondence of Eric John Dingwall and manuscripts related to séances and spiritualist circles. The Modern Collections and e-book collections include recent and current scholarship on parapsychology, the paranormal, the occult, magic and witchcraft. New works, antiquarian books and archival material continue to be added to the collections.

Locating and accessing material

The Harry Price Library and archive collections are part of the Library’s Special Collections and can be requested for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room on the 4th floor.

Books on this subject can be found in many parts of the Library’s collections including Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Art and Literary Studies as well as in our e-book collections.

Books and journals can be searched for in the Library Catalogue and Archive collections in the Archive Catalogue.

A guide to the Library’s classification scheme by classmark and subject can be found on LiBGuides. These can be used to browse the collections on the shelves and via the catalogue.

Specialist collections and subjects

LibGuides eresources by subject

The Library subscribes to a range of full-text and bibliographical resources to support your research in the paranormal, occult and magical. These include collections of digitised journals and archives, e-books and specialist resources such as Victorian Popular Culture covering ‘Spiritualism, Sensation and Magic.’ View the A to Z Database list on our LibGuides(Opens in new window) platform.