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R. D. Laing Collection

R. D. Laing Collection

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Special Collections at the University of Glasgow holds the personal papers and library of the psychiatrist and author Ronald David Laing (1927-1989) whose views on the experience and treatment of psychosis made him a controversial figure and the subject of much media interest, particularly during the 1960s. This decade saw the publication of his major works, The Divided Self (1960), The Self and Others (1961), The Politics of Experience (1967) and the setting up of a community household, Kingsley Hall, by the Philadelphia Association, co-founded by Laing in 1965. His legacy to the development of psychiatry remains the subject of lively debate; his life and work continues to provide inspiration for books, plays and films.

The acquisition of the Laing Collection was supported by the NFA and FGUL and cataloguing was completed with funding from the Wellcome Trust. A detailed online catalogue lists his correspondence, case notes, diaries, draft writings and notebooks.

The Wellcome Trust also funded the conservation, transfer to digital format and audio transcription of film footage and audio soundtrack of films about Laing made by Peter Robinson, notably his 1972 USA tour. This material is also listed online and available in Special Collections.

Image Credit: University of Glasgow Library, Special Collections.