The University of West Georgia was home to one of the earliest humanistic psychology academic programs, begun in 1968 by students and colleagues of Abraham Maslow. Faculty members at UWG, including the late Myron “Mike” Arons, were instrumental in forming Division 32 of the American Psychological Association, the Division of Humanistic Psychology. The Division journal, "The Humanistic Psychologist," was edited and published at UWG for a number of years.
In 1999, Division 32 members voted to establish an archives at then-State University of West Georgia. After the death of division co-founder Carmi Harari (1920-2003), UWG and the University of California-Santa Barbara negotiated a split of his papers with materials pertaining to the Association of Humanistic Psychology going to UC-SB where an archives was well established for that organization, and the Division 32 materials coming to UWG.
Our collections pertaining to this area of psychology study include the papers of Harari who is considered the chief founder of Division 32 of the American Psychological Association in 1971. He served as its first president for two years. In addition, we own the papers of Sidney Marshall Jourard (1926-1974), a founding fellow and the first elected president (1963-1964) of the American Association for Humanistic Psychology. He was a fellow of the American Psychological Association and served on the editorial boards of several periodicals, including the Journal of Humanistic Psychology and Psychotherapy.
Related collections at Ingram Library include the papers of psychotherapist and University of Georgia professor Edith Weisskopf-Joelson (1910-1983), a Jewish refugee from Austria who also taught at Purdue and Duke. We also own the collection of psychologist Dr. William G. Roll (1926-2012) who was project director of the Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University, and later was associated with the Psychical Research Foundation in Durham, North Carolina, from 1961 until its relocation to UWG in 1985. In association with the Psychical Research Foundation, the Special Collections acquired a 1,600-volume library of 19th and 20th century books covering subjects such as life after death, extra sensory perception, out-of-body experiences, apparitions and altered states of consciousness. The David Wayne Hooks collection is a major research collection for serious students exploring the frontiers of human experience.
(Above: Dr. Carmi Harari (left) and Dr. Mike Arons at Psychical Research Foundation Founders Day in 1981. William G. Roll Collection, MS-0014.)