Silvan Tomkins wrote prolifically, doing nearly all of his writing by hand. Mostly he wrote on loose, legal size pieces of paper. Sometimes he wrote on manila folders that had been cut down the spine to create two ‘sheets.’ These papers were arranged by topic and stacked on bookshelves that filled an entire wall of his study. After his death in 1991, with son Mark’s permission, Lauren Abramson deposited 15 boxes of papers with the Archives of the History of Psychology at the University of Akron, where they now can be viewed by anyone who wishes to make the trek.
The topics are many, including: “Ideology,” “Value,” “National Character,” “ Anti-Semitism,” and “Biology of Violence.” Also included in the Archives are a series of correspondences between Tomkins and Paul Ekman, and Tomkins and Carrol Izard, as well as the original handwritten versions of Volumes III and IV of Affect, Imagery, Consciousness.
We hope these few samples of Tomkins’ writings will inspire more people to visit the archives:
All materials courtesy the Archives of the History of American Psychology,
“Many hundreds of Tomkins’ original writings are archived at the Archives of Psychology in Akron, OH. Click on the following link to the “Finding Aid” which lists all of Tomkins’ archived papers.
A visit to the Archives would be well-worth your time!”