Austen Fox Riggs Library
A part of the Erikson Institute for Education and Research of the Austen Riggs Center, the Austen Fox Riggs Library is a useful resource for both Riggs staff members and also other mental health professionals. It houses a collection of over 18,000 items, from psychoanalytic journals to recent psychological texts and special collections with historic significance.
Some of the special collections include:
- David Rapaport Memorial Library: This collection of over 2,600 books was donated by Mrs. Elvira Rapaport and contains primary works in the fields of psychoanalysis, philosophy, literature, drama and poetry. The collection is significant also in the way many books are inscribed to Rapaport by friends, including Otto Fenichel, Karl Menninger, Robert Knight and Erik Erikson.
- Chestnut Lodge Library: In 2014, the Austen Fox Riggs Library was gifted the contents of the former Chestnut Lodge Library, which contains 1,400 items. Chestnut Lodge was a psychiatric hospital providing long-term psychoanalytically oriented treatment in Maryland that closed its doors in 2001.
- Martin Cooperman, MD, Collection: This small collection of 70 texts is comprised of works primarily on psychoanalytic technique and social psychology.
- Otto Allen Will, MD, Collection: This collection of 440 texts contains works primarily on schizophrenia, existentialist psychology and suicide.
The library’s unique collection is available for use by Riggs staff and mental health professionals (by appointment only) for research use.
Patients at the Austen Riggs Center, as part of the Riggs Work Program, may apply to work alongside Mr. Farr and assist in the acquisition, inventory, processing and organization of materials for the library. Riggs staff members are granted access to an online, searchable cataloging system and an online archive of historical Riggs documents, scrapbooks and artifacts.