International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult Periodicals


IAPSOP was formed in late 2009, when it became apparent to IAPSOP's founders that (a) the repository libraries traditionally expected to retain Spiritualist and occult periodicals were in many cases removing these from circulation, or from their collections entirely; (b) that independent students and researchers were in some cases duplicating effort and expense to have materials preserved digitally, largely for their private use; and (c) that digital libraries like Google Books were completely indifferent to the special curatorial problems of periodical literature generally, and occult literature in particular.

The deterioration of the primary historical source material in occult studies continues apace. For this field of study, this material consists, in a large part, in newspapers and periodicals, which are especially subject to decay and which need to be preserved in digital form. These periodicals, for the most part, were small-run, and, because of their subject matter, and were not sought out by librarians or archivists, even when they were current. Consequently, researchers in the field of occult studies now often find that, in order to pursue their inquiries, they must travel to far-flung libraries and rare book archives in order to piece together and read through incomplete periodical runs, at significant cost. The real impact of this is that modern historical research on the occult is all too often superficial and overly reliant on secondary sources.

Bringing as much primary source material as possible together into a single, digitally-searchable archive should therefore improve the quality of historical understanding of the subject.

The IAPSOP Archives are maintained by an informal collective of students, academics and researchers with an interest in the periodical literature of Spiritualism and the occult, for the purposes of preserving the substantial body of Spiritualist and occult periodical literature produced between the 1840s and the start of the Second World War. These materials are provided in curated, digital form, already indexed, suitable for online reading, scholarly use and citation.

As with all such open source archival projects, IAPSOP provides these materials for their historical value; no endorsement of any position is implied by the provision of particular materials in the Archive, and IAPSOP makes no warrantees as to the fitness of these materials for any particular purpose other that historical research.

IAPSOP receives no funds from any organization, and relies exclusively on the contribution of material, labor and money from its users.

We donate cameras, scanners, software and skilled labor to digitization projects from time to time. If you believe you have a valuable collection of periodical material that would benefit scholars, researchers and seekers if digitized and made publicly-available, and need assistance with equipment or advice, please get in touch.

If you have questions about IAPSOP, please contact the IAPSOP board of directors.

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