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COLLECTION Identifier: H MS c283

Edward Bibring papers


The Edward Bibring Papers, 1929-1960 (inclusive), 1941-1958 (bulk), are the product of Bibring's personal and professional activities. Bibring’s correspondence, research and writings on psychoanalysis, and records documenting his work as both a practicing psychoanalyst and as a lecturer at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and Boston University, comprise the bulk of the collection. The records in this collection date primarily after Bibring’s emigration from London to the United States in 1941.


  • 1929-1960 (inclusive),
  • 1941-1958 (bulk).


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Access requires advance notice. Access to personal and patient information is restricted for 80 years from the date of creation. These restrictions appear in Series I, II, and III. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. Consult Public Services for further information.

The Edward Bibring Papers are stored offsite. Researchers are advised to contact Public Services for more information concerning retrieval of material.

Conditions Governing Use

The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all materials in the collection. Researchers are responsible for identifying and contacting any third-party copyright holders for permission to reproduce or publish. For more information on the Center's use, publication, and reproduction policies, view our Reproductions and Use Policy.


12.2 cubic feet ((10 record cartons, 4 document boxes, 1 legal document box, and 1 flat oversize box).)

This collection chronicles the personal and professional activities of Edward Bibring, husband of Grete Bibring, student of Sigmund Freud, and prominent psychoanalyst in both Europe and the United States. Bibring's research and writings relating to psychoanalysis, and records documenting his work as both a practicing psychoanalyst and as a lecturer, comprise the bulk of the collection. In addition, Bibring's correspondence with colleagues, covering topics such as patients and psychoanalytic theory and technique, is also represented. The bulk of the records in this collection date primarily after Bibring's immigration to the United States in 1941 and include his professional work and teaching at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Series I and III contain records relating to Bibring's interest in post-Second World War Europe, including aid organizations and the status of relatives oversees.

The Edward Bibring Papers consist of three series: I. Correspondence, II. Professional Activities, III. Personal Records and Correspondence. Oversized items are housed in boxes 14 and 15.

Biographical Note

Edward Bibring, 1894-1959, was a psychoanalyst, a close associate and advocate of Sigmund Freud, and a researcher and lecturer known for his contributions to psychoanalytic theory, history, and practice.

Bibring was born in Stanislau, Galicia to Jewish parents on April 20, 1894. Prior to the outbreak of the First World War, he studied history and philosophy at the University of Czernowitz, studies reflected later in life by his interest in art, archaeology, literature, and the social sciences. During the war, Bibring fought on the eastern front, where he was made a prisoner of war by the Russians. The Russian Revolution provided an opportunity for Bibring to escape imprisonment and he was able to return to Austria, where he was allowed to continue his studies. Bibring enrolled at the University of Vienna Medical School, where he earned his M.D. in 1922. It was during this period that he met his future wife and life-long collaborator, Grete (Lehner) Bibring. They were married in 1921 and the marriage produced two sons, George and Thomas.

In 1922 Bibring also began his training at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, of which he became a member in 1927. From 1928 to 1938 he served as the Director of the Psychiatric Department of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Clinic. Bibring was appointed co-editor-in-chief of the Internationale Zeitschrift fur Psychoanalyse in 1935, where he worked closely with Freud, its founder and sponsor. Following the Anschluss in 1938, Bibring and other psychoanalysts in Vienna left Austria for Great Britain and the United States.

The Bibrings immigrated to London in 1938. Edward joined the training staff at the London Psychoanalytic Institute and Clinic and was named to its Board of Directors. From London he continued to work on the Internationale Zeitschrift fur Psychoanalyse, as well as a revised German edition of Freud’s collected works. In 1941 the Bibrings came to Boston, Mass., where Edward became a training analyst and lecturer at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, commencing a relationship with the organization that would last the remainder of his life. Bibring served as President of the Society from 1947 to 1949 and Chairman of the Education Committee in 1944 and 1949. In addition to the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, Bibring also lectured extensively at the Boston University School of Social Work. In addition to lecturing, Bibring researched and wrote about topics in psychoanalysis. Some of his publications include, “On the Theory of Therapeutic Results” (1936), “Development and Problems of the Theory of Instincts” (1941), “The Mechanism of Depression” (1952), and “Psychoanalysis and the Dynamic Psychotherapies” (1953). Bibring maintained memberships in the International Psychoanalytic Association and the American Psychoanalytic Association, serving as the Chairman of the Committee on Institutes. At the time of his death in 1959, after a long illness, Bibring was also a research consultant at Beth Israel Hospital.

Series and Subseries in the Collection

  1. Series I. Correspondence, 1930, 1933, 1935-1936, 1938-1958, undated
  2. ___ A. Alphabetical Correspondence, 1930, 1933, 1935-1936, 1938-1948, undated. Bulk 1941-1947
  3. ___ B. Alphabetical Correspondence, 1941-1958, undated. Bulk 1952-1958
  4. ___ C. Alphabetical Correspondence, 1949-1950, 1953, 1956-1958. Bulk 1957-1958
  5. ___ D. Alphabetical Correspondence, 1938-1939, 1941-1958
  6. Series II. Professional Activities Records, 1929, 1937-1958, undated
  7. ___ A. Writings and Research Records, 1929, 1937-1958, undated
  8. ___ B. Lectures, 1943-1955, undated
  9. ___C. Professional Organizations Records, 1944-1958, undated
  10. ______ 1. American Psychoanalytic Association Records, 1944-1945, 1948-1958
  11. ______ 2. Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute Records, 1946-1958, undated
  12. ______ 3. International Psychoanalytic Association Records, 1948-1952, 1956-1957
  13. ___ D. Conference Records, 1942-1944, 1947-1950, 1954, 1957-1958, undated
  14. ___ E. Patient Records, 1941-1942, 1944-1949, 1952-1957, undated
  15. ___ F. Collected Professional Clippings and Printed Materials, 1941-1942, 1944, 1946-1950, 1954-1958
  16. Series III. Personal Records and Correspondence, 1938, 1942, 1944-1945, 1947-1949, 1951-1960, undated
  17. ___ A. Personal Records, 1942, 1944-1945, 1948-1949, 1951-1959, undated
  18. ___ B. Family Correspondence, 1938, 1947-1949, 1952-1960

Related Collections in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Center for the History of Medicine.

Consult the Public Services Librarian for further information.

Related Records at Other Institutions

  1. Edward Bibring Papers can be found at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, Boston, Mass.
  2. Grete Bibring Papers can be found at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, Boston, Mass.
  3. Bibring Photograph Collection can be found at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, Boston, Mass.
  4. Papers of Sigmund Freud, ca. 6th century B.C.-1998 (bulk 1871-1939), can be found at the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, Washington, D.C.

Processing Information

Processed by Bryan Sutherland, September 2007.

Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed the records, took detailed notes, and created a finding aid to improve access to the collection. This included both the re-containering and re-ordering of materials within the collection. Where required, processing staff photocopied documents on acid-free paper to enhance preservation. Processing staff discarded duplicate records and records that did not meet the collection policy of the Center for the History of Medicine.

The papers of Edward Bibring were originally situated within the papers of his wife, Grete Bibring. The records of the Edward Bibring collection, therefore, have been separated from various sections of the Grete Bibring papers. For purposes of arrangement, the archivist made several decisions regarding this collection based on this set of circumstances. Groups of correspondence that were distinct and separate have been kept separate, as represented in Series I, Subseries A, B, and C. The remainder of the collection, starting with Series I, Subseries D, has been re-arranged into corresponding series and subseries. As materials from different series and subseries were found mixed together throughout the collection as it was received, original order on the collection level has been disregarded; yet, as the series and subseries groupings appear to contain records relating to similar topics, original order has been maintained for the re-arranged records at the series and subseries level. Notes to this effect have been placed in the description of the arrangement of each series.

Bibring, Edward, 1894-1959. Papers, 1929-1960 (inclusive), 1941-1958 (bulk): Finding Aid.
Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine) Repository

The Center for the History of Medicine in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine is one of the world's leading resources for the study of the history of health and medicine. Our mission is to enable the history of medicine and public health to inform healthcare, the health sciences, and the societies in which they are embedded.

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