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Guide to the Gertrude Raffel Schmeidler Papers, 1943-1983

Collection Overview

The Gertrude R. Schmeidler Papers span the period 1943-1983. The bulk of the collection consists chiefly of Research Files but also includes Correspondence and Writings. The research data located in the Research Files consists primarily of information which Schmeidler gathered through her work with students and colleagues as an experimental psychologist and parapsychologist. This data formed the basis of her published journal articles and books about how various factors and traits affect a person's extrasensory perception (ESP) abilities. There are very few personal papers located in the collection.

The value of the collection may be viewed from several perspectives. One is able to see how researchers collaborate with each other; to evaluate the value of networking and mentoring; to study the role of women in parapsychology; and to become aware of groups and institutes interested in the study of ESP, such as the American Society for Psychical Research, the Duke University Parapsychology Laboratory, and the Parapsychology Foundation, Inc.

Reflected in much of the research is the work for which Schmeidler is most notable, the development of the metaphor of the sheep and goats. She determined through several cycles of ESP card-guessing experiments that "sheep" (persons who believed that success was possible in ESP tasks) scored higher than "goats" (those who rejected the possibility of success). Later documentation in the sheep/goat research includes data and correspondence by Murray Melnick and Christopher Scott pertaining to their study of earlier tabulations of Schmeidler's sheep/goat research.

The following correspondents, researchers, and subjects are generally represented throughout the Correspondence and Research Files Series. Included are: Gardner Murphy, Schmeidler's mentor and the person who first interested her in psychical research; Ingo Swann, who studied PK (psychokinesis) effects on temperature; Caroline Chapman, a psychic with whom Schmeidler conducted proxy settings; Eileen Garrett, a psychic who was president of the Parapsychology Foundation Inc., and with whom Schmeidler conducted proxy settings; Steve Heyman, who studied the effect of time and impatience on ESP abilities; Betty Humphrey, who worked in the Duke Parapsychology Laboratory in the late 1940s and early 1950s and used drawings as her ESP targets; Larry Lewis, who attempted to find out if ESP hones into a target like sonar; and Thelma Moss, who studied a house haunting. Schmeidler collaborated with Swann, Heyman, Lewis, and Moss on the research topics listed above and co-authored journal articles which were published as a result of their research. Schmeidler also published an article about her proxy settings with Chapman. The research data relating to the Garrett settings was never published. There is scattered correspondence between Schmeidler and J. B. and Louisa Rhine, but not a substantial amount. There are several letters between J. G. Pratt, who was working at the Duke University Parapsychology Laboratory, and Schmeidler pertaining to the Chapman proxy settings in the mid 1950s. There are numerous letters between Schmeidler and Humphrey, some describing the working environment at the Duke University Parapsychology Laboratory; others relate to Humphrey's research. Other topics are represented primarily in the Research Files Series, including data about how various attitudes, conditions, traits, and surroundings affect ESP abilities. Among them are frustration, utilizing Saul Rosenzweig's Picture Frustration Study; Rorschachs and ESP scores of patients suffering from cerebral concussions; background stimuli; Rorschachs and ESP scores in maternity patients; ESP and memory; ESP scores following psychotherapy; and mood and attitude as predictors of ESP performance; telepathic rapport based on personality traits; and others such as long distance experiments in telepathy, precognition, poltergeists, and clairvoyant medical diagnosis based on the Silva Mind Control method.

The data for experiments, both successful as well as unsuccessful, are in the collection. The results of some were never reported in the literature. Because of the amount of data in the collection, it is possible that some of the experiments could be replicated and/or studied for new results.

The Writings Series primarily consists of information pertaining to the work she co-authored with Robert A. McConnell, ESP and Personality Patterns.

Folders throughout the collection contain Schmeidler's typed notes which describe the data, list the name of the researcher with whom she collaborated, and in some cases the article or articles which resulted from the research. Others indicate the nature and subject of the correspondence and include information pertaining to her various writings.

Through Schmeidler's correspondence with colleagues world-wide and her collaboration with fellow scientists, one is able to gain an understanding of the vast range of experiments and topics studied in the parapsychological field. One is also able to study the difference in research styles between Americans and Europeans. Since the research files span a period of forty years, the collection also reflects the various methods, materials, and equipment used for research in the field.

Related collections in the Department include the Parapsychology Laboratory Records and the Louisa Rhine Papers.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Gertrude Raffel Schmeidler papers 1943-1983
Creator
Schmeidler, Gertrude Raffel
Extent
30.8 linear feet, circa 24,000 items
Repository
Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library Durham, North Carolina 27708-0185
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Language
English.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

Because of the nature of some of the research data contained in the Research Files: Subject Subseries, release of certain information contained in it may give rise to liability (e.g. for defamation or invasion of privacy). Use of names of living individuals mentioned in the data is prohibited without their consent. Duke University assumes no responsiblity for infringement of literary property rights and copyrights, or for liability to any person for defamation or invasion of privacy.

Contents of the Collection

1943-1968
(6 folders)
Box 1
1969-1970
(6 folders)
Box 2
1971-1972
(6 folders)
Box 3
1973-1974
(6 folders)
Box 4
1974, July-1983, undated
Box 5
Garrett, Eileen, 1953-1955, undated
Box 5
Murphy, Gardner, 1951-1974, undated
(2 folders)
Box 5
Ozanne, Charles E., 1953-1956
Box 5
ESP and Personality Patterns
Box 6
ESP and Personality Patterns: Response to Criticism
Box 6
Personal Values and ESP Scores
Box 6
1953-1972, undated
(2 folders)
Box 6
1944-1945
(5 folders)
Box 7
1945-1946, Mar.,Murphy
(3 folders)
Box 8
1946, Mar., schmeidler-Hunter,
Box 9
1946, Summer
(4 folders)
Box 9
1946, Summer-Fall
(5 folders)
Box 10
1946-1951 and undated
Box 10
1946-1951
(3 folders)
Box 11
1947, Spring
(4 folders)
Box 11
1947, Spring-Fall
(7 folders)
Box 12
1947, Fall
(3 folders)
Box 13
1947-1950, undated
(3 folders)
Box 13
1948-1949, Spring
(5 folders)
Box 14
1949, Spring/Fall-1950, Spring
(7 folders)
Box 15
1950, Spring-Fall
(4 folders)
Box 16
1950, Feb.,Inspection Records: Sheep and Goats
(2 folders)
Box 17
1951, Spring
(2 folders)
Box 17
1951, Feb.,Inspection Records: Sheep and Goats
(2 folders)
Box 17
1951-1956
Box 17
1951-1956
(4 folders)
Box 18
1955-1956, Fall
(4 folders)
Box 19
1956, Fall-1958, Spring
(5 folders)
Box 20
1958, Spring/Fall-1960
(5 folders)
Box 21
1959-1961, Fall
(5 folders)
Box 22
1961-1966, Fall
(6 folders)
Box 23
Various dates, and undated
(3 folders)
Box 24
Chase and Wladkowsky, undated
Box 24
Erkstein, undated
Box 24
Inspection Records, 1943, 1946, undated
Box 24
Miscellaneous data, undated
Box 24
Miscellaneous:
Box 25
Preselected on Basis of ESP Scores, 1945-1947, 1970
(2 folders)
Box 25
TAT analysis, undated
Box 25
ESP Record Sheets: 1941, Aug.-1946, Mar.
(7 folders)
Box 25
ESP Record Sheets: 1946, Apr.-1946, July
(7 folders)
Box 26
ESP Record Sheets: 1946, July-1947, Spring
(8 folders)
Box 27
ESP Record Sheets: 1947, Sept.-1948, Dec.
(6 folders)
Box 28
ESP Record Sheets: 1949, Apr.-1951, Apr.
(9 folders)
Box 29
1951, May
Box 30
Various dates and undated
(2 folders)
Box 30
Sheep/Goats, undated
(2 folders)
Box 30
undated
(3 folders)
Box 30
ESP Record Sheets: undated
(6 folders)
Box 31
ESP Record Talley Sheets: 1948-1949, undated
(4 folders)
Box 32
1946, Nov.
Box 33
1954-1956, Fall
(5 folders)
Box 33
ESP Record Sheets and Related Materials, 1959-1960, undated
(6 folders)
Box 34
ESP Record Sheets and Related Materials, undated
(5 folders)
Box 35
Rorschach Tests: 1948, Fall-1949, Spring
(5 folders)
Box 36
1949, Spring
Box 37
Various dates
Box 37
1946, Sept.(Hunter)
Box 37
1947, Feb.-1948(Sheep/Goats)
(5 folders)
Box 37
Rorschach Tests: ESP Scores, Pairs: 1946-1955
(6 folders)
Box 38
1946, July-1949, Fall
(8 folders)
Box 39
Various dates and undated
(2 folders)
Box 39
Student Responses: undated
(8 folders)
Box 40
Miscellaneous
Box 41
Extra Scores and extra subjects, undated.
(2 folders)
Box 41
Gimore-Melnick Data
Box 41
Pictures, undated
Box 41
Research data from ESP work on Sheep/Goats--Cohen, 1959
Box 41
Schmeidler, City College--Eckstein's Class on Abnormal, Apr. 5, 1946
Box 41
Sheep/Goat Classification Response to Christopher Scott
(2 folders)
Box 41
Agent: ESP Data, undated
Box 42
Agent: Percipient Experiment Instructions
Box 42
Agent: Percipient Experiment
Box 42
Agent: Percipient Experiment:
Box 42
Agent: Attempts at objective Rorschach classification
Box 42
Agent: ESP Data, 1959-1960
(2 folders)
Box 42
Allen - TAT
Box 42
American Society for Psychical Research, 1946
Box 42
American Society for Psychical Research: Pictures
Box 42
American Society for Psychical Research: Pictures
(2 folders)
Box 43
Background stimuli and ESP responses, 1983
(3 folders)
Box 43
Bainow - TAT, undated
Box 44
Barry, H., MacKinnon, P. W., Murray, H.A.: Experimenter Files
Box 44
Bickman, Leonard: Honors Research
Box 44
Blaustein Targets, 1944
Box 44
Booklets of Values, 1952
(3 folders)
Box 44
Bridge to ESP target: tests
Box 45
Brier, Robert and Barry Savits: Silva Mind Control, three Experiments in Clairvoyant Diagnosis
(4 folders)
Box 45
Bullen, undated
Box 45
Card guessing experiment (letters to people about) 1963
Box 45
Census of some unusual experiences
Box 45
Chapman, Caroline (Proxy Sessions)
(5 folders)
Box 46
Chapman, Caroline (Proxy Sessions)
Box 47
Chase, Stanley: Data
Box 47
Chi Square Test
Box 47
Children and reincarnation
Box 47
Clairvoyant, Kykeshoorn, M.B.
Box 47
Clock cards, 1982
(3 folders)
Box 47
Cognition class: City College of the City University of New York
Box 48
Concussion Patients and Hospitalized controls data, Rorschachs and ESP scores
Box 48
Crystal Images: data
Box 48
1946, July 31
(2 folders)
Box 48
Clairvoyance
(2 folders)
Box 48
Clairvoyance
Box 49
Moonfaces
(2 folders)
Box 49
Moonfaces and interest tests
Box 49
Moonfaces--Duke--1946 and City College of the City University of New York, 1947 United States of America
Box 49
Ehrenwald, Jan: PSI: Questionnaire
Box 49
Ehrlich, Data
Box 49
Eilbert, L.'s MA thesis: published with Schmeidler, 1950
(2 folders)
Box 49
Card type experiment
Box 50
Contest
Box 50
Data, 1951, 1955 and undated
(4 folders)
Box 50
Scores in maternity patients
Box 50
Memory test
(2 folders)
Box 50
ESP: Memory test
(2 folders)
Box 51
ESP Records: Confidence check and scored, 1958
(3 folders)
Box 51
Feedback in ESP
(2 folders)
Box 51
Feedback in ESP
(4 folders)
Box 52
Feedback paper test data
(2 folders)
Box 52
Feedback paper test data
(2 folders)
Box 53
Feedback with ESP symbols: A Failure to Replicate
Box 53
Free Association
(2 folders)
Box 53
Friedneberg, William and P. Males: Data
Box 54
Friedman, Ronald M. and E. D. Dean: Mood and ESP Correlation
Box 54
Garrett, Eileen (Proxy Sessions)
(4 folders)
Box 54
Garrett, Eileen (Proxy Sessions)
Box 55
Goodrich, Joyce: Psychic Healing
Box 55
Grady tests/interpretation
Box 55
Group experiments: Extra results, undated
Box 55
Hand Test Protocols, 1974
Box 55
Haunted House: Data, 1966
Box 55
Data for Paper, 1976
Box 55
Data for Time Metaphors and ESP, 1965
Box 55
Heyman, S.: Data for Time Metaphors and ESP, 1965
(5 folders)
Box 56
Heyman, S.: Data for Time Metaphors and ESP, 1965
(3 folders)
Box 57
Clock Card Data
(2 folders)
Box 57
Hudesman, J.: Clock Card Data
(5 folders)
Box 58
Hudesman, J.: Clock Card Data
Box 59
Hudesman, J. and G. Schmeidler: ESP scores after psychotherapy sessions
Box 59
Data
Box 59
Scoring of 4-picture clairvoyance tests, 1947, Dec.
Box 59
Introversion and ESP
Box 59
Jensen, Donald: Psychical abilities, 1974
Box 59
Kopler: TAT and ESP Data, 1945
Box 60
Korn: Data
Box 60
Kornfeld: TAT
Box 60
Kreiman records, 1978
Box 60
LeShan, L.: Boby Image related to ESP scores
Box 60
Data
Box 60
Data for EEG-ESP research paper
(2 folders)
Box 60
Lewis, Larry: Feedback in ESP, Part II
Box 61
Lowy, Grace: Data
Box 61
Lutzky: Data on children
Box 61
Memory tests: Word lists
Box 61
Metaphor Research, 1962-1963
(2 folders)
Box 61
Mind-reading interpretations
Box 61
Mood-in-group study
(2 folders)
Box 62
Correspondence
Box 62
Group 1-3: 1971, Feb.-Mar. 8
(3 folders)
Box 62
Moods and ESP (Canada): Miscellaneous
Box 63
Moss, Thelma: ESP records and letters
Box 63
Moss, Thelma and Schmeidler: Haunting investigation
(2 folders)
Box 63
Creativity: ESP Project
Box 63
Rorschach interpretations, 1944
Box 63
Names as target: Research, 1984
Box 63
O'Keefe, Eileen: Data
Box 63
Osis, Karlis: ESP, 1955
Box 63
Out of body experiences: Questions and data
Box 63
Perception "in mind's eye"
(7 folders)
Box 64
Perception "in mind's eye"
(8 folders)
Box 65
Personality of PSI experiments: Student Evaluations, 1981
(2 folders)
Box 66
Picture-Frustration Records, 1946-1948
(6 folders)
Box 66
Picture-Frustration Records, 1948-1949
(5 folders)
Box 67
Picture-Frustration Records, 1949
(5 folders)
Box 68
Spring, 1950-1951
(2 folders)
Box 69
1st Group experiment, 1945
Box 69
2nd Group experiment, 1945
Box 69
Chase and Wladkowsky, 1946
Box 69
Female, 1948
Box 69
Spring, Hunter group experiment, 1946
Box 69
Picture and A-S reaction studies
Box 69
Pictures used for testing, Fall, 1956
Box 69
PK effects on temperature
(7 folders)
Box 70
PK effects on temperature
Box 71
PK effects on temperative: further analysis
Box 71
Beck case, correspondence
Box 71
Case studies
Box 71
Case study, projective tests
Box 71
Precognition: dream data
Box 71
Precognitive clairvoyance, Part I
Box 71
Precognitive clairvoyance, Part I and II
(2 folders)
Box 72
Precognition experiment (data of first), 1961, Fall
(3 folders)
Box 72
Precognition subjects record sheets, 2nd experiment
Box 72
Precognition test, 1974
Box 72
Psychics
Box 72
Psychokinesis on water, 1974
Box 72
Psychometry tests
Box 72
Random vs Pseudorandom targets: Data, 1981
Box 72
Rasch, W. D.: Handwriting analysis, 1953
Box 72
Retkinski data: ESP, 1964, Spring
Box 72
Retkinski-data, ESP: 1964, Spring
Box 73
Retkinski-Replication, ESP: 1964, Gall
Box 73
Retkinski: Work before going to Duke, 1964
Box 73
Salience-Group experiments
Box 73
Sensory deprivation test
Box 73
Sensory deprivation test
Box 74
Short Story: various test scores
Box 74
Soal, S. G.: ESP tests, 1956
Box 74
Steelman, J: Data
(2 folders)
Box 74
Streber, K: Data
Box 74
Subject record sheets and tabulations
Box 74
Subject record sheets and testing specifications
Box 74
Survival research questionnaires
(2 folders)
Box 74
Tanagras: Telepathy research, 1946-1947
(3 folders)
Box 75
Tarot card readings: Unpublished data
Box 75
TAT: ESP scores
(3 folders)
Box 75
TAT: ESP scores
Box 76
TAT scores
Box 76
Telepathy in Dyads: Data
Box 76
Time estimates by psychics
Box 76
Time metaphor test
Box 76
Ruth Reinsel for N. Sondow's Ganzfeld
(2 folders)
Box 76
Janet's non-blind list of correspondences: F, G, H
Box 76
Visual imagery and creativity
Box 76
ESP data
(3 folders)
Box 77
Intercultural comparisons of expressive movements
Box 77
Word association
Box 77
1970-1971
Box 77
undated
(2 folders)
Box 77
undated
(3 folders)
Box 78
Tests
Box 78
Unidentified data
(2 folders)
Box 78
1952-1974 and undated
Colleagues' opinions about parapsychology, 1976
Coursework assignments, 1973-1977
Coursework exams, 1972-1979
Contains research files, including sheep/goat and topical research data
Oversize Box 79-81
Contains subject research file: Precognition Clairvoyance
Oversize Folder Folder 1

Historical Note

DateEvent(s)
1912, July 15Born Long Branch, New Jersey
1932B.A. magna cum laude Smith College, Northampton, Mass.
1932-1933Statistical assistant at Foundation for Neuro-Endocrine Research
1933M.A. Clark University, Worcester, Mass.
1935Ph.D. Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
1935-1937Instructor at Monmouth College, Long Branch, New Jersey
1937Married Robert Schmeidler
1942-1944Research Associate at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
1945-1985Taught in the Department of Psychology, City College of the City University of New York
1945-1946Research Officer at the American Society for Psychical Research, New York
1945Published article, "Separating the Sheep from the Goats," in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research
1949-1955Consultant at Barnard College, New York
1958Co-author of the work ESP and Personality Patterns, with Dr.Robert A. McConnell
1959President, Parapsychological Association
1964Earned the William McDougall Award for Distinguished Work in Parapsychology, established by the Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University
1969Edited Extrasensory Perception
1971President, Parapsychological Association
1976Edited Parapsychology: Its Relation to Physics, Biology, Psychology and Psychiatry
1977Associate Editor of Wolman's Handbook of Parapsychology
1981-1985President, American Society for Psychical Research
1988Published book Parapsychology and Psychology: Matches and Mismatches

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Gertrude Raffel Schmeidler Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Gertrude Schmeidler Papers were given to the Duke University Library by Dr. Schmeidler in 1987. Copyright interests in these papers have not been transferred to the University.

Processing Information

Processed by Janie C. Morris

Assisted by: Lynne Derhammer and Carlos Alvarado

Date Completed: March 15, 1991

Encoded by Alvin Pollock and Stephen Miller