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John Willoughby Layard Papers
MSS 84  
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Collection Overview
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Papers of John Willoughby Layard, English anthropologist and Jungian psycho-therapist. The bulk of the papers date from the 1940s through the 1960s, although many materials from earlier and later periods are included. The collection includes extensive correspondence; drafts of Layard's writings, both published and unpublished; extensive notes and research materials; artifacts; and personal and family materials. Also included are psychiatric patient correspondence files, which are restricted. A significant proportion of the research materials and writings relate to Layard's anthropological work in Melanesia, including materials used in his book Stone Men of Malekula. Also included are voluminous materials relating to Layard's books The Lady of the Hare and "The Mary Book: The Snake, the Dragon, and the Tree" (unpublished). The Layard Papers are also available on microfilm. Reel and frame numbers accompany individual folder descriptions in the container list of this guide.
John Willoughby Layard, English psychologist and anthropologist, was born in London on November 28, 1891. His parents were George Somes Layard and Eleanor Gribble Layard, he from a genteel parson's family; she from a wealthy mercantile household. The Layard family were minor nobility, descended from French Huguenots. John's great uncle was Sir Austen Henry Layard (1817-1894), a noted archaeologist and diplomat who had excavated the ruins of Ninevah. John's branch of the family had gone through most of its money by the time of his birth, and what funds remained went into the care of John's father, who was sickly. John had a sister Nancy, five years older; and a brother Peter, five years younger. Another brother died at age three, one year before John's birth. According to John, his home life was the most repressed of Victorian households, and he attributed his emotionally troubled young adulthood to this family background.
48.8 lin. ft. (76 archives boxes, 16 card file boxes, 6 flat boxes, 4 oversize files)
The materials in boxes 89-98 and microfilm reels 62-72 contain correspondence concerning psychiatric treatment and cannot be used without the written permission of the subjects involved, should they still be living. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether the subject is still living.