The Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library

The Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library, the largest collection of psychoactive drug books and related materials in the world, was founded in 1970 by Michael Horowitz, William Dailey, and Robert Barker. It is now part of the Ludlow Santo Domingo Library in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Ludlow Library Holdings

The library’s holdings includes more than ten thousand books, pamphlets and offprints, journals and magazines, archival papers, letters and manuscripts, phonograph records and audiotapes, photographs, engravings, posters, broadsides and videotapes, comic books and newspapers, and a wide variety of artifacts. A large number of items fall into the categories of rare or scarce, and an extremely large number are out-of-print.

Although acquisitions were made in all areas of word, image, and artifact pertaining to psychoactive drug discovery, research and historical usage, the curators collected materials frequently overlooked by institutional libraries. Popular, underground, ephemeral and "street" literature is very well represented in the Ludlow collection alongside academic works, government publications, and proceedings of conferences and symposia.

Much of the literature emphasizes first-hand accounts of psychoactive drug experiences as related in memoirs, diaries, biographies, fiction, essays, addresses, poetry, and juvenile works. First editions in dust jacket, further editions that show any variance in text, illustration, or cover art, foreign translations, paperback reprints, and reading copies or photocopies of otherwise unobtainable or prohibitively expensive books are all found in the collection.

Just as drugs pertain to nearly every realm of human experience, virtually every academic discipline touches upon the phenomena of drugs and their use. Works of literature, art, anthropology, psychology, sociology, law and criminology, religion, psychopharmacology, ethnobotany and agriculture were collected, as were the more ephemeral productions of popular culture. A large number of phonograph records (both music and spoken word) and graphic arts relating to drug use and abuse are housed in the collection. Drug paraphernalia from the 1890s to the 1970s is included.

In addition to acquisitions purchased directly, the library has been the repository of donations, often annotated and inscribed, from the archives of individuals and groups who have been active in psychoactive drug research. A substantial amount of correspondence from leading researchers in such fields as psychology, psychopharmacology, ethnobotany, etc. is also present.

Retrieved from The Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library on July 1st, 2012.

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