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History of Psychology Centre

The aim of the History of Psychology Centre is to preserve and document the Society’s history and to maintain and develop its extensive collections.

The Centre provides an academic research and resource centre in the history of psychology and, in support of its work, organises multiple events and produces a variety of publications.

Our official collection of books, journals, member network periodicals and more is held at the Senate House Library, University of London. To browse our extensive online collections and archives please use the link below:

For information about the society's historical membership, including its founders, past presidents, and former fellows, please use the following link:

The History of Psychology Centre also organises a variety of events and public engagement activities promoting the rich and varied history of psychology:

For any other information or enquiries please consult the appropriate tab below.

One of our main aims is to develop a comprehensive online history of the British Psychological Society, covering its professional, academic and institutional evolution since its formation in 1901.

If you are interested in learning more about the Society's origins and development, a good starting point would be to to consult the following article(s):

You may also wish to consult:

For researchers, the primary source of information on the society is the archives.

The History of Psychology Centre publishes an occasional series of monographs which focus on the historical origins and development of areas of psychological practice and research.

Further issues will be announced in due time.

In 1913 the first applied psychologist took up his post with the London County Council. His job was to assess children for special educational programmes and develop tools to identify children who may need alternative kinds of education. With this post, the profession of educational psychology was born. The numbers of educational psychologists have steadily grown over the subsequent hundred years and the practices, roles and functions that they adopt have similarly developed.

This book outlines the development of the profession in the United Kingdom during its first century of existence. It describes a number of different themes that have emerged over time and documents key points in the profession’s development.

Edited by Christopher Arnold & Julia Hardy

ISBN 978-1-85433-720-7

Paperback 166pp. See Contents

Price (including postage and packing) = £11.25 (£9.25 for DECP members)

Order your copy of British Educational Psychology: The First Hundred Years

As a record of the development of the profession and as an aid to understanding current issues through the experience of the past, this short history will be highly relevant to psychologists working in health care, from trainees through to experienced clinicians, as well as to other healthcare professionals. As a scholarly history it will appeal not only to historians but also to anyone with a general interest in social and political developments in mental health provision.

Read Chapter 1.

Edited by John Hall, David Pilgrim & Graham Turpin

ISBN 978-1-9-85433-731-3

Paperback 395pp plus xix.

Price (including postage and packing) = £21.99 (£19.99 for BPS members; £17.99 for DCP members)

Order your copy of Clinical Psychology in Britain: Historical Perspectives

Please note: although we offer a limited enquiry service in response to email, post, or phone, or in person to visitors by prior arrangement, we cannot undertake research on your behalf.

Please also be aware that due to recommendations by the UK Government BPS staff are currently working remotely. We can still access many of our digital resources, however, we will not have access to much of our older material and those publications and material housed onsite. This may affect the information that we are able to provide for you.

BPS members can access most Member Network periodicals on the BPS shop and BPS journals via PsychSource. For access to older archive material that is usually viewed via the Wellcome library – that institution was closed on the 16th March and we recommend that you check their website to see when it will be accessible to external researchers again.


For Information on Archives Collections, the History of the Society, Donations, Oral History and access to the Audio Visual Collections as well as other material held at the BPS London Office, please contact:

BPS History of Psychology Centre
30 Tabernacle Street

E-mail: [email protected]

Tel: +44 (0)20 7330 0895

Fax: +44 (0)20 7330 0896

For information on access to materials held at the Wellcome Library please contact:

Wellcome Collection
183 Euston Road

E-mail: [email protected]

Please note that although registration for a library card is free and gives access to the main library collections; there are some additional requirements for access to archives and manuscripts. First-time visitors are advised to contact Wellcome Library in advance.

For information on the BPS Library Collection please contact Mura Ghosh, Psychology Librarian, Senate House:

Senate House Library
Senate House
University of London
Malet Street

E- mail: [email protected]

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7862 8449

For all other enquiries, including Events and Publications, please contact:

BPS History of Psychology Centre
St Andrews House
48 Princess Road East

E-mail: [email protected]

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 9528

Fax: +44 (0)116 271 1314

Copies and Permission to Use Material from BPS Collections

a) Private study, teaching or research purposes

We can supply images from the visual archive, sound recordings, and photocopies or pdfs of papers and other material (subject to copyright restrictions and at our discretion) for personal non-commercial use free of charge to BPS members. For non-members, there may be a charge (to be agreed in advance) to cover administrative costs and reprographics and postage charges.

For visiting researchers, photocopying and scanning (subject to copyright restrictions and at our discretion) will generally be done free of charge. There is no self-service copying available

Material held by our partner the Wellcome Library and Senate House are subject to their own arrangements for copying and supply, except for material that we have specified on our [link] catalogue to have particular conditions attached to it.

b) Commercial purposes

We will negotiate a fee with any person or organisation wishing to use images or other material (subject to copyright restrictions and at our discretion) for commercial purposes. Commercial purposes includes, but is not limited to, the reproduction of material within a publication that is sold or distributed by a commercial organisation, and the inclusion of material in course packs.

c) Copies and Permission to Use Articles published on the BPS Website

If you wish to republish or distribute an article downloaded from this website, or if you would like any other kind of licence, please email [email protected] with your request.

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