In August of this year I had the privilege of visiting the Eric Berne Archive, housed at the University of California San Francisco Library, in the company of Carol Solomon, one of the principal promoters of the project. I had been sporadically involved with the archive since its inception in the years after my father’s death in 1970. Many of the original documents in the archive came from Eric’s study in the garden of his house in Carmel. I spent many hours during my yearly visits to the family home going through the dozens of chaotically packed boxes filled with every kind of item, from postcards sent from far-flung, usually exotic destinations around the globe, to hotel and rental car receipts, half-finished manuscripts, personal photos, patient records, original drafts of articles and books… It was a painstaking process to separate the significant from the trivial in this vast panoply representing my father’s personal and professional life. The fact that every important or interesting item would eventually have a home at the Eric Berne Archive in San Francisco was a great encouragement over the years. And of course a large amount of fascinating material was contributed by many other people and institutions.
When Carol first told me about the idea of digitalizing much of the material in the archives so that it would be more readily available to those not able to personally visit the archive, as well as to help permanently preserve the wealth of resources in the archive, I became immediately enthusiastic as well as daunted by the scale of the project. The team that was eventually formed to bring the complex and expensive undertaking to fruition, consisting of Gloria Noriega, Marco Mazzetti, Ann Heathcote and of course Carol, has done an incredible job of fulfilling the first phase of the endeavor. Even though I have been superficially involved in the project, I was not prepared for the wonderful experience of actually visiting the Archive and speaking to those directly involved in the process of cataloguing and digitalizing the enormous amount of material. I can now be confident that the money raised is being well spent and is well worth the effort.
Simply put, the digital archive is fantastic. Please have a look!
I’d like to thank those who have contributed to making this project a reality, especially in times of crisis everywhere; your support is invaluable and much appreciated. We are on the home stretch to complete the second phase of the venture, with just $18,000 to go. I hope the appeal of the project will encourage anyone who can to give what they are able.
Contributions can be made via PayPal or by credit card.