by Alyson Barrett-Ryan, MA, MLIS
In Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud had a lot to say about technology. He reflected on the historical trajectory of technological advancement, beginning with fire and covering everything from spectacles to the telescope, motor power to the gramophone. In Freud’s view, technological development at a basic level stemmed from the human desire to make “the earth more serviceable” and for protection from “the violence of the forces of nature” (90). Rather than seeing technology as a means for guaranteed happiness or as a definitive marker of progress, Freud recognized humankind’s simultaneous reliance upon, helplessness without and difficulty using new devices: “With every tool man is perfecting his own organs … When he puts on all his auxiliary organs he is truly magnificent; but those organs have not grown on to him and they still give him much trouble at times” (90, 92). Cameras and gramophones were described by Freud as extensions of the memory, telephones extensions of the ear, the microscope an augmented eye. I wonder what Freud would have to say about external hard drives, cloud-based computing, terabytes, and remote broadcasting. Through technology, our memories have expanded and our reach has broadened, but now as in the past, we often find ourselves uncomfortable with our new prosthetics. While it seems sacrilegious to pillage Freud’s text when writing for an analyst audience, I thought his reflections on technology were both too interesting and too pertinent not to include. Freud’s approach to technological advancement—absent of blind glorification or unwarranted suspicion—contains a
refreshing balance missing from most current writing on the topic.
Technology is ever on the mind of librarians, and the biggest changes in the SFCP library over the past year have been technology-related. With each new technological implementation, SFCP staff and administrators have to consider financial sustainability, legal ramifications and usage requirements, among other concerns. EZ Proxy (enabling remote access to the library’s online journal subscriptions) and SFCP’s first eBook collection are the most important recent additions to the library. The capital campaign also made possible the purchase of a new patron computer providing more efficient access to the library catalog and online resources. Furthermore, we will soon convert our records into a new catalog, bringing some of the library’s hidden resources to the discovery level, integrating collections for stronger cross-referenced searching and enabling remote patron access to individual library accounts. It has been an exciting year in terms of bringing new technological services to the SFCP library. We thank you for your enthusiasm, interest and support, and we hope to continue in this spirit—bringing a well-balanced and carefully-planned approach to each new service and each big change.
Freud, S. (1930) Civilization and Its Discontents. In J. Strachey (Ed.) The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XXI (pp. 64-145). London: Hogarth Press.
New Acquisitions and Additions to the Catalog
by Eric Rosen, MLIS
Applegarth, A. (2000). Oral History Series: Adrienne Applegarth interviewed by Nancy Chodorow. SFCP Library [DVD].
Arbiser, S. & Schneider, J. (2013). On Freud's "Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety" London, UK: Karnac Books.
Binet, A. (1975). Modern ideas about children. France: S. Heisler.
Dimond, B. L. (1959). Magnetic Tape Conversion Series No. 25: The origins of psychoanalysis. SFCP Library [CD].
Erikson, E. (1966). Magnetic Tape Conversion Series No. 26: On Ritualization. SFCP Library [CD].
Freud, E. (1985). Sigmund Freud: His life in pictures and words. New York: Norton.
Grosz, S. (2013). The examined life: How we lose and find ourselves. New York: W. W. Norton.
Kavka, J. (2010). Oral History Series: Jerome Kavka Interviewed by Audrey Kavka. SFCP Library [DVD].
Kernberg, O. (2013). Clinical constellations of narcissistic pathology. SFCP Library [DVD].
Markman, H. (2013). The Aesthetic field in the analytic process. SFCP Library [DVD].
Mosher, P. W. (Ed.). (1987). Title, keyword, and author index to psychoanalytic literature. New York: American Psychoanalytic Association.
Ogden, B. H. (2013). The analyst’s ear and the critic’s eye. London, UK: Routledge.
Schlesinger, K. (1959). Magnetic Tape Conversion Series No. 24: Dreams. SFCP Library [CD].
Shouba, T. K. (2013). Conversations about therapy. St. Charles, IL: Marsh House Books.
Snyder, B. (1965). Magnetic Tape Conversion Series No. 30: Adaptation, education, and emotional growth.
SFCP Library [CD].
Spiegel, J. (1969). Magnetic Tape Conversion Series No. 31. Problems of violence. SFCP Library [CD].
Spitz, R. A. (1966). Magnetic Tape Conversion Series No. 27. The Case of Jerry. SFCP Library [CD].
Steinberg, S. (2012). Oral History Series: Stanley Steinberg interviewed by Bronwen Lemmon. SFCP Library [DVD].
Tetzlaff, F. (1964). Magnetic Tape Conversion Series No. 28: Impulse Neuroses, Perversions, Addictions.
SFCP Library [CD].
Vinogrod, S. (2009). Oral History Series: Steve Vinogrod, SFPI&S Security Guard. SFCP Library [DVD].
Walker, L. (2013). Poetry & Psychoanalysis: Laura Walker. SFCP Library [DVD].
Wilson, M. (2013). Desire and responsibility. SFCP Library [DVD].
Wolff, P. H. (1965). Magnetic Tape Conversion Series No. 29: Structural considerations for the development of a
theory of affect. SFCP Library [CD].