Ever wonder about the symbolism of ducks in China? Curious about depictions of the feminine from ancient times to modern? Wondering how imagery of our celebratory rituals shifts from continent to continent? Writing a paper on modern ecology and looking for evidence of the sacred in the natural world? Or maybe you’re just interested to learn about the archetypal associations to the puppy in your dream last night. The ARAS library is for all those who have an interest in the meaning and role of imagery in our lives.
The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS) is a unique and searchable pictorial archive. ARAS contains mythological, ritual and symbolic images from all over the world and from all epochs of human history, Paleolithic to Modern. The collection illustrates the universality from ancient to modern times of archetypal themes produced by the symbol-making process operating within the human psyche. Images are selected for the Archive because they are both archaic, ie, from the primordial mythic imagination of a particular people, and typical, i.e. they show significant cross-cultural parallels.
Join ARAS online to access the entire ARAS archive over the internet. Tax-deductible memberships begin at just $100 per year. Memberships can also be given as gifts to others.
Through ARAS online, you will be able to access the entire content of the two magnificent ARAS publications: Archetypal Symbolism and The Body. These books cost upwards of $300 when purchased on their own.
ARAS subscribers include artists and designers, students, scholars in the humanities, as well as analysts and individuals tracing dream imagery and seeking deep common linkages which transcend nation and ideology. Examples of the kind of images in the collection can be seen by consulting the website of the national association of ARAS archives, www.aras.org.
Our San Francisco Collection
The off-line San Francisco ARAS collection is housed on the third floor of the Institute Library and contains over 13,000 photographic images, each cross-indexed, individually mounted, and accompanied by a full scholarly commentary establishing its historical and cultural context. Traditions represented include the Prehistoric Period, the Ancient Near East including Egypt, the Classical Worlds, the Christian West, China, and India.
The collection is located at the Institute and is open to the public by appointment with the Consulting Curator, Stacy Hassen: 415.771.8055, ext. *214 or firstname.lastname@example.org.