Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Jefferson Academic Center

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Institution Name: Clark University
Original/Historic Place Name: Library
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1902-1903original construction Frost, Briggs & Chamberlain
1910addition Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: concrete
Walls: brick; limestone (trim)
Roof: slate
ca. 1903library
ca. 2004-present (2007)classrooms
ca. 2004-present (2007)other (offices)

Significance: culture, education, history
Landmark designation:
National RegisterClark University (1980)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The Jefferson Academic Center is a three-story gothic revival with limestone trim and ornate oriel above an arched limestone central entry. The building was the college's original library and was modeled after the library at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1910 a two-and-one-half story addition was built onto the library. The original library building and addition provide one of Worcester's finest examples of Collegiate Gothic architecture.

In September of 1909 a series of historic lectures on psychology were given here. They took place in the Art Room of the library and were part of the celebration of Clark's twentieth anniversary. Foremost among these the talks were the five lectures given by Sigmund Freud, the only lectures Freud gave in the western hemisphere. Before this, he was little known outside the circles of European psychologists, who did not respect him much. Many credit these lectures with starting him on the path of the fame that he would later achieve. The lectures have been called "the most concise and lucid account in and out of Freud's writing of the birth of psychoanalysis." At the same time, other leading psychologists like Carl Jung and E. B. Titchener also lectured. Many prominent North Americans in the discipline took the opportunity to meet and listen to the European speakers whom they had not been able to listen to before; for example, William James came in from Boston and J.M. Cattell came up from New York City. This was clearly a momentous event in the history of psychology.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Clark University. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1980.

Koelsch, William A. Incredible Day-Dream: Freud and Jung at Clark, 1909. Worcester: Friends of the Goddard Library, Clark University, 1984.

Ross, Dorothy. G. Stanley Hall: The Psychologist as Prophet. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, [1972].

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections, Facilities Management Office
Government Offices

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