Hofmann Collection Database Launched!

Spring 2003 Vol. 13, No. 1 60th Anniversary of the Discovery of LSD

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We are pleased to announce the online launch of the Albert Hofmann Collection, a database of more than four thousand published papers on LSD and psilocybin. As reported in the Summer 2002 Bulletin, MAPS has been collaborating with Erowid to create an online, searchable database of the papers Dr. Hofmann donated to the Albert Hofman Foundation in 1996. These papers were collected by the staff of the Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company during Dr. Hofmann’s residence there, and comprise a comprehensive bibliography of LSD and psilocybin research from the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s.

The late Bob Wallace was the primary funder of this project, and thanks to his generosity and the hard work of the Erowid-led team, the database represents a significant contribution to the body of available psychedelic research. These papers have been converted into searchable PDFs, allowing users to find and download the complete articles. While these papers all exist in various libraries around the world, they are now accessible to anyone over the Internet. While some references are listed in Medline, the National Library of Medicine database, Medline generally includes only abstracts, and rarely offers the full text of articles. Also, Medline only references articles from 1966 to the present, so many papers in this collection are now referenced in electronic form for the first time.

Erowid is working to fill in the gaps in the database, creating PDFs of documents that were improperly labeled or otherwise misplaced, making these files fully text-searchable, and adding better scanned and more articles. The original documents have been returned to Dr. Hofmann in Switzerland, where they may eventually be placed in a museum. We were honored to inform Dr. Hofmann of the database launch when we sent him birthday greetings and flowers, to celebrate his 97th birthday on January 11, 2003.

The collection is available on the MAPS website as part of the Psychedelic Bibliography. You can choose to search just the Albert Hofmann Collection or search all the databases included in the bibliography. On the Erowid website, the collection is at http://www.erowid.org/references/hofmann_collection.php.