Since writing my first (unpublished) novel, I’ve been fascinated by Carl Jung’s Shadow. How could I not know about The C.G. Jung Center of New York located in midtown on 39th between Madison and Park. I wouldn’t have found it if it hadn’t been for an assignment for class. I was so excited simply by the idea of this place. Even before I visited, my imagination was working overtime. Inside The C.G. Jung Center, on the fourth floor, is the Kristine Mann Library. A library dedicated to Jung- how fantastic!
I’ve been to quite a few libraries, I’m getting my Masters in Information and Library Science after all, but this is the most comfortable place I’ve ever been in. The atmosphere of the entire building, not just the library, is pleasant. The staff of the library is friendly and welcoming. When I walked in, I was sure I held an expression of not knowing where to go from here and a staff member at the front desk explained where things were and basically told me to have at it.
I visited the library intending to simply look around but I ended up staying for about 2 hours. I’m going back to delve deeper into their occult section. They have a book detailing a “supposedly” true ghost story that sounded really interesting. If only I had walked in prepared to sit for hours then I would’ve dived in. I seriously did not intend to stay as long as I did. I had to pull myself away because I had other work to do. I was carrying my journal though, as I always do. As a writer, you need to always have something to write with and on. You never know when that muse will whisper in your ear. I took some great notes.
In the cozy room in the back were shelves of books categorized by subject to make browsing easier. They have a couch! Not one of those uncomfortable things libraries usually have that are never available but a nice size black couch. The feel of the place had me at ease- had me feeling at home. And the books were too alluring not to explore. Even if you’re not interested in Jung, they have something for you. There are books on religion, mythology, symbolism, fairy tales, the occult, and alchemy. I’d never seen a collection like it. I found the section on symbolism and camped there. As a writer of dark fantasy, I like to use symbols in my stories- usually as markings on my characters. The resources I’d been using to find my symbols were great but they weren’t as in-depth as the books in this collection. I found a perfect symbol to encompass the race of creatures I’m creating which then gave me inspiration for another part of my world building. They even have books on the significance of shapes, numbers and colors.
Only members can check-out books but anyone can just sit for hours and read. There is so much valuable and unusual information. I talked with the librarian and found that there are also books on seances and voodoo. I’m not into those subjects but I’d still be interested in reading about them. It is a perfect resource for writers. If you’re in the New York area, I encourage you to check it out.