Scope and Contents
Nicoll, a psychologist, had been a student of Carl Jung, and in the collection (folders 1 & 14) there are letters from Jung and his wife discussing their relationship with Nicoll. After joining an Ouspensky study group in London Nicoll became interested in the work of Gurdjieff and spent a year (circa 1922) at his institute at Fontainbleau, France. The Nicoll Papers contain two scrapbooks (f. 22 & 23) from the period; they were compiled by J. deForest Thompson who was at the institute as a young man with his mother, Mrs. Page. The scrapbooks contain interesting photographs of the institute and of Nicoll and Gurdjieff. There are also two handwritten letters addressed to Mrs. Page by Ouspensky. The papers contain a few other items specifically related to Ouspensky and Gurdjieff, including notes on Ouspensky's lectures and a photograph of him in India (folder 18) and the prospectus for Gurdjieff's Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, notes on his lectures, and a copy of his funeral service (folder 19).
Nicoll formed his own group in London and later during World War lI, organized centers for carrying on the Teaching. A scrapbook (folder 20) contains photographs of Nicoll and his group at Tye-Ponds, 1935-40, and at Great Amwell House, 1946-53. The papers also contain a printed copy of his major work, Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of G.I. Gurdjieff and P. D. Ouspensky.
For many years Mrs. Beryl Pogson was Nicoll's secretary, and many of these papers seem to have been kept by her or other members of the group at the Maurice Nicoll Free Library at the "Dicker". Pogson wrote a biography of Nicoll, compiled the scrapbook of photographs of the "Dicker" (folder 21), and may have been responsible for creating the three scrapbooks of artwork (folders 24-26) illustrating quotations from Gurdjieff's All and Everything. The papers also contain a few scattered items written by other members of Nicoll's group and some reference materials from the shelves of the library at the "Dicker".
The papers were received by the Yale Library in 1982, along with several hundred volumes, from Muriel Oldham. (Mrs. Oldham's husband had been a Nicoll student and had taken over the Nicoll library after Nicoll's death in 1953.) The volumes were received for the general collection in Sterling Library, but amongst them were the scrapbooks, writing, photographs; and pieces of correspondence now comprising the Maurice Nicoll Papers.
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
8.02 Linear Feet (15 boxes)
Biographical / Historical
- Maurice Nicoll papers
- July 2008
- Language of description
- Finding aid written in English