Researching the Jane Roberts Papers


My name is Mary Dillman, and my desire is to see the ideas in the Seth material reflected in my world. My personal life goal is to understand and use the ideas to the best of my ability. In doing so I do not feel it necessary to denigrate the truth of others, or insist that my way is the only way. I am merely following my own inclinations and recognizing the authority of my own being. Living the ideas is my way of thanking Jane Roberts, Robert Butts and Seth for the magnificent body of work they produced. 

I have been researching the Jane Roberts Papers archived at Yale University Library since 1998. This is an independent project and was started because of an immense desire to follow my dream. It seemed to be my “job” and I was led to it by following my impulses.

I consider my research project my personal value fulfillment. It is something that brings me great satisfaction – and even more than that, it is FUN!

When I began my project, I had no pre-determined final product in mind. I believed it would unfold over time. My interest is not in publishing or writing a biography of Jane Roberts. Instead I am developing a tool to aid future researchers. This magically reflects my trust that this material will continue to grow in importance in our society. 

During the first phase of my research my time was primarily devoted to data entry. I found that keying information gave me greater insight into some otherwise almost invisible entries on a page. While doing that, I compiled spreadsheets of names, dates, and places, as well as lists of articles published and other information I wanted to research further. 

While I am still keying information, I have begun to spend more time doing other projects. I’ve spent time in the Elmira, Sayre and Saratoga Springs libraries going through old city directories and newspaper microfilms. That has helped me identify people and their relationship to Jane and Rob.

Currently one of my main activities is finding and interviewing people who knew Jane and/or Rob. I am actively seeking photographs, audio tapes, letters, cards, and paintings to add to the collection. Another part of my project includes recording anecdotes, impressions and experiences of people who knew Jane and Rob – whether members of the ESP class, neighbors, friends, or visitors.