Christopher D. Green
History of Psychology Research Projects

My most active current research project is the exploration alternative formats for the presentation of scholarly historical research. Specifically, I have made a video documentary on the controversy that surrounded the hiring of the famed developmental and evolutionary theorist James Mark Baldwin and the generally unknown James Gibson Hume at the University of Toronto in 1889. [Click here for "trailer": high bandwidth -- low bandwidth (dial-up).] This video is being embeded in a website-like interface that contains not only the usual scholarly apparatus (references, etc.) but also full text transcriptions of many of the primary source documents used. I am just embarking upon the same process with respect to a historical event of wider interest, the founding of the school of American Functionalism.

Another aspect of my exploration of new scholarly research formats has been the founding editing of the History & Theory of Psychoolgy Eprint Archive (HTP Prints), an open access repository of articles and other releated documents relevant to the historical and theoretical psychological issues. HTP Prints was officially launched in September of 2001 and has since grown to a site that receives nearly 15,000 page hits per month.

In a more traditional vein, I have recently conduted an investigation of the growth to near-mythic proportions of the reputation of Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), daughter of the Romantic poet Lord Byron and interpreter of Charles Babbage's attempt to build a mechanical computer. From nearly complete obscurity in 1970, she has, over the last three decades, been the subject of six biographies (Moore, 1977; Stein, 1985; Baum, 1986; Toole, 1992; Wade, 1994; Woolley, 2001), she has had a computer language named after her by the U.S. Navy (ADA), she has served as the key character in an historical sci-fi novel (The Difference Engine, Gibson & Sterling, 1991), been employed as the pivotal figure in a post-modern feminist analysis of the computer revolution (Zeroes + Ones, Plant, 1997), been the subject of a feature-length film (Conceiving Ada, Hershman Leeson, 1997), and been adopted as the "patron saint" of a web site promoting women in computer science (The Ada Project). How did this happen? Who was she really? To what degree is all this attention deserved? See "Charles Babbage, the Analytical Engine, and the Possibility of a 19th-century Cognitive Science" (In C.D. Green, M. Shore, & T. Teo (Eds.), The Transformation of Psychology: Influences of 19th-Century Philosophy, Technology, and Natural Science, APA, 2001).

Classics in the History of Psychology, a web site I edit that contains the complete texts of many historically-significant books and articles on various topics in psychology, now has over 200 primary texts and links to more than 200 documents at other sites.

I have also written a book, co-authored by Philip Groff (Psychology, U. Toronto), entitled Early Psychological Thought: Ancient Accounts of Mind and Soul, which is due out later this year. A short chapter on ancient Greek psychology will also be appearing in Psychology. Vol. 1: History of Psychology. (A. Weber (Ed.), Danbury, CT: Grolier International).

Other recent historical research can be found in the articles:

Last revised 16 May 2004.