Mary Dillman at Yale Library

Researching the Jane Roberts Papers

Please note that Mary transitioned on December 10, 2020. More information about Mary can be found on her page. The following text was written by her when her website was created several years ago.

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.

Yale Courtyard
Yale Courtyard

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.

Here is a video of Mary talking about the research project.

Mary Dillman Talks about SRP

Continuing the Research Project

While Mary had been able to document her extensive research before she transitioned, she did not have the time to pull all of that information together into formats acceptable by Yale’s Sterling Library (Manuscripts and Archives Repository) for submission to the Jane Roberts Papers collection. She did however plan ahead and made arrangements to have someone follow through for her. More details are in this post.

Mary’s various research projects are in the process of being gathered and collated, and it will take a lot of time and effort, and financial support. Please consider donating or purchasing something from the store to  help with this worthy cause!



2 thoughts on “Research”

  1. I got to know Mary through the Colorado conferences. I looked forward to talking with her each year from the the early 90s to 1998, when I was in the Twin Cities and had a short visit with her, I encouraged her (she didn’t need MUCH encouragement) to chuck her job and move to Elmira….. She left a week or two later as I recall. I did visit the library at Yale once, and see the Seth Archive area. Mary was dedicated to the material, and being precise and accurate in her collating of the material, and carefully fleshing out the few areas that needed to be bridged in the Jane/Rob story. Such things as describing the people in their daily life, the relationship with neighbors, etc. These things are usually briefly covered by Rob, in his book notes, but obviously not in any comprehensive manner. Only as they relate to Seths’ information and the context in which it is being imparted in dictation. We, (the population) not just Seth readers, owe a great deal to Mary, as the Pilot of this project to categorize and organize in accessible form this universal knowledge that sheds a truly new light on the nature of our relationship with the world in which we live… Thank You Mary.

    1. Wow Frank, thank you so much for your comment. Beautiful. Yes Mary did something very important for Seth readers and the materials and it was obviously a labor of love. The Seth books being notated and commented by Rob are unique in that way and the extra information from him really did add so much. Lots to be grateful for.

Add your thoughts here...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *