Introduction / Using ARAS: The Symbolism of the Cross

With a grant from Bollingen Foundation Jessie Fraser took on the enormous task of coordination and organising these separate collections. In collaboration with Dr. Joseph L. Henderson of San Francisco, who first envisioned such a visual library of archetypal symbolism, Mrs. Fraser devised a system which would focus on the archetypal aspects of the collected items rather than making them just examples of cultural history. Nine categories were established in which the individual items would be entered chronologically with an identifying number. These categories are: the archaic world, paleolithic and mesolithic; the ancient world, Egypt and the Near East; the classical world, Agean, Minoan, Mycenean, Etrusco-Italian, Roman and associated cultures; pre-Christian Europe, prehistoric, protohistoric and barbarian Europe; the Western World, works of the last 2,000 years; the Islamic world; the Oriental world; the vanishing non-technical world, Africa, Oceana, sub-Arctic, Indians of the Americas. A ninth section, the Emerging Psychological world, would develop criteria for sequences of spontaneous drawings emerging from movement within the unconscious stimulated by the analytic experience (FRASER 4).
In 1969 ARAS was given to the New York Foundation by the Bollingen Foundation and copies of the collection were established in San Francisco and Los Angeles.