The College was founded in 1884 by a group of eminent scholars and scientists. Its purpose was to facilitate formal investigation into the psychic and mediumistic phenomena that were such a topic of debate in the Victorian era. With great courage, this group of distinguished people, some notable in science, others from within the ranks of the Anglican clergy, defied the prevailing canons of respectability in order to proclaim to a world of increasing materialism that human personality survives bodily death and that this is capable of demonstration.
In 1925 the freehold of our existing premises at 16 Queensberry Place, South Kensington was purchased using donations from those who, in their war bereavement, had received consolation from the knowledge and experience of mediumship and spiritualism. The College President at that time was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
As one of the oldest establishments of its kind, the nature of our work has evolved to incorporate a more general and widely-based exploration of consciousness beyond matter. The core of our studies retains a strong focus on the development and understanding of mediumship, psychic ability and healing, as well as the growing capacity of science to explain and explore these phenomena.
The College has accumulated a fine collection of specialist books, photographs and documents which have been used and studied by generations of scholars. It also has a distinguished catalogue of artwork from prominent spirit artists including Ethel Le Rossignol and Georgiana Houghton. We continue to build on what has uniquely gone before, and welcome the perceived truths of all spiritual and related traditions and each and every individual. The values on which we focus in the College lectures, workshops and courses are devoted to increasing awareness and understanding of these truths.
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