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The Edgar Cayce Foundation (the E.C.F.) is committed to making research materials available to users on equal terms of access. This is in accordance with the wishes of Edgar Cayce, the suggestions from the Readings, and the standard professional policy on access adopted jointly by the Society of American Archivists and the American Library Association. Most collections held by the E.C.F. are unrestricted and open for research during operating hours; some collections are subject to restrictions designated by the records creator.
Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) has been called the ‘sleeping prophet,’ the ‘father of holistic medicine,’ and the ‘most documented psychic of the 20th century.’ For more than 40 years of his adult life, Cayce gave psychic “readings” to thousands of seekers while in an unconscious state, diagnosing illnesses and exploring spiritual topics. During Edgar Cayce’s lifetime, the records of the readings were his personal property. After his death, they became the property of his sons, Hugh Lynn Cayce and Edgar Evans Cayce, and his secretary, Gladys Davis Turner. In 1948, they became the property of the E.C.F.
In February 1948, the E.C.F. was chartered by the Commonwealth of Virginia and provides permanent legal and physical custody of historical resources including:
- The original Edgar Cayce readings as well as microfilm and digital copies
- Supplemental material to the readings, such as original stenographer notebooks, appointment books, research studies and reports on the readings, reports of preservation activities, photographs, sound and video recordings, etc.
- Correspondence, business papers, and files of Hugh Lynn Cayce, Gladys Davis Turner, and other early staff members
- Cayce Family papers and photographs
- Personal papers of early A.R.E. members
- Author contracts, unpublished manuscripts, and archival copies of most books and other materials published by A.R.E. Press and the Edgar Cayce Foundation
- Official historical and business records for the A.R.E., E.C.F., and Atlantic University The Edgar Cayce Readings stated that the ultimate rationale for researching this information is to make individuals “better husbands, better wives, better sons, better daughters, better citizens.”
In this light and per the purpose set forth in the Certificate of Incorporation of the E.C.F., the owner and custodian of the psychic readings given by Edgar Cayce and related Cayce material in its possession, the E.C.F. is committed to:
- indexing, classifying, collating, preserving, and archiving the Edgar Cayce material
- making the readings more readily available for use
- developing guidelines for use of the Edgar Cayce material
The copies of the Edgar Cayce readings are copyrighted by the E.C.F. The first notice of copyright for the readings was in 1945. The entire set of readings and supplemental material was registered with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress in 1971. The electronic version of the readings and supplemental material has been copyrighted since 1993 and with each new electronic version of the readings (including background, reports, and indexes). All new or modified material in these versions has been registered. By copyright law, the E.C.F. owns and holds the exclusive right to all its copyrighted material.
It is the responsibility of the E.C.F., as copyright holder of the Edgar Cayce readings, the background information, the follow-up reports associated with the Cayce readings and all related documentation, to balance a researcher’s need for access with the needs for confidentiality of persons whose activities and personal histories are reflected in the material. Consequently, access to and publication of some materials in the E.C.F. archival collection is subject to this policy. The Edgar Cayce Foundation recognizes that a living reading recipient, or if deceased, his/her living spouse or children, has a right to the privacy of his/her name and personal information. Therefore, the integrity with which we present the records upon request, approach access to the material and the potential publicizing of these names is an important extension of this premise. As such, the E.C.F. will attempt to contact and inform living recipients or their living direct descendants (spouse or child) of any request to view a case file and/or publicize the family name. The E.C.F. will document their responses in their respective files. The viewing of a case file and/or publication of an individual’s name is not guaranteed.
- Research Requests to View Case Files and/or Publicize Names of Deceased Reading Recipients:
- If the E.C.F. or the researcher has documentation that a reading recipient is deceased, has no living descendants, and at least one year has passed since his/her passing, the E.C.F. may allow the researcher to view the case file and the reading recipient’s name may be publicized.
- Research Requests to View Case Files and/or Publicize Names of Reading Recipients whose Life Status is Undocumented:
- Researchers must submit their written research request including the nature of their project to the E.C.F.
- The E.C.F. will attempt to locate and contact the reading recipients or their living direct descendants to share the request and to obtain documentation of their written or verbal response. This usually takes approximately 6 weeks.
- If a living reading recipient or direct descendant (spouse or child) expresses written or verbal documented concerns, the reading recipient’s name will not be disclosed, and the reading number will be used as identification and/or the case file may be otherwise restricted.
- If receipt of correspondence to a reading recipient or his/her living descendants has been verified and the E.C.F. has not received a response by the return date in the letter, the case file may be restricted.
- If, after an earnest documented search, the E.C.F. cannot locate the reading recipient or his/her living direct descendant, or confirmation of receipt is not received, the case file may be restricted.
- Staff will undertake requests on a case-by-case basis. All of the preceding conditions for viewing case files and identification by reading number may be reviewed upon request to reassess changes in life status of reading recipients and/or the descendants.
- The A.R.E. and the E.C.F. are committed to the retention of permanent archival staff that handles archival tasks according to the Society of American Archivists’ Core Value Statement (revised 2011) and Code of Ethics (revised 2012) which can be found at https://www2.archivists.org/statements/saa-core-values-statement-and-code-of-ethics Guidelines for Contact Procedure:
- The E.C.F. understands the importance of publication schedules and asks that researchers plan their projects accordingly. If a researcher hopes to research and/or publicize the name of a reading recipient, ample time is needed for the E.C.F. to ascertain if that recipient and/or any descendants are alive, and if so, attempt to contact them. Most requests will be answered at a rapid pace whenever possible.
- The E.C.F. requests copies of any publications (regardless of whether or not a name is released) that reference its collections and copies of any supplementary information pertaining to a reading. Such supplements to the readings are invaluable contributions to the Source files, as specified in the E.C.F. charter and emphasized by Gladys Davis Turner, original Secretary to the E.C.F., in her contacts with researchers, reading recipients, and their families.
- The E.C.F. will maintain updated ongoing electronic documentation of names of reading recipients that have been released. It is anticipated that by 2075 all reading recipient names in the Cayce readings will be publicly known. If you are researching and wish to gain access to the E.C.F. archives, we invite you to make an appointment with the E.C.F. staff through mail, email, or telephone. Send your contact info, the nature of your project and any request for specific materials to the Edgar Cayce Foundation Archivist at email@example.com.