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M. Scott Peck Collection



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Other Professional and Non –Professional Activities

Psychiatry and Religion

Social-Political Views



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M. Scott Peck Collection, 1950-2004 | David Allan Hubbard Library Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: M. Scott Peck Collection, 1950-2004Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1981-2003

Primary Creator: Peck, M. Scott (Morgan Scott) (1936-2005)

Extent: 34.0 Linear Feet. More info below.


The M. Scott Peck Collection is currently organized into 8 series:

I. Biography (boxes 1 – 4); II. Books (boxes 5 – 30); III. Other Professional Activities (boxes 31 - 36); IV. Psychiatry and Religion (box 37); V. Social/Political Views (box 38); VI. Correspondence (boxes 39 - 52); VII. Awards (boxes 53 - 55); VIII. Gifts and Memorabilia (boxes 56 – 60).

Due to their volume and significance, documents related to The Foundation for Community Encouragement have been organized as a separate collection, Collection 31: Foundation for Community Encouragement Collection

Date Acquired: 00/00/2000

Subjects: Devil -- Christianity., Exorcism -- United States -- Case studies., Psychology

Languages: English


The M. Scott Peck Papers document Scott Peck’s journey to becoming one of the nation’s most popular writers and one of its leading psychiatrists in writing, teaching and lecturing on issues related to the integration of psychology and spirituality. The collection features copies of his books in 25 translations, published reviews of his books, several published magazine and newspaper articles as well as interviews including accounts of Scott Peck’s life and work, and many of his writings, speeches and thoughts, published and unpublished. It also includes his poetry, personal documents, personal and professional correspondence, honors and awards, and memorabilia.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Link to full Finding Aid

Documents in this collection cover the years 1950 through 2004, with a few earlier documents such as the letters Scott Peck wrote to his parents from Phillips Exeter Academy, and some later documents such as recent book reviews of Glimpses of the Devil published by Knight Ridder/Tribune News in February 2005. The collection documents Scott Peck's journey to becoming one of the most prestigious psychiatrists of his era to explore the integration between spiritual and psychological growth. It documents Scott Peck’s thinking, development and spiritual journey, culminating with his encounter with Christianity and later the development of his ideas about peacemaking and problem resolution through community building.

The core of the collection is the series Biography containing articles and interviews describing Scott Peck’s life, work and worldview. It provides essential information for understanding the development of his ideas, beliefs, and relationships,as well as his personal, professional and public life. Many of the collection’s published articles and interviews are a rich and consistent source of data on Peck’s life and work. Scott Peck’s books in 25 different translations are included, as well as a comprehensivecollection of newspaper and magazine articles providing an overview of the public reaction to Scott Peck’s work. Scott Peck’s very active professional life after publishing The Road Less Traveled is also documented by the collection, as well as his thinking on such issues as the integration of science and spirituality, on the relationship between emotional and spiritual growth, and on the understanding and assessment of emotional and mental illnesses.

A broader understanding of Scott Peck’s social engagement can be provided by consulting The Papers of The Foundation for Community Encouragement (FCE), which describe FCE’s history, organization and  importance in promoting practical application of Scott Peck's ideas about community building, peacemaking, spiritual and psychological growth both for the individual and the community, and ultimately for the world.

Collection Historical Note

Morgan Scott Peck, the celebrated author of the best seller The Road Less Traveled and 14 other books, was born in New York City on May 22, 1936, the younger of the two sons of David W. Peck and his wife Elizabeth Saville. As the child of a very conservative and secularized Manhattan family, Scott Peck was raised to represent the highly educated elite and to become as successful professionally and socially as his father, a renowned lawyer and judge, who acquired prestige by heading the litigation department of a large New York City law firm.

At the age of 13, Scott Peck was sent to The Phillips Exeter Academy, a prestigious boarding school where David, Scott’s older brother had already succeeded. The school’s elitist and competitive environment was too great a burden for young Scott Peck and two years later, after the summer break, he refused to go back. Diagnosed with depression, Scott was sent to a psychiatric hospital for five weeks of treatment. Later he would describe this incident as his first “emotional crisis” as well as his first experience with psychotherapy.

After his treatment Scott Peck was enrolled at a co-ed Quaker school, The Friends Seminary, an inclusive and cooperative environment where he felt accepted and he adjusted well. It was also at The Friends Seminary, during a class on World Religion that Scott Peck first found himself attracted to spirituality. A few years later, at the age of 18, he declared himself a Zen Buddhist.

Several influences nurtured young Scott Peck's passion for writing, among them; his friendship with Carolyn Bryant, head of Bryant & Bryant, a leading publishing agency of the day; his friendship with John P. Marquant, a novelist who introduced Scott to the works of C.S.Lewis and others; and the reading of Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath during an Exeter Academy English class.

After graduating from Friends Seminary, Scott Peck enrolled at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. During his sophomore year he was stripped of most of his credits for refusing to attend compulsory ROTC classes. He decided then to transfer to Harvard where his father was a member of the alumni council. At Harvard he was accepted, had his credits restored and in 1958 graduated magna cum laude. Having developed an interest in psychology and medicine during his college years, Scott Peck then entered pre-med training at Columbia University.

During his year at Columbia, he met Lily Ho, a Chinese pre-med student and fellow classmate. One year later Scott and Lily were married in spite of the opposition encountered from both families. After six months, Scott started his medical training at Case Western Reserve University, graduating in 1964.

Because of an urgent need for financial independence from his father, who until that period had supported his studies, Scott Peck decided to enroll in the army in order to complete his medical training. While in the military he did a year of internship in Hawaii, 3 years of residency in San Francisco and then served as a trainee psychiatrist in Okinawa, Japan.

Scott Peck was strongly opposed to the Vietnam War, but because he could not leave the military he decided to work against the war from within. With this purpose in mind, he accepted a position as post-assistant chief of psychotherapy to the surgeon-general of the army, moving with his family to Washington DC in August 1970. During this time, Scott Peck did  significant work on drug abuse, and in 1972, wrote a substantial report on the 1968 May Lai massacre containing recommendations for further research and an “in depth” study of previous military atrocities. Disappointed by having his recommendations rejected and his program on “drug abuse” misused, in 1972 Peck decided to resign, moving with his family to Litchfield County, Connecticut, where he opened a private practice and worked at a local clinic, hospital and jail.

In 1975, Scott Peck began work on The Road Less Traveled. According to his own description the words – “discipline, love, and grace” - came to him, as he felt called to write the book. In 1978, Simon & Schuster published the first 5,000 prints of the book. After a helpful review from Phyllis Theroux in the Washington Post, The Road Less Traveled hit the newspaper’s best sellers list and later the nationwide US bestseller list for 598 consecutive weeks. The Road Less Traveled deals with the connection between emotional and spiritual growth and is celebrated as one pioneer work on the integration of psychiatry and religion. The book has sold over 6 million copies in North America alone and has been translated into more than 20 languages.

During the period of his work on The Road Less Traveled Scott Peck defines himself as someone in search of a more concrete spirituality. After writing the book, he became interested in reading the gospels and was compelled by the humanity of Jesus depicted there. As he explains, he was driven by Christ’s humanity to later connect with his divinity. In March of 1980, at age 43, Scott Peck publicly declared his faith in Jesus Christ in the context of a non-denominational baptismal ceremony.

Scott Peck has also published 14 other books, among them:

People of the Lie – the Hope for Healing Human Evil (October, 1983) published by Simon & Schuster, which also deals with the integration between psychiatry and spirituality and acknowledges the role of evil in psychosis.

What Return Can I Make: Dimensions of the Christian Experience (December, 1985), published by Simon& Schuster, which contains meditations written by Scott Peck and inspired by [[the inspiration for?]]] songs composed, played and sung by Sister Marilyn Von Waldner. Harpers republished this book in the fall of 1995, under the new title, Gifts for the Journey: Treasures of the Christian Life,Meditations from the Road.

Meditations from the Road (August, 1993), another of Scott Peck’s works on meditation and contemplative spirituality, a compilation of thoughts from The Road Less Traveled published by Simon & Schuster.

The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace (June 1987) by Simon & Schuster Peck, presents Scott Peck’s practical views about community building and world peace in an innovative contribution to the behavioral sciences.

Peck as also published 4 works of fiction: A Bed By the Window: A Novel of Mystery and Redemption (August, 1990) Peck’s first novel published by Bantam Books; The Friendly Snowflake: A Fable of Faith, Love and Family (October, 1992), Peck's first book for children, illustrated by Christopher Peck and published by Turner Publishing, Inc.; In Search of Stones: A Pilgrimage of Faith, Reason and Discovery, a blend of autobiography, travel, spiritual meditation, history and Arthurian legend (1995), In Heaven As On Earth: A Vision of the Afterlife (Spring of 1996) Peck’s second novel, a work of fiction which explores the mysteries of the afterlife.

Denial of the Soul: Spiritual and Medical Perspectives in Euthanasia and Mortality (April, 1997) by Harmony Books (Crown), a book that deals with the medical, social, psychological and spiritual aspects of the disputed issue of euthanasia.

A World Waiting to Be Born: Civility Rediscovered (March, 1993), Peck's seventh book, a work on organizational behavior published by Bantam Books.

Two books that summarize Peck’s work are Further along the Road Less Traveled (October, 1993) published by Simon & Schuster,  a collection of Peck’s edited lectures from 1979 to 1993; and The Road Less Traveled and beyond: Spiritual Growth in an Age of Anxiety (January, 1997), also published by Simon & Schuster, a synthesis of all his work.

Golf and the Spirit: Lessons for the Journey (1999) illustrated by Christopher Peck and published by Harmony Books, applies principles of Golf to spiritual growth.

In Scott Peck's most recent book, Glimpses of the Devil (Free Press, 2004), the author reports the diagnosis, exorcism and follow-up in two cases of demonic possession encountered during his psychiatric practice.

Due to the overwhelming demands on his time, in 1983 Peck abandoned the practice of psychiatry and dedicated himself entirely to writing and lecturing. He also gave a number of interviews, wrote articles and inspired the work of other authors.

After the success of The Road Less Traveled, the large amount of correspondence which came to Peck’s address in Litchfield County, from colleagues, editors and many from readers sharing their life stories and avid for advice and guidance, convinced Peck that there was an extensive need for community all over the country. From the content of his readers' letters, Peck concluded that people were in need of some caring person with whom to share their most intimate concerns. This insight led Peck, Lily and nine others to establish in 1984 The Foundation for Community Encouragement (FCE), an educational non-profit organization whose mission was “to promote and teach principles of community.” For almost 17 years FCE was dedicated to training selected leaders who could help meet the needs for community by conducting workshops for the general public and for various organizations throughout the nation as well as internationally.

In acknowledgment of his work and dedication to the principles of community and peace, Scott Peck received several honors and awards: the 1984 Kaleidoscope Award for Peacemaking and the 1994 Temple of Peace Prize, in recognition of his community building work through the FCE; The Faith Learning and Freedom Medal from Georgetown University in 1996 and, in 1992 the recognition by the American Psychiatric Association as a “distinguished psychiatrist lecturer.”

Subject/Index Terms

Devil -- Christianity.
Exorcism -- United States -- Case studies.

Administrative Information

Repository: David Allan Hubbard Library Archives

Alternate Extent Statement: 55 Boxes

Access Restrictions: Supervised use only

Use Restrictions: No more than 100 consecutive words from Peck's writings to be photocopied without seeking permission from the publishers of Peck's books, or 300 consecutive words from any other document in the collection, as per agreement with the Peck estate.

Technical Access Note: For full Finding Aid email the archives.

Acquisition Source: M. Scott Peck

Acquisition Method: Gift

Related Materials: Collection 31: Foundation for Community Encouragement

Processing Information: Detailed.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Biography],
[Series 2: Books],
[Series 3: Other Professional and Non –Professional Activities],
[Series 4: Psychiatry and Religion],
[Series 5: Social-Political Views],
[Series 6: Correspondence],
[Series 7: Awards],
[Series 8: Gifts and Memorabilia],

Series 7: AwardsAdd to your cart.

Subseries 1: Documents related to awards (1994 – 2002)

Letters, invitations, speeches and other documents related to the following awards and honors offered to Scott Peck:

Temple International Peace Award– Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – 12/2/1994

Faith, Learning and Freedom Award– Georgetown University – 12/5/1996

Proposal for the Osker Pfister Award – 1996

Golden Plate Award– American Academy of Achievement – May 1998

Proposal for National Hospice Organization’s Person of the Year Award – 1998

CaseWestern Reserve UniversityAward– 1/24/2002

Proposal for “Induction to Martin Luther King Board of Sponsors of MorehouseCollege” – 2002

The documents are organized in chronological order – (box 53)

Subseries 2: Pieces

The Kaleidoscope Award: stained glass piece and a wooden support (box 54 & 55)

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