Skip to main content

Jung, Carl Gustav, and the Red Book: Liber Novus

  • Reference work entry


The Red Book is an exquisite red leather-bound folio manuscript crafted by the Swiss psychologist and physician Carl Gustav Jung between 1915 and about 1930. It recounts and comments upon the author’s imaginative experiences between 1913 and 1916 and is based on manuscripts first drafted by Jung in 1914–1915 and 1917. Despite being nominated as the central work in Jung’s oeuvre (Jung 2009, p. 221), it was not published or made otherwise accessible for study until 2009.

While the work has in past years been descriptively called “the Red Book,” Jung did emboss a formal title on the folio’s spine: he titled the work Liber Novus (the “New Book”). His manuscript is now increasingly cited as Liber Novus, and under this title implicitly includes draft material intended for but never transcribed into the red leather folio proper.

Composition and Publication

Liber Novuscontains a literary and artistic recension of what has been called Jung’s “confrontation with the unconscious,”...

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Hoeller, S. A. (1982). The gnostic Jung and the seven sermons to the dead. Wheaton: Quest.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jung, C. G. (2009). The red book: Liber novus (S. Shamdasani, Ed.,& trans: Kyburz, M., Peck, J., & Shamdasani, S.). New York: W. W. Norton.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jung, C. G., & Jaffe, A. (1962/1983). Memories, dreams, reflections. New York: Pantheon.

    Google Scholar 

  • Owens, L. S. (2011). Jung and Aion: Time, vision and a wayfaring man. Psychological Perspectives: Journal of the C. G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, 54, 253–289.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shamdasani, S. (2005). Jung stripped bare by his biographers, even. London: Karnac.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shamdasani, S. (2010). Address at the Library of Congress: C. G. Jung and the red book. Washington, DC: Library of Congress transcript.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shamdasani, S. (2012a). C.G. Jung: A biography in books. New York: WW Norton.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shamdasani, S. (2012b). After liber novus. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 57, 364–77.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Stein, M. (2012). How to read The red book and why. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 57, 280–98.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lance S. Owens .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York

About this entry

Cite this entry

Owens, L.S., Hoeller, S.A. (2014). Jung, Carl Gustav, and the Red Book: Liber Novus. In: Leeming, D.A. (eds) Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion. Springer, Boston, MA.

Download citation