Guide to the Research Collections

- Section -- II: -- THE HUMANITIES
- PART ONE
- 18 -- PHILOSOPHY, PSYCHOLOGY, AND RELATED MATERIALS
- HISTORICAL SURVEY

HISTORICAL SURVEY

The growth of the collections in the broad field of philosophy, psychology, and related subjects is indicated by the following:

1854Astor Library1,500 volumes1
1921New York Public Library19,158
193025,888
194133,000
196657,200

In 1852-53, the Astor Library acquired a philosophical and miscellaneous collection of between 4,000 and 5,000 pieces. The Bancroft collection, purchased by the Lenox Library in 1894, was strong in the field of German philosophy. Among gifts bearing directly on this field is the James Black temperance collection presented in 1917 by the National Temperance Society. In 1948-49 the library received the Clarence Evans James collection of about 1,000 books and pamphlets chiefly on astrology, but also including nineteenth-century works on occultism, theosophy, and similar subjects. Other important gifts and acquisitions bearing indirectly on these areas are discussed below.