Guide to the Research Collections

- Section -- II: -- THE HUMANITIES



Periodical holdings are substantial for most countries; the large majority of the world's important philosophical journals are available. The resources include complete runs of Archiv für Philosophic (1947- ), Aristotelian Society Proceedings (1887- ), Journal of Philosophy (1904- ), Revue philosophique (1876- ), and many

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others. The Research Libraries currently receive approximately 110 periodical titles in this area.

The collections for western philosophy are strong. The Public Catalog contains entries for individual philosophers and for schools of philosophy; for instance there are approximately 80 entries in the card catalog under the heading "Stoicism," but a number of references lead to individual Stoic philosophers such as Cleanthes, Musonius, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius; further, there are 78 entries for Marcus Aurelius and 66 entries for works about him. Similarly, Scholasticism receives some 170 entries, with the major figures, Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Bonaventure, having 650 and 90 entries. Philosophy holdings in the Jewish Division center on some 500 volumes of the works of Moses Maimonides and Judah ha-Levi in Hebrew texts and exegeses. Modern western philosophy is well represented, with about 400 entries treating Existentialism as a subject, excluding the works of individual philosophers. Holdings of the works of such figures as Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Gabriel Marcel are almost complete both in the original languages and in translation.

Oriental Philosophy

Philosophical materials in the Oriental Division make up a good working collection, although one that is not as detailed or complete as the resources in other language areas. Arabic, Chinese, and Indian philosophy are the strongest collections. A preponderance of some 380 texts and critical works in Arabic philosophy are in Arabic, with parallel translations in certain cases. Chinese philosophical texts and critical works number about 240 items, including texts in Chinese. Classics in this field are held in a great number of editions and translations. There are some 360 Indian philosophical titles. The majority of the texts in Sanskrit are in the various printed collections and series that are an outstanding feature of the Oriental Division, among them the Poona Oriental Series and the Bibliotheca Indica. Yoga and Vedanta are the best represented of the six schools of Indian philosophy.

Spinoza and Kant

The holdings of works by and about Spinoza make up a particularly good working collection, numbering about 100 original works and some 450 critical books and journal articles. The Rare Book Division has two states of the first edition of Tractatus theologico-politicus (1670); there is also a French translation entitled Reflections curieuses ... (1678) in the general collections. There are late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century refutations of Spinoza's theories, and translations of his works. Among collected editions are the Latin edition of Paulus (1802-03), the "Supplementum" in Latin and Dutch of 1862, the German edition of Schaarschmidt and Baensch (1888-1905), the editions of Van Vloten and Land (1882-83), Carl Gebhardt (1924), and others. Periodicals related to Spinoza include the Spinozistisch Bulletin (1938-40), and Biosophical Review (1931-54).

The collection of materials by and about Immanuel Kant includes some 200 works by the philosopher and an additional 475 about him. First and early editions are included in the collection; for example, the first (1781) third, fifth, and sixth editions of Critik der reinen Vernuft, and a first edition of Die Religion Innerhalb der Grenzen der blossen Vernuft (1793), are included. The standard collected edition of the Berlin Academy in 21 volumes (1900-38) is present, as is a run of Kantstudien (1897-1919, 1920-43, 1953- ).


The collection of theosophical materials numbers 600 titles, including 70 periodical files, of which 9 were current in 1966. Among the older periodicals is a run of Theosophical Review (London, 1887-1909), and among current publications are Theosophist (Madras, 1879- ), and Theosophy (Los Angeles, 1912- ). The book materials include collected and other editions of the works of Helene Petrovna Blavatsky, Jakob Böhme and others. A significant amount of material is regularly added to the collection.

Rarities and Manuscripts

In addition to the first and early Spinoza and Kant editions mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, possibly the most noteworthy rarity is a first edition of René Descartes' Discours de la méthode. In the Rare Book Division are two copies of a Biblia pauperum (Strasbourg, 1490) said to have been compiled by Saint Bonaventure, who is also the purported author of the Speculum beatae Mariae Virginis (Augsburg, 1476) and the established author of De triplici via (Cologne, 1475). Among other incunabula in the division relating to philosophy are Saint Thomas Aquinas' Summa contra Gentiles (Venice, 1480) and his Quaestiones de duodecim quodlibet (Venice, 1476), Ibn Sina's Metaphysica Avicenne (1495), William Ockham's Quodlibeta (Paris, 1487), Boethius' De consolatione Philosophiae (Toulouse, 1481), and Plato's Opera (Venice, 1491).

This is not a field in which the Manuscripts and Archives Division has sought out or collected manuscripts, but many modern figures of significance are represented by one or more letters in autograph collections and collections of personal correspondence in the division. Included, for example, are 138 letters of John Dewey, 74 of Josiah Royce, and 18 of William James. Medieval manuscripts include Boethius's "De consolatione Philosophiae" written in Lombardy and dated December 29, 1381, and 2 fifteenth-century versions of Aristotle's "De virtutibus et vitiis."