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Theosophical Libraries

Nov 30, 1994 03:04 PM
by Olcott Library

The Olcott Library & Research Center is the "national" library of
the Theosophical Society in America, located in Wheaton,
Illinois.  It was founded in 1926 and has a collection of over
15,000 titles of books, periodicals, audio and video cassettes in
the subject areas of Theosophy, Eastern philosophy and religions,
comparative religion, and related subjects in the Ancient Wisdom

The library is open every day except Monday.  About one third of
our borrowing transactions are by mail.  To qualify for borrowing
privileges a person must be a member either of the Theosophical
Society in America or of the Olcott Library.  Library membership
for non-TSA-members is $30.00 per year for mail borrowing.
Patrons may receive up to 5 books and 4 audio cassettes by mail
for a 6-week borrowing period, which includes time for mailing.
Videotapes can be rented for $5.00 each for a 4-week period,
including mailing time.

The library has published an Annotated Book List (1990) which
lists ca.  2400 titles of books, grouped by subjects.  It can be
purchased for $10.00 postpaid.  A partial listing of audio and
videotapes is available for $7.00.

We receive some borrowers' requests by e-mail and welcome more.

For a descriptive brochure of the Library (includes a membership
application form), please send your request to: Mailing address: PO Box 170, Wheaton,
IL 60189-0270 Phone: (708) 668-1571 Ext.  Library

The Library has just purchased computer software which will
enable us to create a computerized catalog and circulation
system.  We are using OCLC (Online Computer Library Center in
Columbus, Ohio) to provide us with most of the catalog records we
need.  It will take 1-2 years to automate the library.  Once the
system is functional it will be possible to access our catalog by
phone through direct dial access and request materials that way.
Look for progress reports on our automation project in THE
AMERICAN THEOSOPHIST (magazine for members of the Theosophical
Society in America).

There are various other theosophical libraries, but I believe we
are the only one that caters to mail patrons.

Elisabeth Trumpler
Head Librarian
Olcott Library & Research Center

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