The Campbell Library Newsletter

November 2001 No 5

The Campbell Theosophical Research Library

4th floor 484 Kent Street Sydney NSW 2000 Australia Tel: (02) 9264 7056 Fax: (02) 9264 5857

The Campbell Theosophical Research Library is a specialist research and reference facility which aims to encourage the quality study of and research into theosophy, the theosophical movement and its history, and other subjects related to the objects of The Theosophical Society. It has a comprehensive range of books, journals and other material covering these areas. It also has material that, while not directly related to the theosophical movement, gives a wider historical and cultural context. Anyone interested in its collection is welcome to use the Library which is available by appointment - please note that material may not be borrowed. For further information please contact the Library Co-ordinator at the above address.

UPDATE — the Union Index

CD-ROM with Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals and Other Materials

In January 2001, The Campbell Theosophical Research Library produced and widely distributed a CD-ROM: the Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals and Other Materials. This CD contains an Index of about 108,000 articles in some 90 theosophical and related periodicals. There is a combined searchable file of most of the indices and separate files for all individual publications. The CD also contains other material such as the full texts of The Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky, Index to The Secret Doctrine, The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence, Collation of Theosophical Glossaries and various other texts and dictionaries. The Index has been placed on the Library’s web site and has been updated — see below.

A copy of the CD may be obtained from the Library Co-ordinator at the above address. The price is $5.00 including postage and production expenses.

Union Index on the internet

Since January, the Union Index has also been available on the Campbell Library web site. Apart from the indices to individual periodicals there is provision for downloading a combined file of all indices with a search and list facility. This download has a 2.3MB zipped file which upzips to a 9.5MB combined file. For details, see Table of Contents on the Index web page.

Updating the Union Index

The Index has already been updated twice since it was placed on the Internet and a third update is in progress.

The updating includes:

Contributions to the Union Index

Users are invited to contribute material to the Union Index. This could include additions and corrections to existing indices, as well as adding new indices. For details see Table of Contents on the Index web page which also includes a listing of missing (unindexed) issues and periodicals.

From The Browser — a sampling of books:

One of the aims of this Newsletter is to give some idea of the unique range of the holdings of The Campbell Theosophical Research Library. The Browser has selected the following material from its shelves in order to give just a taste of what is available:

Manual of a Mystic: FL Woodward — a Buddhist Scholar in Ceylon and Tasmania,
by Michael Powell, Historical Survey of Northern Tasmania, 2001.

This is a biography of Frank Woodward, one of the foremost Pali and Buddhist scholars of our time. In the 1930s, he was acting director of the Adyar Library at The Theosophical Society headquarters at Adyar, India. Powell explores the many aspects of Woodward’s life as a renowned educationalist in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and as a notable Buddhist scholar living in an apple orchard on the Tamar river in Tasmania. His pioneering translations of Buddhist scriptures, still standard texts among Pali scholars, played a significant part in Ceylon’s Buddhist revival as well as introducing many in the west to Buddhism. Apparently in Tasmania he was regarded as ‘a bit of a mystic’ by locals unaware of his work and interests.

The Theosophical Congress held by the Theosophical Society at the Parliament of Religions, World’s Fair of 1893, at Chicago Ill., Sept. 15, 16, 17 — Report of Proceedings and Documents,from The American Section Headquarters Theosophical Society, 1893.

Theosophical delegates were invited to attend the Parliament of Religions, and Professor G.N Chakravarti and William Q Judge were at the opening and sat on the platform. The Congress itself was presided over by W.Q. Judge, Vice-President of The T.S. and among the speakers were Annie Besant, Professor Chakravarti and Isabel Cooper-Oakley. In an Executive Notice issued in conjunction with The Parliament, Henry S. Olcott, President of The Theosophical Society, who deputised Judge to represent him at the Parliament, wrote: “The Managers of the World’s Parliament of Religions have granted us permission to present the views and policy of our Society with respect to the questions of Religion and Ethics .... Mrs Annie Besant [will] address the meeting on behalf of the whole Society, and will convey to them [my] fervent hope that this truly representative Theosophical assembly of people of all races and religions may result in the spread of that principle of brotherly love and religious tolerance which is the foundation and cornerstone of The Theosophical Society”.


Books about Adyar - the international headquarters of The Theosophical Society in India

Adyar is the heart of The Theosophical Society and, over the years, its unique qualities and its beauty have been conveyed through publications such as:

ADYAR — The Home of the Theosophical Society: Views taken expressly by Alcyone (J. Krishnamurti), T.P.H. Adyar, 1911.

This historical book contains 45 photographs of the buildings, the gardens and some of the people who lived there, a map of the estate and plans of some of the buildings. C.W. Leadbeater who wrote the text noted that ‘Krishnamurti .... spent many hours and much labour in preparing a series of photographs, tramping all over the estate to find the best points of view, patiently taking some of the buildings over and over again in different lights and with various exposures’. Krisnamurti was using his first camera. He was fifteen at the time and his book, At the Feet of the Master, had just been published in 1910.

A Guide to Adyar, by Mary K. Neff and others, Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, 1939;

Adyar, by C.R. Groves, T.P.H. Adyar, 1950 - with rare photographs;

Adyar The International Headquarters of the Theosophical Society, T.P.H. Adyar, 1999 — a comprehensive description of Adyar and its activities, with photographs.

The Esoteric World of Madame Blavatsky — Insights into the Life of a Modern Sphinx, compiled by Daniel Caldwell, Quest Books, 2000.

Insightful reminiscences, from a varied range of contributors, span H. P. Blavatsky’s birth in 1831 through her international fame as an esoteric writer and savant to the eulogy in the New York Tribune after her death in 1891 celebrating her as ‘one of the greatest thinkers not alone of the present day, but of all time’. This is a revised version of Caldwell’s previous work The Occult Work of Madame Blavatsky.

Blavatsky and her Teachers, by Jean Overton Fuller, East-West Publications and T.P.H. London, 1988.

A ‘investigative’ biography of H.P. Blavatsky. The publishers state that Fuller has used Russian language material and is the first biographer to have access to the archives of the London Society for Psychical Research. Fuller claims to throw new light on the real identities of Madame Blavatsky’s teachers and their relationship to the complex world of Tibetan Buddhism. Her portrayal of Blavatsky is that of a woman struggling against immense personal and social difficulties to fulfil a mission that was scarcely understood by her closest associates.

Also by Jean Overton Fuller: The Comte de Saint Germain — Last Scion of the House of Rakoczy, East West Publications, 1988.

The Comte de Saint Germain is one of history’s most mysterious characters. In the middle of the 18th century he appeared suddenly, a man of mature years and unusual learning. An intimate of Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour, this ‘man without a past’ gained renown as a chemist, musician, composer, diplomat and esoteric religious figure. Fuller’s study of Saint Germain probes little-known areas of 18th century political and spiritual life and provides new answers about a person who, as quoted from Frederick the Great, was ‘A man whose riddle has never been solved’.

FOCUS: G. R. S. Mead

The Campbell Library has a comprehensive range of works by G. R. S. Mead. He made an invaluable and scholarly contribution to the theosophical movement and was H.P. Blavatsky’s secretary from 1889 to her death. He obtained BA and MA honours at Cambridge where he majored in Greek and Latin and also studied philosophy at Oxford. Later he wrote books on gnosticism, hermetic philosophy and the origins of Christianity.

One of the important works associated with him is Pistis Sophia — a Gnostic Miscellany published in 1896. This work was discovered about the middle of the 18th century and Mead was the first to render it into English from the Latin translation. Prior to its publication as a book about one half was serialised in Lucifer, and Blavatsky made comments equal to about 40 pages in that magazine. Lucifer started with Blavatsky and Mabel Collins as editors in 1887, and Mead and Annie Besant were editors after Blavatsky’s death in 1891. Mead’s output was substantial. From 1909 to 1930 he was editor of The Quest — the scholarly journal of The Quest Society which aimed to ‘seek for spiritual values in religion, philosophy, science, literature and art’. He died in 1933.

Other works by Mead, as author or translator, held in The Campbell Theosophical Research Library:

Apollonuis of Tyana — The philosopher-reformer of the 1st century AD. A critical study of his life, 1901;

Did Jesus Live 100 BC? — an enquiry into the Talmud Jesus stories. A study of Christian origins, 1903;

The Doctrine of the Subtle Body in Western Tradition — outline of what philosophers thought and Christians taught on the subject, 1919;

Echoes from the Gnosis: vol. V — The Mysteries of Mithra, 1907, and vol X — The Hymn of the Robe of Glory, 1908;

Fragments of a Faith Forgotten — short sketches among the Gnostics mainly of the first two centuries. A study of Christian origins, 1900;

The Gnostic Crucifixion; The Gospels and the Gospel, 1902;

The Hymn of Jesus — translated with comments by Mead, 1907;

Plotinus — the theosophy of the Greeks, 1895;

Simon Magus — the Gnostic Magician;

Thrice Greatest Hermes — studies in Hellenistic Theosophy and Gnosis, vols. 1-3, 1906;

The Upanishads — vols. 1 and 2, 1896;

The World-Mystery — four comparative studies in general theosophy, 2nd ed., 1907.


is a part of The Theosophical Society in Australia

The Society is a non-sectarian organisation that has no dogma and stands for freedom of search and belief. Its objects are:

  1. To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour;
  2. To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy and Science;
  3. To investigate unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in the human being.

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