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The Theosophical Society in Australia

The Campbell Theosophical Research Library

The Campbell Library Newsletter

No 20 — November 2008

Change and Continuity

While explaining the meaning of the Secret Doctrine's Second Fundamental Proposition, Madame Blavatsky stated:

This second assertion of the Secret Doctrine is the absolute universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow, which physical science has observed and recorded in all departments of nature. An alternation such as that of Day and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and Waking, is a fact so common, so perfectly universal and without exception, that it is easy to comprehend that in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the universe.

The law of periodicity is also active in the work of the Campbell Library. After more than ten years of voluntary work in the Library, Naomi and Cai Blumensaadt have recently announced their decision to retire. Their contribution is well known to many students and researchers around the world. We therefore express our sincere thanks and gratitude to them for their many years of dedicated service in the Campbell Theosophical Research Library.

Gilbert Murdoch, Webmaster of the TS in Australia's website, will continue to maintain and update both Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals and Links to Theosophical Texts Online as well as TheTheosophical Research Library web page. Jennifer Hissey, a staff member at the National Headquarters and also a Library Technician, will attend to the regular Library work.

My tenure as Education Coordinator of the Australian Section ends in January 2009, when another person will be appointed to that position by the National Council of the Theosophical Society in Australia. Under the Rules of the TS in Australia the Education Coordinator is responsible for the work of the Campbell Library. I will be taking up residence at our international Headquarters at Adyar, Chennai, India in February 2009.

I would like to thank the National Executive Committee and the National Council of the TS in Australia for the opportunity to serve this Section for the past eight years. I also would like to thank the staff members and volunteers at the National Headquarters for their help and solidarity.

In spite of a number of changes, The Campbell Theosophical Research Library will continue to be a unique resource for theosophical study and research. The eclectic nature of its collection of books, periodicals and archival material will continue to attract students and researchers from many quarters. And new technologies will eventually enable the Library to make its resources even more widely available through electronic means.

Pedro Oliveira


Campbell Library News

Links to Theosophical Texts Online
Nine web pages of Links to Theosophical Texts Online have been updated on the relevant Campbell Library's web page Most of the changes have been for Authors with names starting with "J" to "M". The site now has links to 1,565 different "theosophical texts". The total number of links, including to different versions of the same "texts", and to other categories (Early Classics, Online Periodicals, Online Theosophical Libraries, and Glossaries) is now 2,580.

Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals
The above Index has been updated on the relevant Campbell Library web page is the 30th quarterly update since January 2001. There are now 165,000 entries in over 140 Periodicals. This update includes three additional periodicals: The Aquarian Theosophist (2000-), Dawn (1921-24), and The Indian Theosophist (2002-). As the Search and List Kit cannot be used with Microsoft Vista, Apple Mac, Linux, etc., the Large File used in the Kit has been made available for download by such users so that they can conduct their own search.

Revision of Campbell Library Web Page
The web page "From the Library Collection", underwent extensive revision.

Special Donation to the Campbell Library
A copy Dr Jenny McFarlane's Ph.D. thesis for the Australian National University in 2006, entitled A Visionary Space Theosophy and an alternative modernism in Australia 1890-1934, which explores the influence of Theosophy on a number of artists in Australia, has been kindly donated, by Dr McFarlane, to the Campbell Library in recognition of the support she received during her research.

Research Student from ANU
The Library and Archives had a visit from a research student from the Australia National University who is studying for her B. Music (hons.).a partial requirement she will submit a paper on Phyllis Campbell, focused on her music. She has offered to contribute to the Library a copy of her submission when complete. She also intends to continue her studies via a doctorate, also including reference to Phyllis Campbell but from a broader perspective (especially Australian).

Website on Annie Besant
A newly completed project called the Annie Besant Shrine by Kurt Leland has been brought to our attention. It contains a detailed chronology and over 1,400 listings and hundreds of links to her books and pamphlets online, as well as other material.

Online Public Access Catalogue
Following a decision of the National Council of the TS in Australiain January 2008, the Section has started to implement the OPAC Online Public Access Catalogue, with the aim at placing the catalogue of a number of TS libraries in Australia online. Jennifer Hissey, who has received training in the new system, has begun by cataloguing the Campbell Library's collection.

Article by Prof. Jill Roe
Prof. Jill Roe, a distinguished Australian historian and author of Beyond Belief: Theosophy in Australia 1879-1939, sent a copy to the Library of her article "‘May we each be faithful to the light that we have already gained’: Some Perspectives on Modern Theosophy", published in Volume 27 2/2008 of Dialogue, the journal of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

This Newsletter is published occasionally.
The Theosophical Society in Australia is not responsible for opinions expressed herein.