Library Resources

Students in the McLennan Library Building.Students in the McLennan Library Building.

The Humanities and Social Sciences Library has some special collections that will be of interest to students of philosophy.

The David Hume Collection

Established in 1947, the collection was formed from the McGill library's existing holdings and by extensive purchases in the late 1940s and early 1950s under the supervision of philosophy Professor Raymond Klibansky and the University Librarian Richard Pennington. Other early contributors were former McGill professors Dr. J.W.A. Hickson (philosophy) and Dr. C.W. Colby (history). The collection has been added to regularly and systematically. It includes first, early and variant editions and translations of works by David Hume; contemporary and modern criticism of Hume; and books from Hume's library. There are 546 monographs and 51 letters from Hume.

For more information, see Bruce Whiteman, "Recent Additions to the David Hume Collection", Fontanus IV (1991), 181-183.

The Gregor Malantschuk Søren Kierkegaard Collection

This collection was formed by the Kierkegaard scholar Prof. Gregor Malantschuk and acquired in 1980. The collection now numbers some 1553 monographs and includes an almost complete set of first editions of Søren Kierkegaard's works, as well as a reconstruction of his private library. A copy of the sale catalogue of his library is also part of the collection. As well, there is a collection of books in contemporary editions that Kierkegaard is assumed to have read, although they were not in his library, and a collection of other germane contemporary books. Modern critical works on Kierkegaard complement the original works by Kierkegaard.

For more details, consult the Catalogue of the Gregor Malantschuk Søren Kierkegaard Collection in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Montreal: McGill University, 1984.

The Jean-Jacques Rousseau Collection

The Rousseau Collection was formed in the early 1950s from material already in the McGill library and from new acquisitions. It was created as a complement to the David Hume Collection. The collection now comprises some 140 first, early and variant editions of Rousseau's works, some modern editions and some 120 eighteenth- century (and later) commentaries and criticisms of Rousseau. There are eighteenth-century English translations and some examples of Rousseau apocrypha, notably editions of Letters of an Italian Nun including one eighteenth-century American edition. There are also a dozen autograph letters and a contemporary manuscript copy of "Jean Jacques Rousseau, Citoyen de Geneve, Christophe de Beaumont, archevque de Paris" dated 1763.

The text on this page was adapted from the McGill Rare Books and Special Collections web site.