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Re: Access to archives

Sep 06, 2004 12:43 PM
by Anton Rozman

Hi friends,

although in my previous message on this theme I came to conclusion 
that this issue could be probably to sensitive for further 
discussion I would nevertheless like to add an idea on what, in my 
opinion, could be an appropriate far-reaching international project 
for the solution of these problems, with the object to develop 
network of theosophical archives.

(See example at:

I believe that the main problem is shortage of the theosophical 
workers dedicated to this important work and that many devoted 
archivists can not meet the ever increasing needs of researchers and 
interested members. How to solve this problem? As I know the 
National Archives in Europe (but it can't be much different 
elsewhere) must offer, by law, all possible technical support to the 
private owners (including societies) for the arrangement of the 
archives which are important as a national cultural heritage. So, 
the theosophical societies should seek this support and in that way 
meet modern standards of their archives.

--- In, gregory <gregory@z...> wrote:
> Regarding the discussions about access to Theosophical archives:
> In my research, I was given completely unrestricted access to the 
> Loma Publications Collection (library and archives) (and even fed 
> housed while working on them!), the ULT library in London, and the 
> library in London. I had unrestricted access to the Pasadena 
library, but 
> not the archives, although some archival material was provided to 
me on 
> request, and Pasadena accommodated me while I was there, and the 
> were extremely helpful and generous. I had what was described as 
> unrestricted access to the Adyar Library by courtesy of John 
Coats) but 
> there were some odd "difficulties" over particular works - e.g. 
> Wood's "Is this Theosophy?" was, apparently, in a permanent state 
> "being fumigated" (physically? psychically?). But no real 
> were put in my way, and the staff were extremely helpful. A couple 
> minor problems were quickly resolved by John. I had slightly 
> access to the Adyar archives - I could not see a list of files or 
> inventory of materials, but if I requested a file, and it existed, 
it was 
> provided to me. Thus, I asked for some files which "didn't exist" 
> when asked for under another title were produced. It just took a 
bit of 
> imagination on my part. The only formal restriction I found was 
> requests to have copies made of some photographs were refused. I 
> have copies of some, but not of others. Essentially, the refusals 
> for copies of some fascinating photographs of Leadbeater with semi-
> boys in the grounds of The Manor. I was refused any access to the 
> archives, but I must say I have no particular problem with that. 
The ES 
> is a private, secret organization with a right to control its own 
> archives. I have no complaints at all about the treatment I 
received at 
> Adyar - people were generous, hospitable and kind. As a non-member 
and an 
> academic researcher, I really could not have sought more 
> Dr Gregory Tillett

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