The initial idea of having a Research Library at the headquarters of the Australian Section of the TS was aired at the 1973 Annual Convention at Bina Burra. The General Secretary at that time, Elaine Murdoch, wrote that the idea “was received with considerable enthusiasm and that space had been allocated for it. It was decided that it would not be a lending but a Research Library where students, scholars and all interested may come and browse and/or carry out research.” (Theosophy in Australia, August, 1974)
The project of a Research Library received an outstanding impulse from Elliston Fauna Campbell (1891-1990), pictured at the left. Campbell joined the TS in Australia on 27 May 1914 and was inducted by C. W. Leadbeater. In subsequent years he would serve as Honorary Secretary of the Birmingham Lodge, TS in England (1917), President of Blavatsky Lodge, Sydney (1932) and member of the National Executive Committee of the Australian Section. He was the first member ever to receive the title of Honorary Life Member in this Section. He was also a lecturer for the TS in Sydney and International Secretary of the Theosophical Order of Service. He was active in a number of cultural and scientific organisations in and around Sydney.
In 1978, Elliston Campbell willed that part of the bequest from him and his wife, Phyllis Campbell, to the TS in Australia, should be held in trust to promote the interests of the Adyar Library and Research Centre (Madras, India) and the promulgation of its publications in Australia. He also indicated that if, for any reason, it was impractical to establish a branch of the Adyar Library and Research Centre, then the bequest should be used to establish and/or further the aims of a Research Library with aims, objectives and activities as close as practical to those of the Adyar Library and Research Centre. Such were the origins of the Campbell Theosophical and Research Library.
Honouring the original vision of its donor and benefactor, we plan to commence in the near future an Indological Section which will house selected titles from the catalogue of the Adyar Library and Research Centre. Thus the Campbell Library will be expanding its scope in order to include additional works which are relevant to the study and research of the Wisdom Tradition known as Theosophy. An effort will also be made to make the Library collection and services even more widely known in the academic world in Australia. Its unique collection can help scholars in their study of the different aspects and history of the Theosophical Movement and the representative works therein. In this new phase of the Library work we remember again with profound gratitude the vision, dedication and generosity of Elliston Fauna Campbell, a true Theosophist.
Pedro Oliveira, Education Coordinator, TS in Australia
After serving for several years as Library Coordinator, Naomi Blumensaadt stepped down from that position earlier this year. Both she and Cai Blumensaadt continue to work as volunteers in the Library and they bring a great deal of dedication and expertise to the work. We are very grateful to both of them for their ongoing and long-term contribution. We are very fortunate also to have Jennifer Hissey, a trained Librarian, assisting in the Library work, as well as for the contribution of volunteers Alexandra Furdui, Elly Mabbutt and Gil Murdoch. Their help is much appreciated.
The Nag Hammadi Library, James M. Robinson, General Editor (HarperSanFrancisco, 1990)
“This definitive edition is the only complete, one-volume, English-language edition of the renowned library of fourth-century manuscripts discovered in Egypt in 1945. It includes the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary, and other Gnostic gospels and sacred texts.”
The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels (Penguin Books, London, 1990 reprint)
“In this book Elaine Pagels examines Gnostic writings which were Coptic translations from the original Greek dating from the time of the New Testament and shows why Gnosticism was eventually stamped out by the increasingly organized and institutionalized Orthodox Church.”
A Rebirth of Christianity by Alvin Boyd Kuhn (Quest Books, Wheaton, second edition, 2005)
“Kuhn challenges orthodox interpretations of the Bible to restore what he believes is the true Christian message. He views Jesus’ life allegorically instead of historically and finds behind the myths and symbols the mystical teachings they embody.”
Robert Fludd, edited by William Huffman, Western Esoteric Masters Series (North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, 2001)
“Fludd sought to integrate the whole of human knowledge within a divine and hierarchically ordered cosmology. His books represent a grand summation of centuries of Christian Neoplatonist Hermeticism and remain a feat unique in the history of consciousness.”
Embracing Reality: The Integral Vision of Ken Wilber by Brad Reynolds (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, New York, 2004)
“A comprehensive introduction to Ken Wilber’s work, it includes an in-depth biography of Wilber, a chapter-to-chapter summation of his major works, passages from Wilber’s core works, definitions of essential terms and a complete Wilber bibliography.”
Cycles of Faith by Robert Ellwood (Altamira Press, Walnut Creek, California, 2003)
“Ellwood makes the case that the world’s five largest religions (Hinduism, Chinese religion, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam) all move through the stages of Apostolic, Imperial, Devotional, Reformation, and Folk Religion.”
Krishnamurti and the Wind: A Biography by Jean Overton Fuller (The Theosophical Publishing House, London, 2003)
A fresh biography, extensively researched, by the author of Blavatsky and Her Teachers and The Comte de Saint Germain: Last Scion of the House of Rakoczy.