At the suggestion of Professor Lenn Goodman, beginning last summer the library investigated the acquisition of the private collection of an independent Spinoza scholar. The collection was the culmination of decades of study, and offered a significant enhancement to the library’s collection. With a historically strong collection in Jewish Studies and Judaica, the addition of the primary and secondary literature by and about Spinoza provided an opportunity to enrich the depth of the research collection on Spinoza, one of the half dozen greatest philosophers in the Western tradition and one of the seminal figures in modern political, biblical, and religious thought. The three 17th century editions of Spinoza’s works are the jewels of the collection, and are housed in Special Collections.
In addition to the McBride Collection, the Library Collection Initiative proposal included a bibliography of about 70 titles related to Spinoza, not previously held in our collection, and not included in the McBride’s trove.
These additions provide resources relevant to disciplines across the campus, but are especially significant for Philosophy, Jewish Studies and Ethics.
More information about this collection is available in the Vanderbilt news story of the three 17th century Spinoza editions.