- My NYPL
- Using the Library
I am a...
- Classes & Events
- Support the Library
Introduction to the Collections
The New York Public Library collects extensively in most areas of philosophy. The largest collection of philosophy is in the General Research Division (room 315); Asian philosophy is in the Oriental Division (room 219); philosophy written in any of the Slavic or Baltic languages is in the Slavic and Baltic Division (room 217); and philosophies of Judaism, and philosophy in Hebrew or Yiddish is in the Jewish Division (room 84).
The General Research Division collects philosophy primarily in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. Translations of works originally written in English, however, are rarely acquired. Over 500 philosophy journals from around the world form an important part of the collection.
An open-shelf browsing collection of major works and reference sources is available in the Rose Main Reading Room, Room 315, along the southwest wall. Items housed here are indicated in CATNYP with a classmark that includes the prefix *R (e.g., *R-YAB).
Holdings of works by and about Baruch Spinoza and Immanuel Kant are particularly strong. The Library has the first edition of Spinoza’s Tractatus theological-politicus (1670); the first (1781), third, fifth, and sixth editions of Kant’s Kritik der reinen Vernuft and a first edition of his Die Religion Innerhalb der Grenzin der blossen Vernuft (1793); also, a first edition of Descartes’ Discours de la methode (1637).
The Library also subscribes to many electronic resources that will be helpful to the researcher. These can be accessed from the public computers located in any of our reading rooms. Other selected web resources listed in this guide can be accessed from any computer with Internet access.
If you need further assistance, visit our reference desk, or e-mail us