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Eric Voegelin Library

About the Library

Eric Voegelin

In 1986, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gebhardt was able to acquire the private library of his academic teacher Eric Voegelin (1901-1985) for the Institute of Political Science at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.

The German-born political philosopher is considered as one of the outstanding recent representatives of a historically-hermeneutically oriented theory of politics in a comparative civilizations perspective. A former Kelsen assistant, he emigrated from Vienna to the United States in 1938, where he taught at various universities. In 1958-69 he returned to Europe to accept an appointment as full professor of political science at the University of Munich. From 1969-85 he lived again as emeritus professor in the USA, where his most important works (“Order and History” / “The New Science of Politics”) were published.

The private library, which has a decidedly encyclopedic orientation, contains around 5,000 books and offprints with a focus on philosophy and religious studies. In addition to the published complete works, the Voegelin Library also has around 100 microfilms containing the scholar’s manuscripts and typescripts – still archived at Stanford -, some of which are still unpublished, as well as his extensive correspondence with leading scholars of the time, especially from the émigré milieu. The filmed archival materials are indexed by name.

The Eric Voegelin Library is scientifically and antiquarily supervised by the Division Intellectual History at the Institute of Political Science. The library’s holdings are available to interested researchers for scholarly work after prior appointment. Interested scholars are asked to contact Dr. David Schkade.