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The UvA’s philosophy collection has always been expansive (more than 100.000 titles). A large part of this collection is stored in the library’s repository while the rest can be found in the open shelving system, predominantly in the university library Singel. The UvA’s philosophy collection contains a substantial amount of reference works, many primary and secondary sources, and monographs pertaining to the many aspects of philosophy. The acquisitions policy reflects the UvA’s current teaching and research.

  • Open shelving system

    The literature in the open shelving system has been organised according to the Library of Congress Classification (LCC). Some of the categories important to Philosophy include:

    • B 1-5802 Philosophy (general and history of philosophy)
    • BC Logic
    • BD Speculative philosophy
    • BF Psychology
    • BH Aesthetics
    • BJ Ethics
    • H Social Sciences
    • JC Political theory
    • M Music
    • N Fine Arts
    • P Language and literature
    • Q Science
    • R Medicine

    Most of these classifications can be found in building E of the university library Singel.
    The LCC outline for Philosophy offers a comprehensive overview.

    For a comprehensive layout of the Library of Congress classification please see:
    Quick Reference Guide Humanities Collections
    General overview of Library of Congress layout

  • Special Collections

    The following subsections / collections deserve a special mention:

    • Spinoza (primary and secondary sources)
      see also: Spinoza Collections (in Dutch)
    • The Bolland Foundation library and archive; the Bolland Foundation collection of books, brochures, reprints and manuscripts are on permanent loan to the university library (repository 13 boxes & library approx. 1200 titles). There is a separate catalogue for this collection. This collection is of the utmost importance for the study of Hegelianism in the Netherlands in the 20th century.
    • Prof. Mr. Dr. Leo Polak’s Library: an exceptional collection of philosophy, literature, and cultural history. It contains first editions of both French and German philosophers such as Descartes, Leibniz, Kant, Schelling, and Hegel (more than 1200 titles. A catalogue is present). This library was bequeathed to the UvA in 1948. In 2011 Leo Polak’s daughter ms. Ans Samama-Polak gifted his 60-part diary to the university’s Special Collections.
    • Wijsgeerige Collection, established by the Dutch philosopher Poortman: numerous archives that differ in status, size, content, and accessibility. The important archives being: the G. Heymans archive, the International School of Philosophy archive, the G. Mannoury archive, the J.J. Poortman archive, the H.J. Pos archive, the M.H.J. Schoenmaekers archive, and the C.J. Wijnaendts Francken archive. There is a preliminary overview available of all the people whose material can be found in the Wijsgeerige Collection. Please consult the university’s Special Collections, information Klaas van der Hoek.
    • Bibliotheca Beth is a great portion of prof. E.W. Beth’s private library. Prof. E.W. Beth passed away in 1964. The collection contains approximately 2500 titles in area’s such as logic, philosophy of mathematics, and the foundation and history of exact sciences. One can only access the collection on-site. The books have been added to the library’s online public catalogue.
      In 2009 this collection was moved to the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) in Watergraafsmeer.
      To consult the Bibliotheca Beth one should contact the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC),  phone 020 525 6051.