Philosophy & Theology

The Tank Collection is a particularly rich source on Protestant thought before 1801. Other collections relevant to philosophy and theology include pamphlets on 16th- and 17th-century theological controversies, as well as Freethought, Unitarian, and Saint-Simonian titles. In addition to these named collections, other collections in the Department include important holdings (especially titles published prior to 1801) concerning philosophy and theology. Check the Library Catalog and the card catalog in Special Collections for more information.

Philosophy & Theology Collections

  • Dutch Collection (also known as the Tank Collection). Nearly 5000 titles on theology, history, travels, and science from the library of the Reverend R.J. van der Meulen, minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, donated by his daughter, Mrs. N.O. Tank. The bulk of the collection pertains to Protestant thought, particularly Calvinism. It includes virtually all the sermons of the major Calvinist preachers of the 18th-century, many of the 16th and 17th centuries, plus numerous tracts by less-known writers. To find titles cataloged individually in the Library Catalog, use the call number Tank.
  • Dutch pamphlets. Some 200 lampoons, libels, and broadsides in prose as well as in verse, covering the second half of the war with Spain (1568-1648), the truce (1609-1621), and the wars with England and France, with special emphasis on 1672, known as the year of disasters. The collection details the theological controversy between the Remonstrant and Contra-Remonstrant believers in the Dutch Reformed Church (remonstrants wanted to soften the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination) and includes acts, decrees, and articles of faith from the 1618-1619 Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church. Indexed in Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Netherlands) Catalogus van de pamfletten-verzameling by W.P.C. Knuttel. Shelf list available in the Special Collections card catalog (drawer labeled Knuttel).
  • Freethought Titles. From the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Many additional titles in the the circulating collections of Memorial Library. Inventory and article describing the collection available in Special Collections.
  • Pacifist and Unitarian Titles. Collection Q. Pamphlets and books collected by a prominent Unitarian, Robert S. Hoagland.
  • Saint-Simon Collection. Some 100 items by French social philosopher Henri Saint-Simon (1760-1825) and his followers (Rodrigues, Bazard, and Enfantin), who created a new religion based on Saint-Simon’s principles for improving the welfare of the poor. The collection includes accounts of the 1832 trials of Bazard and Enfantin, accused of advocating women’s rights and the abolition of property. Call numbers CA 495 – CA 583.
  • Miscelas Chwalibog Collection. About 1400 volumes collected by a Polish immigrant ex-priest who founded his own church in Flintville, Wisconsin. The collection consists mostly of contemporary editions of the principal European theologians of the 17th and 18th centuries with particular strengths in church history and the philosophers of the Enlightenment. Most of the collection is in Special Collections with the remainder in the circulating collections of Memorial Library. On deposit from the Kellogg Public Library of Green Bay, 1946. Call numbers begin BX995 C5.
  • Hoyer Collection. Titles concerning all of the major currents of Lutheran theology, from the Reform movement in the 16th century to the pietism of the 18th century. Theodore Hoyer, campus leader and graduate student, donated his collection to the University before leaving for the war in France in 1918. Shelf list available in the Department (call numbers 1232432 noncurrent – 1232465 noncurrent).
  • Montauban Collection. French Protestant (Calvinist, Huguenot) theological pamphlets from the 16th-18th centuries. Shelf list available in the Department (call numbers 968953 noncurrent – 969166 noncurrent; also BX9457 M6).
  • Gilbert Motier Woodward Collection. More than 400 volumes from Woodward’s library, on permanent loan from the LaCrosse Public Library. The collection contains classics of antiquity in Latin and Greek, grammars of numerous languages, ancient and medieval philosophical texts, jurisprudence, magic, travel and exploration, religious titles from the 16th through the 19th centuries. A shelf list of the titles located in Special Collections is available in the Department (call numbers 1195448 noncurrent – 1195467 noncurrent). Much of the collection is in the circulating holdings of Memorial Library.