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HUM 48.1

Rawls, John, 1921-2002. Books from the personal library of John Rawls, 1915-2002 : an inventory

Harvard University Archives

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Descriptive Summary

Call No.: HUM 48.1
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Rawls, John, 1921-2002
Title: Books from the personal library of John Rawls, 1915-2002
Date(s): 1915-2002
Quantity: 19 cubic feet (19 record cartons)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: John Rawls (1921-2002) was one of the most significant political and moral philosophers of the twentieth century and is credited with reviving the social contract tradition in social and moral philosophy. These books selected from Rawls's personal library contain extensive annotations and notes from readings in economics, moral philosophy, and social theory, and offer a view of the works that interested Rawls and may have influenced his own work.

Acquisition Information:

The personal library of John Rawls was acquired through donation from Professor Rawls and his family.
  • Accession number: 15085; 2004 July 14
  • Accession number: 17313; 2006 March 21
  • Accession number: 17818; 2008 June 29
  • Accession number: 18116; 2010 March 12
  • Processing Information:

    Processed October-November 2010 by Dominic P. Grandinetti, Kate Bowers, and Julie Revak.
    Loose offprints, reprints, photocopies of journal articles, book chapters, and manuscript drafts were housed in acid-free folders. Notes, articles, news clippings, letters, and a photograph (presumably used as a book mark) inserted in Rawls's books were left in the locations in which they were found, but reformatted or enclosed for preservation. News clippings and notes were either photocopied onto acid-free paper or placed in acid-free envelopes. Some books were placed in accordion folders or tied together, along with their inserted material. One photograph was enclosed in a mylar sleeve.
    Each book has been cataloged in HOLLIS.

    Conditions on Use and Access:

    Permission of the University Archives is required for access to the Personal Library of John Rawls. Please consult the reference staff for further details. Additional restrictions may apply.

    Related Material in the Harvard University Archives

    Biographical Essay

    John Rawls (1921-2002), James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, was one of the most significant political and moral philosophers of the twentieth century and is credited with reviving the social contract tradition in social and moral philosophy. Rawls's theories of a just liberal society, known as justice as fairness, greatly influenced the fields of political science, economics, sociology, theology, and the law.

    Biographical / Historical

    John Rawls (1921-2002), James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, was one of the most significant political and moral philosophers of the twentieth century and is credited with reviving the social contract tradition in social and moral philosophy. Rawls's theories of a just liberal society, known as justice as fairness, greatly influenced the fields of political science, economics, sociology, theology, and the law.

    Arrangement

    The books in this collection remain boxed in the order in which they were found in each accession. The list is arranged alphabetically by author.

    Scope of the Collection

    This collection represents a selection of books pertaining to philosophy, economics, and social theory from the personal library of John Rawls. These volumes were chosen because they provide an important resource for research into the origins and development of Rawls's concept of a just liberal society, known as justice as fairness. This library offers a look into what Rawls read, his thoughts about the ideas and theories presented in these books, the influences these books may have had on him, and the wide range of Rawls's reading.
    Most of the books in this library include Rawls's ownership inscription, extensive annotations, and personal indexing on the endpapers. Some books have news clippings, notes, book reviews, letters, and a photograph (presumably used as a book mark), inserted into them. Many of these books were given to Rawls by other well known philosophers and include brief sentiments or appreciative comments written to him on the title pages.
    This library includes both soft and hardcover books, offprints, and drafts of papers. Some of the books are in German and French.
    This collection does not include all the books in Rawls's personal library.
    All book titles are included in HOLLIS, the Harvard online catalog.

    Inventory update

    This document last updated 2016 August 9.

    Container List


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