Hoose Library of Philosophy Archival Collections

The Hoose Library of Philosophy's specialized collections are housed in USC Libraries’ Special Collections department on the second floor of Doheny Library.  To access collections in the Special Collections department you must make an account and request them through the Specialized Research Collections Request System


Below is a list of some Philosophy-related collections in Special Collections, including the Flewelling and Gomperz collections.

Voltaire Correspondence

There are 32 items in this collection, the majority of which are correspondence between Frederick the Great of Prussia and Voltaire. There are also some other letters from Voltaire to various friends including the Derrey de Rocqueville, who was a lawyer in the Parliament of Toulouse. Three pages of poems are also included in this collection, all written by Voltaire, and which include flowery language, many metaphors, and references to mythological characters and gods. Several of the letters are signed by Voltaire. All of Frederick the Great's letters are signed by him.

The Voltaire Correspondence has also been digitized and can be viewed online with accompanying information on a collaborative website put together by USC librarians and staff at the USC Libraries’ Ahmanson Lab at the Harman Academy for Polymathic Study.  Be sure to take a look at the Digital Voltaire Project!

Anna Hawley Searles collection of Edwin Diller Starbuck and Herbert L. Searles papers

The collections consist of publications; publications proofs; research notes; correspondence files; lecture notes and course assignments; receipts and cancelled checks; photograph, half-tone blocks, and transparencies; a scrapbook; and personal artifacts representing the personal papers and research of Edwin Diller Starbuck (1900 to 1955), Herbert L. Searles (ca. 1924 to 1959), Anna Hawley Searles (1948 to 1951). Edwin Diller Starbuck (1866-1947) was a prominent teacher of philosophy, psychology, and education. Dr. Starbuck became associated with USC as professor of philosophy and later professor of psychology until his retirement in 1943. Herbert Leon Searles (1891-1980) was a professor of philosophy at USC from 1930-1957 and was associate director of the Institute of Character Education and Research. His wife, Anna Hawley Searles, served at USC as an administrator.

Flewelling Collection

Professor Ralph Tyler Flewelling, as director of philosophy at USC and with the support of the Seeley Wintersmith Mudd Foundation, began developing the Hoose Library of Philosophy during the mid-1920s. From the first, his plans embraced the acquisition of books possessing a combination of scholarly and bibliophilic qualities; and by the time it was installed in new quarters in Mudd Memorial Hall in 1930, the library contained a modest group of such volumes.


Items of Interest

Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy

Opera di Galileo Galilei

Hobbes’ Leviathan

For more information check out our Flewelling Collection research guide!

Gomperz Collection

The Gomperz Library of Philosophy, formed in Vienna by the philosopher-scholars Theodor and Heinrich Gomperz during the latter part of the 19th century and first part of the 20th, was widely regarded as the finest of its kind in private hands. Shortly before World War II, with the support of the Mudd Foundation, the University purchased a major part of the collection, including some 3,500 volumes of original and early editions of European philosophy from about 1700 to 1850.


Items of Interest

Hume’s A Treatise of Human Nature

For more information check out our Gomperz Collection research guide!