John and Mary Frantz Skeptics’ Library
The John and Mary Frantz Skeptics’ Library is the premiere library of Skepticism in the world. Within this library you will find materials associated with the mission of CSI. Some of the various topics covered in this library are:
- Critical Thinking
- The Paranormal
- Quack Medicine
- The Supernatural
- Urban Legends
The paranormal and the supernatural are a major portion of this library; in fact over 90% of the materials are pro-paranormal. This is because there are more pro-paranormal materials published. Some further topics of the paranormal include:
- Miracle Claims
- Myths and Legends
- Psychic Phenomena
The Frantz Library also includes a few artifacts, including quack medical devices and a display of these devices is being planned. The Frantz Library also has tarot cards, crystals, runes and other similar items.
James Hervey Johnson Freethought and Humanist Library
The James Hervey Johnson Freethought and Humanist Library is the collection associated with the mission of the Council for Secular Humanism. The library was named after the James Hervey Johnson Foundation after a donation was made toward the CFI Building Fund. The JHJ Foundation no longer financially supports this collection. Some of the topics of this library include:
- Critical Thinking
- Religious criticism
- Evolution / Creationism
- Separation of church and state
The JHJ Library has many rare items relating to its mission, including First Editions of The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine, and Reason: The Only Oracle of Man by Ethan Allen, the first Freethought work published in the US.
Jo Ann Boydston Library of American Philosophical Naturalism
The Jo Ann Boydston Library of American Philosophical Naturalism contains the works of such naturalist philosophers as John Dewey, Sidney Hook, Ernest Nagel, Corliss Lamont, George Santayana and Marvin Farber. This collection is relatively small now but we plan to expand this collection in the future. For more information about this philosophical movement, please see American Philosophic Naturalism in the Twentieth Century edited by John Ryder. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 1994.
Humanist Institute Collection
The Humanist Institute Collection was donated by the North American Committee for Humanism (NACH) and the American Ethical Union (AEU) several years ago because they felt they could no longer maintain it. The NACH runs the Humanist Institute, and this program can lead to Humanist Leadership Certification. Other portions of this library collection were donated by Robert Tapp.
The Joseph L. Blau Library
Joseph L. Blau, a member of the Institute faculty, was professor of religion at Columbia University and a leader in the American Ethical Union. His library was given to the Institute by his family at his death. This valuable collection in religion and philosophy is now housed with the HIC Library at the Center for Inquiry.
Rare Book Room
The Rare Book room contains many rare and wonderful works, some dating back to the 17th Century. There are signed works by Robert G. Ingersoll, various First Editions of Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason, and some 19th Century Spiritualism items.
The Archives contain the papers of the various organizations at the Center, as well as the personal papers of Patrick Romanell, a philosopher who wrote on medical ethics, Paul Kurtz’s personal papers, and the Thornton Page Papers that related to the AAAS conference on UFO’s in 1970 that eventually led to the book UFO’s — A Scientific Debate edited by Carl Sagan and Thornton Page.
The Center’s Libraries have approximately 500 titles, with current subscriptions or exchanges with approximately 100 journals or other serials. We also house our various local group’s newsletters for both CSI and the Council.
The Libraries contain more than just the major collections. Also included are microforms / microfiche, a reference collection, and other collections of materials used to supplement the scope of the major collections.
Other Collections at the Center for Inquiry Libraries
Other Book Collections
- Arnold B. Levy Collection of Literary, Artistic & Scientific Hoaxes in Honor of Steve Allen
- Prometheus Repository
- Hal Verb Little Blue Book Collection
- General Collection
- Paul Kurtz Papers and Books Collection
- Martin Gardner Papers and Books
- Patrick Romanell Collection
- Foreign Language Collection
- Paul Edwards materials
- Renner Collection (Medical and Quack Medical Devices)
Archival and Papers
- Steve Allen Notebooks
- Lee Eisler papers (IHEU and BRS materials)
- Thornton Page papers
- Jeffrey Victor papers (Satanic Panic papers)
- Richard Taylor papers
- Gordon Stein papers
- Company archives
- General archives
- Clipping Files (unclassified as yet, chronologically organized)
- Sidney Hook Awards Collection
- Microfilm / Microfiche
- Audio / Visual Materials (library proper)
- Periodicals and Journals Collection
- Inquiry Media AV Collection