Alexandria West: Open to the Public

Reprinted from Ergates Magazine, June, 1996.


Over the last few years in northern California a remarkable Theosophic center has been gradually built up. Two long-time students of Theosophy, associating concurrently with ULT, the T.S. (Adyar) and the T.S. (Pasadena), settled in Turlock, California, a few years ago, bringing with them a sizable collection of Theosophical books and manuscripts. That collection has now become an archives of some 12,000 volumes and 50,000 pages of archival material, much of which has never been published.

Recently, this center announced that approximately 160 acres of land had been purchased near Coulterville, California, which will be the site of "Alexandria West Academy." Alexandria West will be a Theosophical study center for the use of all Theosophical students and inquirers regardless of organizational affiliation.

On April 12 and 13, 1996, several dozen Theosophists of varied backgrounds gathered at the historic Jeffrey Hotel in Coulterville for a conference commemorating William Q. Judge. On April 14, many conference attendees remained for a ceremony to dedicate the land for the future Academy. The rural landscape is beautiful and particularly conducive to meditation and study.

According to the owners, the Alexandria West archival collection is said to be the only world-class Theosophical archive open to all Theosophists regardless of creed, as well as to the public, completely free of charge.

The collection is quite remarkable for its rare book collection, its documentation of many important events in Theosophical history, and its comprehensive collection of nearly all Theosophical periodical literature.

Among the rare books of Alexandria West, one may find original editions of Olcott's People from the Other World, Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism, and nearly every edition of every work of Blavatsky, not to mention every biography ever written on H.P.B.

There is also a remarkable collection of many of the books frequently referred to by H.P.B., including Max Müller's Chips from a German Workshop, the original 1825 edition of the Institutes of Menu (a.k.a. Manava Dharma Shastra), The Golden Bough in 13 volumes, Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, Maspero's History of Egypt (13 volumes) the Collected Works of Thomas Paine (10 volumes), the Zohar (5 volumes), the Babylonian Talmud (34 volumes), A. Franck's Kabbalah, Kenneth Mackenzie's Royal Masonic Cyclopedia, 24 volumes of Asiatic Researches, and a host of other rare works, not to mention an extensive selection on the Vedas, Upanishads, world mythology, magical and occult movements, spiritualism, Buddhism, and American religions.

The collection of Theosophical journals is perhaps more impressive. The center has complete runs on The Path, Theosophical Review, Theosophical Quarterly, The Adyar Thesophist, The Eclectic Theosophist, Hermes, Vidya, Lucifer, Sunrise, Theosophy magazine, Theosophical Forum, Theosophical History, The Aryan Path, Old English Library Critic, Franz Hartmann's Lotusbluten, The Word, The Temple Artisan, Le Lotus Bleu, The Spiritualist Newspaper, W.T. Stead's spiritualist Borderland, and many others. It also owns the first 50 volumes of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research.

There is also a collection of archival materials, running to about 50,000 pages, including rare and in some cases unpublished photos of important Theosophical figures. Several areas which the archives cover extensively are the "Judge case," events surrounding Annie Besant and Leadbeater, and a great collection of original pamphlets from all Theosophical organizations, especially in the 19th century.

Alexandria West is committed to an unsectarian approach to Theosophical study, and all are welcome to visit and use the collection. For more information, one may contact:

Alexandria West
325 N. Broadway [ Yahoo! Maps  MapQuest ]
Turlock, CA 95380

(209) 667-7486

Email:  jjhe@charter.net