The Theosophical Society in America

Ways to Help

Preserve and Donate Collections

Members of the Theosophical Society, their families, and local groups, may have correspondence, papers, photographs, audiovisual materials, and artifacts from their activities in the Society. Consider keeping those materials together as a collection, and eventually donating to the Archives. What no longer has value to you may fill in gaps in our historical record. If you know the people in the photographs, lightly pencil their names on the backs, or fold them in a labeled piece of clean white paper. Contact our Archivist for more ideas about preservation and before sending collections.

Volunteer Onsite or Remotely

Volunteers are welcome to assist with a wide variety of tasks. People who live near Wheaton, Illinois can help with a one-time effort or an ongoing project. Those from farther away may be able to live on campus while working in the Archives.

Some projects supporting the Archives Department can be performed offsite. For example, recordings of digitized lectures can be transcribed; historic information can be keyed into spreadsheets; Web searches can be performed; and documents can be translated from Russian, French, German, Swedish, and other languages.

Theosophy Wiki

The librarians and archivists of the Theosophical Society in America have established a wiki encyclopedia called the Theosophy Wiki.

 

Photos and other unique items from the archives are being added to this base of knowledge, and editors from around the world contribute articles on theosophy and all aspects of the theosophical movement. 

 
Please consider joining in this collaborative effort. For a list of suggestions see “How you can participate”.
 
 

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World War II Project

We are collecting stories and photographs about theosophists in World War II, to show how theosophists faced the realities of wartime, both on the home front and in combat. Some people endured the war by depending on their theosophical beliefs, and others became members as a result of wartime experiences. Please help us by sending copies of personal narratives, correspondence, photos, newspaper clippings – whatever you have. There are lots of great stories yet to be told, and we hope to compile a book about this aspect of our history.

Donate Money, Supplies, or Equipment

Donations of money are received with great gratitude. Archival preservation requires acid-free boxes and folders for papers; special sleeves for photographs; and other measures for artifacts and audiovisual materials. Digitization of photographs and documents, films, slides, and vinyl recordings have to be processed by outside vendors. Maintaining a proper environment for long-term storage is expensive, and processing collections is labor-intensive. We really appreciate any financial help we can get that enables us to share our heritage with the world.
 
Supplies and Equipment
 
The Archives Department can always use photo print papers. Contact the archivist to ask what other supplies are currently needed.
 
The most-needed piece of equipment is a planetary scanner, also called an orbital scanner, which can be used to photograph delicate materials and rare books from above.

Support Friends of Theosophical Archives

The Friends of Theosophical Archives (FOTA) is a nonprofit organization based in England. It promotes knowledge of, and support for, the theosophical archives around the world.