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Preserving and disseminating Theosophical Archives at Adyar

Jul 13, 2011 05:16 PM
by MKR

Preserving and disseminating Theosophical Archives at Adyar

The recent book by Joseph Ross - Krotona, Theosophy and Krishnamurti,
contains some very valuable material consisting of personal correspondence
between major players in TS during 1927-1931. For a historian and dedicated
theosophist, they are a gold mine of information which has never seen the
light of day.

During the days of Besant, CWL, Arundale, Jinarajadasa and Sri Ram, there
were a lot theosophical activities that took place. In addition it is to be
noted that Jinarajadasa worked closely with CWL and Besant and Sri Ram was
the personal assistant to Besant in her most active days.

There has to be a lot of personal correspondence which either originated or
received by the above leaders and reading them today will throw a lot of
light on various developments during the above period. I am sure they are in
the custody of the archives of TS at Adyar.

We have no information what steps have been taken to preserve them as well
as any efforts to open them up for historians and researchers and
theosophists. The techniques involved in preservation of the original
documents can be an expensive proposition considering the fact the climate
in Adyar is warm and is not conducive to preservation without 24/7

In preservation and dissemination, modern technology is a boon today.
Documents can be scanned very easily and once scanned can be stored on
computer hard drives and backup media and with the help of Internet anyone
interested can access them very easily. The price of fast reliable scanners
has come down and scanning is quick as demonstrated by the recent effort of
making scanned files of early day Theosophist online at
This was done in short order by a handful of theosophists with no financial
or other help from any organization. This should be an eye opener for anyone
looking at preservation and dissemination of valuable information.

It has been reported that a theosophist in India had offered to donate a
commercial high speed scanner along with an electric generator to Adyar for
use by the library. Last I heard on the Internet was that there was no
response from Adyar.

TS deals with Ancient Wisdom. However, TS uses modern contraptions such as
electricity, automobiles, air travel, Internet, computers, wireless phones
etc. Net logical step is to attack the preservation and dissemination issue
with the help of scanners, computers and Internet. Since all the players
involved above are all dead, there need to be no fear of any material
hurting them.

Doing nothing is not going to help anyone. Let us take the bull by horns and
make valuable material available to theosophists as a by product of
preserving valuable historical documents.


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