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Rare and Important Archival theosophical documents

Jul 24, 2011 02:07 PM
by MKR

Theosophists are aware of  Ramaswami Iyer who went to Sikkim and met his
master and wrote about his meeting. When he died, his son came into
possession of  theosophical correspondence, and some of them were letters
from his Master. His son wrote:

âMany Theosophist
relatives and friends, for some of whom I have great
regard and esteem, have since the death of my father
frequently exhibited peculiar vexation at my insisting on
keeping these papers in my possession. One gentleman
in particular, a well-known- Theosophist and a relative of
mine, was so far candid as to admit to me in conversation
that " he wanted me to give up these papers, because it
was the fact of such things having been left in the possession
of strangers, that on .previous occasions had involved
the Society in trouble.

I may say that even Colonel Olcott often gave himself
much trouble in trying to get
back these things if possible from my hands.

As soon as
I came to Madras early in 1893 from Tinnevelly, where
my father died in the first month of that year, I received
the following letter from Colonel Olcott:â . .

"My Dear Sir:
 Kindly send me all private Theosophical papers, letters, and
photos left by my dear and lamented friend your father, whose
untimely loss I so much deplore. I shall dispose of them as
he would have wished me to do,,had I been,favoured by seeing
him on his deathbed

Belive me

Yonrs, truly,

 (Signed) H S Olcottâ

MKR Comments:

This brings into focus the tendency for organizations to seize control of
the documents of its members when they are gone.

This brings into focus the issue of important private and other historical
theosophical documents. From time to time, the question that arises is
preserving them for the archives for use in the future. The fear of the
owners of such historical material is that if they are handed over to
related organizations, they may end up being inaccessible for ever.

So the tendency is to hand the papers to public and university libraries.
The classic example was the papers of Rajagopal who was the Secretary to
Jiddu Krishnamurti and he handed his collection of Huntington Library and
not Krishnamurti Foundation.

I am sure that there are lot of material in the Adyar, Wheaton and London
archives and all the people concerned are now dead and gone. Is it not time
to scan them and make them available on Internet. Not only it would be the
easiest way to preserve them for posterity but anyone interested in them can
access them from any location in the world so long there is Internet access.

My 0.02


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