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Thomas Jefferson's Library: A Catalog with the Entries in His Own Order

edited by
James Gilreath and Douglas L. Wilson


1989 Library of Congress

Reproduced 2001
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Table of Contents   |    Sources cited   |  Catalog record and links to related information from the Library of Congress catalog


FOREWORD

This slim but important volume makes available for the first time in print an illuminating historical document until recently believed to have been lost- namely, Thomas Jefferson's own classification of the sixty-seven hundred books he sold to the federal government after the British had destroyed the congres- sional library in Washington during the War of 1812. Far from being a mere list of titles, Jefferson's catalog of his "great library" reflects the Virginian's attempt to categorize all knowledge and, as such, it provides unique insight into the world view of this multisided genius. Given the catholic range of Jefferson's informed intellect, the catalog will be of serious interest to students, academic and otherwise, in scores of disciplines. James Gilreath and Douglas L. Wilson, editors of the catalog, know as much as anyone today about Jefferson's love affair with the printed word. Like all superior researchers, Gilreath and Wilson are superb detectives. Their lengthy and enlightening introduction tells the story of their scholarly sleuthing and suggests the catalog's significance as a rare guide to Jefferson and his times. As one who professed "I cannot live without books," Jefferson surely must have died a bit with the sale of his premier collection in 1815. Fortunately he was spared knowing of the subsequent disappearance of his classification scheme, which is now reclaimed for posterity over 160 years after his death, thanks to its publication under the appropriate aegis of the Library of Congress. Daniel P. Jordan, Director Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, Inc. vii

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Foreword   |   Introduction   |   Selected Reading List   |   Editorial Note   |   Chapter: 1  |  2   |   3  |  4   |   5  |  6   |   7  |  8   |   9  |  10   |   11   |   12   |   13   |   14   |   15   |   16   |   17   |   18   |   19   |   20   |   21   |   22   |   23   |   24   |   25   |   26   |   27   |   28   |   29   |   30   |   31   |   32   |   33   |   34   |   35   |   36   |   37   |   38   |   39   |   40   |   41   |   42   |   43   |   44   |   Appendix


Table of Contents  |   Sources cited   |   Catalog record and links to related information from the Library of Congress catalog


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