After Hannah Arendt’s death in 1975, her personal library was acquired by Bard College through the efforts of co-executors Lotte Kohler and Mary McCarthy; Alexander Bazelow, ’71; Irma Brandeis (Bard College faculty 1944-1979); Librarian Fred Cook; and Bard’s President, Leon Botstein.
The collection represents approximately 4,000 volumes, ephemera and pamphlets that made up the library in Hannah Arendt’s last apartment in New York City. Of particular significance are the 900+ volumes containing marginal notes or lining, endnotes or ephemera, as well as many volumes inscribed to her by Martin Heidegger, Gershom Scholem, W.H. Auden and Randall Jarrell, among others.
Thanks to a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2008), the collection is cataloged and stabilized. We are now working to digitize all volumes containing marginalia, a project that is freely shared with the international scholarly community in order to expand the rich contemporary dialogue on Arendt’s significant contribution to public discourse. The Stevenson Library supports the work of the Hannah Arendt Center on campus, and information about events or Arendt related scholarship can be found on that website.
A large collection of materials in the collection related to the work of her second husband Heinrich Blücher (Bard College faculty 1952-1971) are described at the digital Blücher Archive, thanks to the support of alumnus Alex Bazelow, class of 1971.