- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
- Find Related Materials
- Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. (Ananda Kentish), 1877-1947
- Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
- Ananda K. Coomaraswamy Papers
- Manuscripts Division
- Permanent URL:
- 1827-1970 (mostly 1917-1947)
- 92 boxes
- Storage Note:
- This is stored in multiple locations. Firestone Library (mss): Boxes 1-40; 42-61; 9A ReCAP (rcpxm): Box 62-92
Ananda K. Coomaraswamy was a noted art historian and champion of Ceylonese and Indian culture. This collection covers a broad spectrum of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy's work in the fields of art history, philosophy, religion, and social criticism.
Collection Description & Creator Information
This collection covers a broad spectrum of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy's work in the fields of art history, philosophy, religion, and social criticism. Present in these papers are typescript drafts, proofs, and revised published copies of many of his articles and a few of his books, A New Approach to the Vedas (London: Luzac, 1933), Time and Eternity (Ascona, Switzerland: Artibus Asiae, 1947), Yaksas (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institute, 1928). Many retyped and edited versions of Coomaraswamy's work prepared for the Bollingen Foundation by Dona Luisa Coomaraswamy after her husband's death may be found with the manuscripts, as well as many illustrations which accompany the works that appear in these papers.
In addition, the collection houses an assortment of notebooks, subject files, and loose notes, correspondence (mostly with colleagues and editors), memorabilia including a tribute to Coomaraswamy compiled by S. Durai Raja Singam, a group of photographs and miscellaneous illustrations, a large group of reprints of Coomaraswamy's articles, plus a smaller group of miscellaneous printed material. A significant portion of the collection consists of Dona Luisa Coomaraswamy's writings, notes, and correspondence. Of special interest is Mrs. Coomaraswamy's correspondence with Wallace Brockway and Alvin Moore which details her editorial methods in her work for the Bollingen Foundation.
A large group of photographs documenting Indic temples and artwork and dance from India and Southeast Asia, is also present, along with drawings, clippings, negatives, postcards, and research notes kept throughout Coomaraswamy's tenure at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
There is no Box 41 in the collection.
- Collection Creator Biography:
Ananda K. Coomaraswamy was a noted art historian and champion of Ceylonese and Indian culture. Born in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), in 1877, Coomaraswamy moved to England in 1879 and attended Wycliffe College, a preparatory school, from the age of 12. In 1900, he graduated from University College, London, with a degree in geology and botany, and in 1906, he received a doctor of science for his study of Ceylonese mineralogy. He served as director of the Mineralogical Survey of Ceylon from 1902 to 1907 before moving to the United States to serve as curator of Indian art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where he stayed for the remainder of his life. Coomaraswamy devoted himself to the study of traditional Ceylonese and Indian arts and crafts, the cataloging of Indian art collections, and research on Indian art, religion, metaphysics, and culture. He died in 1947.
Gift of Joel S. Stern, Bollingen Foundation, Dr. S. Durai Raja Singam.
- Archival Appraisal Information:
No appraisal information is available.
- Processing Information:
The collection was formed as a result of a departmental practice of combining into one collection manuscript material of various accessions relating to a particular author.
Materials in Subseries 6B were transferred from the Department of Art and Archaeology in 2013 (AM 2014-48).
Biography written by Jessica Marati, '08. Finding aid updated by Kelly Bolding in December, 2013 and May, 2014.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.
- Credit this material:
Ananda K. Coomaraswamy Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Firestone LibraryOne Washington RoadPrinceton, NJ 08544, USA(609) 258-3184
- Subject Terms:
- Aesthetics, Oriental.
Art historians -- United States -- 20th century.
Art, Indic -- Photographs.
Buddhist art and symbolism.
Dance -- India -- Photographs.
Dance -- Indonesia -- Photographs.
Temples -- India -- Photographs.
- Genre Terms:
- Correspondence -- 20th century.
- Adam, Tassilo
Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. (Ananda Kentish), 1877-1947
Coomaraswamy, Dona Luisa.
Weissenborn, Thilly (Margarethe Mathilde), 1889-1964
- India -- Description and travel.
Southeast Asia -- Description and travel.