- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
- Find Related Materials
- Derrida, Jacques
- Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
- The Library of Jacques Derrida, Studio Series
- Rare Book Division
- Permanent URL:
- 327 boxes, 1 folder, and 6 items
- Storage Note:
This collection is stored at ReCAP and Firestone Library.
Stored in part on site at Firestone Library and in part off site at ReCAP. Items with annotations, inscriptions, or insertions are stored on site.
Consists of the personal library of French philosopher Jacques Derrida and members of his household.
Collection Description & Creator Information
The Library of Jacques Derrida comprises the library of the Derrida household, including Jacques Derrida's working library as well as books belonging, jointly or separately, to Jacques and Marguerite Derrida and, to some degree, their two sons, Jean and Pierre. It consists of volumes, serial issues, offprints, clippings, and papers accumulated in the course of Jacques and Marguerite's professional activities as well as books representing the family's far-reaching interests and leisure reading.
The thematic scope of the collection is expansive and polyglot, spanning some twenty languages and topics ranging, among many others, from capital punishment to photography, comparative law to James Joyce, the history of Algeria to animal rights, psychoanalysis to Iceland, mourning to Jewelry factories in Russia, Bushisms, and Asterix.
Jacques Derrida's working library is the result of decades of acquisitions of a scholar who preferred to work from home. Shelfmarks from an inventory conducted in 2011, with the workspace largely untouched in the seven intervening years since Derrida's passing, allow the virtual reconstruction of the contextual placement of works on his Studio shelves. Multiple copies of works, some with different sets of annotations, bear witness to a practice of re-reading as well as obtaining additional copies when those already owned were unavailable. A run of books received as gifts, several thousand items strong and including a number of volumes with uncut pages or still in their original shrinkwrap, offers evidence of Derrida's famous refusal to discard any books. Insertions related by subject offer a fascinating glimpse of an alternate use of the Library as an ad-hoc topical filing system.
The Library includes items added by Marguerite Derrida after Jacques Derrida's death. Also included are individual items bearing owner's marks of or inscriptions to Marguerite Derrida and Marguerite and Jacques Derrida's sons, Pierre and Jean.
Dealer notes regarding annotations employ a numeric scale from 0-3, with "0" denoting the absence of annotations, "1" the presence of some markings (typically underlines or vertical lines marking a phrase), "2" the presence of more substantive markings, and "3" heavy markings and marginalia.
Arrangement is by studio and rest of the house and follows the original placement of items on the shelves, or packing order where original arrangement was no longer discernible.
- Collection Creator Biography:
Jacques Derrida (July 15, 1930 – October 9, 2004) was a French philosopher, born in French Algeria. Derrida is best known for developing a form of semiotic analysis known as deconstruction. He is one of the major figures associated with post-structuralism and postmodern philosophy. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Derrida)
- Processing Information:
Processed based on dealer data using a database and XQuery workflow by Regine Heberlein and Donald Thornbury. Data entry and other invaluable assistance provided by Nick Williams '15 and Donald Thermesi.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Photocopies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions.
- Other Finding Aids:
Click here to access the full inventory of the House series.
- Credit this material:
The Library of Jacques Derrida, Studio Series; Rare Book Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Firestone LibraryOne Washington RoadPrinceton, NJ 08544, USA(609) 258-3184
- Separated Material:
At the time of acquisition, inserted material had been systematically removed from a subset of volumes and placed in a number of subject-based boxes and envelopes. Notes received by PUL from the dealer reflect this and are quoted in this finding aid in the interest of making the history of the collection's custodial interventions fully transparent.
All separated insertions received by PUL were re-inserted upon receipt of the collection in an effort to preserve archival context and service the collection as close as possible to its working state.
A small number of separated insertions were not received by PUL and are so identified in the finding aid.
- Subject Terms:
- Alferi, Pierre
Derrida, Jacques -- Library
Derrida, Marguerite -- Library
Philosophers -- France -- 20th century
Philosophy, French -- 20th century -- Sources
Philosophy, Modern -- 20th century
- Genre Terms:
- Private libraries