Friedrich Nietzsche

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Friedrich Nietzsche

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Redigerat: mar 27, 2009, 3:54 pm

I always missed Nietzsche in the Dead People's Libraries.
There is a great book about his library, which is available at Amazon for a lot of money ( ), but it is also available at Google Books for free ( ). The only problem is, I don't know how to copy & paste off Google Books, so it would probably be a lot of typing ;)

Anybody interested?

mar 27, 2009, 4:01 pm

The book is also reasonably well represented on WorldCat, so someone with access to academic library may be able to borrow it. However, the copyright date is 2003, so it's probably best to start by contacting the publishers for permission to reproduce the catalog.

mar 28, 2009, 10:46 am

Who should contact the publisher? A represent of LibraryThing or just one of us?

mar 28, 2009, 11:43 am

Somebody had started something with Nietzsche awhile back, let me see if I can dredge it up.

Redigerat: mar 28, 2009, 12:36 pm

Regarding Nietzsche's Library this web page may be of interest to the group.


mar 28, 2009, 5:46 pm - here's the earlier thread on this. Looks like rfb has password information for the Nietzsche profile, so YagamiLight, check in with him to get that.

If anyone decides to take this on, I would begin by contacting the author/s, who then should be able to help you get in touch with the publisher if they're interested. Normally the person who's going to catalog the library does the contacting, but if you'd prefer that I do it I will write up a note if someone finds the contact info.

Any questions, just ask.

dec 13, 2009, 12:57 am

I really wish i could read german,As it would be great to read Nietzsches persönliche Bibliothek.Is his catalogue compiled anywhere?

dec 13, 2009, 4:06 am

The publisher does not seem to allow publication of the catalog, which is why i stopped adding the books to the profile.
But you are right, it really is quite interesting. He did not read even half the philosophers he wrote about.

dec 13, 2009, 9:04 am

#8: He did not have in his library at one particular point in time half the philosophers he wrote about. That's entirely different.

dec 13, 2009, 9:07 am

Yes, that's right. Just because a given author's books don't show up in a catalog of their library created at a specific moment doesn't mean much at all. A very, very important thing to remember when looking at/working on these collections.

dec 17, 2009, 10:20 am

Hm no, actually it is well known by German biographers that Nietzsche's knowledge on philosophy derived mainly from reading a book about the history of philosophy, and that he did not care much reading their works by himself (Schopenhauer and other exceptions excluded of course).

mar 28, 2013, 11:15 pm


This thread has been dormant for a few years, but what's happening with the Nietzsche Legacy Library? It's missing a lot of books -- quite a few I can already list from memory.

I'd be glad to revive the project and start cataloging -- will gladly do crazy Indiana Jones-type missions through academic libraries and probe the dark, scary parts of the Web for this. Also know German and some French.

maj 1, 2013, 11:56 am

See YagamiLight's comment #8 above. There's a published catalog (see #1), but the publisher is treating the contents as protected by copyright.

Redigerat: jun 8, 2014, 4:50 am

If anyone would like to complete Nietzsche's library, there was a catalogue published by the Nietzsche-Archiv in 1942 which is out of copyright, or at least the contents.

M. Oehler, Nietzsches Bibliothek, Weimar, Gesellschaft der Freunde des Nietzsche-Archivs, 1942, VIII + 56 S., (5) Bl.

Details here

Catalogue here

I would love to help with this, but there's no German in me.

jun 8, 2014, 7:40 am

No German either but I do speak the language. As M. Oehler died in 1946, the book is - thanks to the Disney rat - still under copyright until 2017, although the preliminary list dating from 1900 would be public domain.

Redigerat: jun 8, 2014, 5:03 pm

Ausgezeichnet! So are we OK to use this or not?

The foreword to the volume has a few caveats, which I'll summarize:

Nietzsche's library was no longer intact when this was published. This is not a complete reconstruction of his personal library. Many books were sold or given away after his death, esp. fiction.

This catalog tries to determine what books he borrowed from libraries or other sources, as well as what he owned; these are in separate sections.

Nietzsche normally read with a pencil in his hand, underlining passages and filling the margins with comments ("yes, good, no, nonsense, stupid, exclamation marks, NBs"). This catalog uses 0-3 large dots after an entry to symbolize the degree to which a book has been marked up by Nietzsche.

I notice a great many Latin titles, but only one title partly in Greek letters. Haven’t looked through the whole thing. Note the categories for French, Italian, Noridc, Hungarian etc. literature.

The catalog lists items by subject (this is a translation of the table of contents):

Classical antiquity

- Greek authors
- Roman authors
- Literature about classical antiquity
- Dictionaries, grammars, instruction books

Modern philosophy. Psychology

Religion. Theology. Mythology


Natural sciences. Mathematics

Medicine. Health & hygiene

History. Geography. Ethnography. Politics. Economics


Aesthetics. Art history. Cultural history


Literary history. Philology

German literature

French literature

English and American literature

Italian literature

Nordic, Russian, Hungarian, Polish literature

Travel guide books


jun 8, 2014, 5:08 pm

>15 jcbrunner: As M. Oehler died in 1946, the book is - thanks to the Disney rat - still under copyright until 2017

Life + 70 is a European thing; for most purposes,* US law puts books published more than 95 years ago into the public domain, with books published before 1923 grandfathered into the public domain. So 2038 for the US.


jun 8, 2014, 6:48 pm

Is it not slightly odd then that an Italian university is making the catalogue freely available on their website? Surely they would have checked prior to hosting it. Is there anything in the German text that maybe says it's a reproduction of an earlier catalogue?

>17 prosfilaes: I had no idea your American copyright laws were more strict than here in Europe.

Redigerat: jun 8, 2014, 7:54 pm

>18 BuiltByBooks: I had no idea your American copyright laws were more strict than here in Europe.

They aren't exactly. I don't know the percentage of authors who died less then 25 years after publishing (which would make the American laws stricter), but a lot of early Pablo Picassos are PD in the US, and everything he did prior to 1949 will be PD in the US first. Same thing with Agatha Christie: The Mysterious Affair at Styles and The Secret Adversary are PD in the US and new works will start dropping into the US PD starting in 2019, whereas nothing of Christie's will leave copyright in Europe until 2047, by which time most of good (pre-1952) works will be PD in the US. Bertrand Russell and George Bernard Shaw are also good examples of authors who have good work PD in the US but won't have anything PD in Europe for a while.

A few years back, someone pointed out the oldest work in copyright in the UK was 150 years old, having been a poem published by a 14 year old who lived into her 90s. My big regret about life+n laws is works like the magazine that was published in; in the US, I can take any work published in 1922, even huge anthologies with dozens of authors, some of whom published one work and disappeared into anonymity, some of whom lived into the 1970s, and the whole thing will be obviously PD without further checking.

(Sorry if that was a little prolix; it is an issue I've dealing with for years.)

jun 9, 2014, 6:15 am

The list of books was first published in Jahrbuch deutscher Bibliophilen und Literaturfreunde 1913 which should be safely out of copyright but is shielded from global eyes by Google's just to be extra safe 1875 copyright cut-off date. Could an American check whether the Italian PDF above is just a faithful copy of the Jahrbuch info? If so, we can proceed on the basis of the Italian copy.

Economist Joe Stiglitz' new book Creating a Learning Society makes a good case that our current intellectual property rights hurt innovation and learning, thus hurting economic growth.

Redigerat: jun 9, 2014, 6:45 am

The Google Books page doesn't show for us Americans, either.;view=1up;seq=121 is the start of the article in question; I believe that's visible world-wide. It doesn't look like it has as much information, just titles and authors.

What I hate is that life+70 / 95 years is enough to kill some authors. So many authors that didn't get reprinted in the print days could be easily accessible to all if they weren't covered by copyright for another few decades, by which they will be even more forgotten. Lots of good movies, too, are little known compared to their PD counterparts that have been shown on TV and made available on budget DVDs.

jun 9, 2014, 6:57 am

Hathi only presents "restricted access" to me. German/Austrian copyright has the notion of Schöpfungshöhe, copyright is only allocated for the creation of extra value, not trivial addition. On this basis, the author's completion of the bibliographic information (essentially year and publisher) would not be covered by copyright (IANAL), so in my opinion we should be able to proceed with the project.

One of the main problems is the climate of fear these long copyrights create. One publisher declined to include a snapshot picture from 1929 because no author could be identified and even though a so called "reasonable search" was undertaken with an affirmation of the local national image library that it didn't match the photographic style of one of the known photographic studios working at that time. Or when MOOCs are unable to show images ...

jun 9, 2014, 1:00 pm

>22 jcbrunner: Yes, I've seen where publishers decline to use decades-old snapshot pictures of the author because no one could remember who took the snapshot.

jun 11, 2014, 12:00 pm

Status update: Jeremy has sent me the password to the dormant FriedrichNietzsche account, so we are good to go. I created a LT Wiki page for him too.

While I will only have time to make some entries in July, feel free to claim some sections and ask me for the password by sending me a message. Given that unique title word + year works quite well, your knowledge of German can be quite feeble. Frisch, fröhlich, frei ran an die Sache wie Nietzsche sagt: "Alle guten Dinge haben etwas Lässiges und liegen wie Kühe auf der Wiese." - II, Aph. 107. Good browsing.

Redigerat: jun 13, 2014, 2:14 pm

Just a minor note--I've had no problem finding what look like the correct editions so far, but in several instances where there was variation in spelling I changed the source's to that of the catalogue's--e.g. "Kometen" for "Cometen", "Standpunkt for Standpunct", "heliozentrische for "heliocentrische" (loosely, modern spelling replacing archaic).

P.S. I haven't finished changing the spelling (in the sections I'm entering), but LT stopped letting me switch between accounts right now so it'll have to wait.

P.P.S. I think I caught them all--Thiere to Tiere, Alterthum to Altertum etc.--some of the titles are long and I may have missed something, please change or let me know.

feb 11, 2016, 11:22 am

According to there are still open sections for this - accurate?

feb 11, 2016, 11:36 am

>26 JBD1:

There was a problem with the favoured databases, the Gemeinsamer Bibliotheksverbund (GBV) and NEBIS so it stalled. If they are back online I'll do my bit again.

feb 11, 2016, 12:00 pm

I've gone and claimed three of the remaining sections, leaving two (I believe) unclaimed, in case either of other cataloguers wants a bit more fun.

Redigerat: apr 12, 2019, 2:13 pm

apr 12, 2019, 2:19 pm

Wow, awesome! Would you mind adding a bit to the profile about the what source was used? (Was it;view=1up;seq=121 ? Trying to figure it out from the thread but it's been a while!)

Once that's done we'll get it all sorted out (I will once I get home tonight, anyway; I don't have all the necessary admin info with me at the moment)

Redigerat: apr 12, 2019, 3:17 pm

Oh, dear, good question... I worked from a PDF I'd downloaded way back when but don't recall exactly from where--I'm guessing from the (now dead) link in >14 BuiltByBooks:, the link to the non-copyrighted list? The PDF title page has Nietzsches Bibliothek. Vierzehnte Jahresgabe der Gesellschaft der Freunde des Nietzsche-Archivs 1942. (There is an addendum with a list of books Nietzsche borrowed but no one mentioned adding those and personally I'm not sure they ought to be included in what is meant to represent his personal library.)

It should be noted that it seems this is considerably shorter than the published 2003 catalogue which according to this page lists about 2200 (!) items.

Besides the approximately 2,200 titles from the reconstruction of Nietzsche's library, the volume also contains a catalogue of all traces of Nietzsche's reading (approx. 20,000) such as notes, underlinings and dog-ears.

The Wikipedia entry on his library (in the archive in Weimar) mentions some 1100 "volumes", which might accord with the shorter catalogue (i.e. the one entered here) as quite a few titles are spread over multi-volume sets. No clue what accounts for the 2200. (If anyone has the book, maybe they can explain?)

Given these complications, maybe you ought to decide what should the profile say. By the way, I did not write that profile, but I have no objection to editing it myself, assuming no one else objects either.

Let me know if you need the password or would like me to e-mail you the PDF.

apr 12, 2019, 3:18 pm

>31 LolaWalser: Haha no worries!

Does your PDF match what's at;view=1up;seq=121 ? If not, probably worth emailing it so I can try to puzzle out what's up (my old LT email will still work). And you can send me a profile message with the current pw, or put it in the email, and I'll work on the profile, unless you'd like to.

apr 12, 2019, 3:23 pm

>32 JBD1:

Uh, that page gives me nothing, says "this item is not available online". I'll e-mail you the PDF to jeremy@ etc.

apr 12, 2019, 3:27 pm

Ah weird ok. Thanks!

apr 12, 2019, 3:39 pm

If any of the previous cataloguers see this thread, I'm having trouble sending this PDF to Jeremy (my email accounts all limit at 50MB and the file is 58.6)--anyone else remember or have the source for the PDF?

Redigerat: apr 12, 2019, 3:54 pm

Oh, that's a big 'un. Is it the publication outlined at ?

That's described as:

"A few years later, in 1942, a new printed catalogue, edited by Max Oehler, of the books owned by Nietzsche was released (M. Oehler, Nietzsches Bibliothek. Vierzehnte Jahresgabe der Gesellschaft der Freunde des Nietzsche-Archivs, Weimar 1942, pp. 67). Oehler’s volume contains 775 volumes and 1621 titles, subdivided by discipline, with an appendix containing the books that Nietzsche borrowed from the university library in Basel."

If that's it, I can just add that citation, &c.

(ETA: Oh, there's a download link on that page to a 58MB thing, that must be it, right?)

apr 12, 2019, 4:11 pm

Great addition to LT. Many thanks for the work of those involved.
Besides Dostoevsky, I have some suggestions for authors to add to Favorite authors of Nietzsche. These would include:


Thanks again for your work,

apr 12, 2019, 5:36 pm

>34 JBD1: She's not in the US, and HathiTrust is; since US copyright is a lot easier to check on journals, and HathiTrust is more worried about US law than non-US law, a lot of what an American can see at HathiTrust is blocked for foreigners.

apr 12, 2019, 6:07 pm

>36 JBD1:

yay, you found it--yes, that's it. But, hmm, I don't know how they came up with "1621 titles"--even if they are counting the borrowed books, it seems too many. The catalogue currently stands at 895 titles. Note that some titles were bound together--speaking for myself, I entered each title of such bound volumes separately, and as far as I noticed, so did the other two cataloguers. Even with the occasional mistake, that still wouldn't make up for the discrepancy. I'll check, but it's odd. The sections were entered as follows, you can compare them between the file and the tags (tags in English):

>38 prosfilaes:

Ah, right. Thanks for the clarification.

apr 12, 2019, 7:39 pm

"Aescylus, . . . Aristophanes, Homer ..." (37)

I knew Nietzsche was originally a classicist (Greco-Roman Classics). Me
too (and that's about all we have in common.) I'd be interested to see
how much classics, and what kinds, was in his personal library.