collage of Phenomenology Center pictures: (top, left to right) Reading area with tables, couches and shelves; Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center seal; Straus' antique furniture; (bottom) reading area with portraits and new book nook

Special Collections

The collection of the Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center is devoted to the phenomenological movement that was inaugurated at the turn of the century by the German philosopher Edmund Husserl, and that has been further advanced by figures such as Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Arendt, de Beauvoir, Levinas, and Derrida, up to the current work done by Michel Henry and Jean-Luc Marion. The Center's collection also maintains a special interest in two precursors to phenomenology, Kierkegaard and Neitzsche.

Literature in phenomenology is conceived by the Center rather broadly and embraces phenomenology as it reaches out into existentialism and other contemporary schools of continental philosophy, but also as it lives in phenomenological psychology and phenomenological approaches in the philosophy and ethics of communication and rhetoric, and in theology. In addition, the Center acquires books in all fields where a phenomenological approach is used. Thus, the Center has holdings in such fields as geography, music, ophthalmology, pedagogy, law, and nursing.

Phenomenology Center Shelves

Division of Collections 

The acquisitions of the Silverman Center fall broadly into two classes: the Phenomenology General Circulating Collection and the donated Alcoves/Collections. The Center actively seeks donations of the entire personal libraries of retired or deceased scholars in phenomenology. These libraries are kept intact in separate areas of the Center.

Thus far, five Alcoves have been established:

  • Erwin Straus 
  • Stephan Strasser
  • Aron Gurwitsch
  • Amedeo Giorgi
  • Adriaan Peperzak

Each Alcove contains the personal library of its named benefactor, complete with marginalia notes in their books.  Each Alcove also contains archival collections of papers, manuscripts, notes, correspondence, and other materials of the named benefactor.

In addition, the Center holds five Collections, containing the personal libraries and archival material of:

  • Jan Bouman
  • Charles Maes
  • Rolf von Eckartsberg
  • André Schuwer, O.F.M.
  • Edward L. Murray, C.S.Sp.

The Silverman Center also has a formal commitment from one other scholar for their extensive personal libraries upon their death.


Special Holdings

In addition to holding the archival materials of each figure who has donated their personal library as an Alcove or Collection, the Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center also holds these very special archival collections:

Collage (left to right): van Kaam, Koren, Stern, Heidegger, Husserl, Tymieniecka, Buytendijk, Lacan

Husserl Archives

The Center is an official branch of the Husserl Archives of the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. The unpublished transcribed papers of Husserl are available for consultation at the Center.

Heidegger Lectures

The Center contains the Moser transcripts of Heidegger's lectures from his Marburg period.

Unpublished papers of Buytendijk

The "Penséees repensées," the posthumous papers of F. J. Buytendijk (the founder of phenomenological psychology), holographic manuscripts in the Dutch language, are available at the Center.

Heidegger Circle Archives

The Center serves as the repository for the archives of the Heidegger Circle.

World Phenomenology Institute Archives

The Center is the official archival repository for the World Phenomenology Institute founded by Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka.

Karl Stern Archive

The Center holds the archival collection of Karl Stern's manuscripts, personal papers, and correspondence.

Jacques Lacan Seminar

The Center contains photocopies of the English translation of Lacan's Seminars 6 and 9.

Rev. von Kaam Papers

The Center holds a small collection which includes some personal correspondence and papers.

Fr. Henry Koren Papers

The Center contains a small selection of Fr. Henry Koren's correspondence.


Photo Credits from Collage:

Blatterhin. (2012). [Jacques Lacan - Dessin en noir et blanc]. Retrieved from

Fr. Henry Koren. Duquesne University Archives, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA.

Karl Stern. Karl Stern Collection. Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA.
Mondadori Publishers. (1910). [Edmund Husserl]. Retrieved from

Pragher, W. (1960). [W 134 Nr. 060678c Hausen: Festakt, in der Reihe, Kultusminister Storz, Prof. Heidegger, Dichtel]. Retrieved from

Rev. von Kaam. Duquesne University Archives, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA.

Van Bilsen, J. (1966). [Prof. dr. dr. FJJ Buytendijk (head)]. Retrieved from

Yuzbashov, E. (2005). [Photo of Prof.Anna-Teresa_Tymieniecka]. Retrieved from