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Silverman Center

The Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center

The Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center was founded in 1980 at Duquesne University. It was an expression of the phenomenological orientation of the university’s philosophy and psychology departments. It is named after its first benefactor, the late president of the Humanities Press. The holdings of the Center are housed in a handsome room in the Special Collections area of the Library. The Center’s holdings do not circulate, but are available to scholars and researchers. The Center welcomes donations of books, off-prints, dissertations, larger collections, etc., and encourages inquiries concerning its research materials and programs.

The goal of the Phenomenology Center is to collect and make available in one place all the literature on phenomenology which could possibly be of use to scholars in the field and to promote original phenomenological research, and thereby add to the corpus of phenomenological work.



There are currently about 16,500 volumes in the Center. The Center attempts to obtain every book published on phenomenology in every language. The topic is conceived in a rather broad sense and includes works with a phenomenological or existential orientation in philosophy, psychology, and other human sciences as well

The current holdings include nearly every relevant book published within the last 25 years and a great deal of the older literature as well. An active effort is made to acquire even the oldest and scarcest volume.


The Center subscribes to and has obtained full back-lists of 15 journals and receives three others, all devoted mainly to phenomenology. In addition, the Center has an indexed collection of approximately 2,5090 off-prints, most donated by the authors.


The Center actively seeks and provides special space for the personal libraries and papers of distinguished phenomenologists who wish to bequeath their collections. These libraries are kept intact and treated as archival treasures. To date, the Center has established the Alcoves of Erwin Straus, Aron Gurwitsch, and Stephen Strasser. Provision is also made for Collections, the personal libraries of scholars which the Center also keeps separate, but does not subject to archival work. There are currently four collections: The Jan Bouman, Charles Maes, Andre Schuwer, Rolf von Eckartsberg, and Edward L. Murray.

Special Holdings

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 paper of Buytendjik

The Pensees repensees," the posthumous papers of F.J. Buytendjik, holographic manuscripts in the Dutch language, are available at the Center.

Heidegger Conference Archives

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


The Silverman Center was never meant to be merely a "dead" repository of books and materials. It actively promotes the advancement of phenomenology by sponsoring original scholarship.

The first of these "live" functions to be instituted was the annual symposium. These conferences take place in the early part of March each year and bring together four scholars for two days to present papers and debate a specific issue in phenomenology.

The Center has also undertaken a series of publications beginning with the acta of the annual symposia.

From time to time, the Center invites visiting lecturers to the Duquesne campus to deliver special lectures on a topic in phenomenology.


Fr. David L. Smith, C.S. Sp., Ph. D.
Executive Director
The Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center
Duquesne University, Gumberg Library
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
Phone (412) 396-6038/ Fax (412) 396-1658

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