EGW Private and Office Libraries
See the Introduction below for a description of what this database contains. key
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At the time of her death in 1915, a detailed inventory of Ellen G. White's estate was made. The contents of every room, cupboard and bookcase were listed. An original copy of that inventory resides in the Archives of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Two separate sections of the inventory dealt with books. One section involved her private library in her "sitting room bookcase," the other, her office library where her literary assistants worked.
This bibliography combines the two inventory lists. An entry followed by an "A" is from the inventory of the private library. An entry followed by a "B" is from the office library. In cases where the book is still in the White Estate library and bears E. G. White's handwritten signature, an "H" has also been placed after it. About five hundred and fifty of the titles listed were books sold to Ellen White by Clarence C. Crisler on September 19, 1913. Crisler had been working in Ellen White's office since July of 1901. While a few of the titles duplicate what Ellen White already had in her possession, it is unlikely that most of these volumes were ever used by her. A "C" has been added after entries from this collection. Similarly, about 40 titles listed on the inventory dealing with race relations were purchased for A. W. Spalding to assist him in his writing of a book on James Edson White's work in the South--a book never published. Entries from this collection are followed by an "S."
The office inventory listed both authors and titles for the books. The private library had only titles with no authors' names attached. In some cases, these titles are still to be found in the White Estate Library in Washington, D.C. When this is the case, we can be quite certain that we have found the correct author. In other cases, several books with the same title have been located, and it was not possible to know which, if any, of the various authors had written the particular volume Ellen White possessed. The dates, publishers, and, of course, subject matter, all influenced the decision to attach a particular author's name to a title. In such cases of similar or identical titles, only one book actually should be listed to coincide with the Ellen White inventory, but we have often listed several titles as possibilities. For example, the following inventory lists eleven books having the title Lights and Shadows... by ten different authors, but unless actual cases of literary borrowing are documented, we will not know which one of the eleven, if any, Ellen White possessed. In addition to these, we have in our files the names of twenty-two others with the title Lights and Shadows..., all of which are less likely candidates for her library.
The short titles, just as they appeared on the original private library, are listed in a few cases where the author could not be found. A separate bibliography covering only the private library and including all the short titles is also available under the title, "An Inventory of Ellen G. White's Private Library."
The compilers have made extensive use of the National Union Catalogue and the computerized records of the Ohio College Library Center. The dates of publication of the particular editions of the books Mrs. White owned are uncertain except in cases where the book is still retained in the White Estate Library. The dates in this list, are, in many cases, merely the dates of the editions which happen to be in the Library of Congress, New York Public Library, or other collections. For very popular works, we have indicated this fact by placing a note such as "many editions" in parentheses. At the end of many entries, initials of the libraries are noted in which copies of the books may be found. A key to abbreviations can be gotten by clicking on the link on the search results page.
Three additional categories of books have been incorporated into this bibliography. The White Estate Library possesses about 70 volumes, not listed on the Estate inventory, but containing bookplates identifying the book as belonging to the private or office library of Ellen White. Because these bookplates were in use until the late 1930's, it is impossible to be certain that these books were in Mrs. White's library at the time of her death. Books in this category, published before 1916, have been incorporated into the bibliography, with the library designation code in parentheses, e.g., A) or B).
A second category of books has been included in Appendix One. These are books without library bookplates, not on the Estate inventory, but in the possession of the White Estate. As with the first category, it is impossible to know when these books became a part of the office collection. Only those published before 1916 have been listed.
Appendix Two comprises a third category of books. This list includes books not found on any of the other lists, but books which Ellen White is likely to have used because of references to such books in her letters and manuscripts, or because of the evidence of literary parallels. References in Ellen White's correspondence to a particular title has been given in brackets following the entry.
Further work remains to be done on this bibliography; information is still incomplete on some books. Furthermore, we have not generally included SDA periodicals or foreign language books, nor have we listed all Bibles, pamphlets, tracts or hymnbooks found on the original inventory. We have not always given the publishing information on books published by Seventh-day Adventists.
The creation of this bibliography has taken many, many hours of painstaking work. We are especially grateful to Warren H. Johns, most of whose time was donated to the project, and to Leona Stone, a librarian from Columbia Union College, who did a good deal of work compiling bibliographic references for the books in the E. G. White Estate Library.
E. G. White Estate