We owe to books those general benefits which come from high intellectual action. Thus, I think, we often owe to them the perception of immortality. They impart sympathetic activity to the moral power. Go with mean people and you think life is mean. Then read Plutarch, and the world is a proud place, peopled with men of positive quality, with heroes and demigods standing around us, who will not let us sleep.' Then, they address the imagination : only poetry inspires poetry. They become the organic culture of the time.-Ralph Waldo
-- Emerson, “Books,” Society and Solitude
Books, as Emerson suggests, impart a certain perception of immortality. They survive far beyond the reach of the individual, into eternity. And Emerson’s Library is no exception to this claim. A surprisingly comprehensive collection of Emerson’s original library is intact and available at the Concord Antiquarian Society, near Emerson’s home in Concord, Massachusetts.
Emerson’s Virtual Library catalogs and organizes the contents of his personal library and makes it available Online. The individual books in the collection may be sorted through a variety of methods including authors’ names, book titles, subject and publication date. Free digital copies of the specific texts are provided through Google Books when available.
Information in this section has been collected from the print book Emerson's Library, and digitized and reprinted here with the permission of the publisher and copyright holder: © 1967 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia and used by permission of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia.