The largest special library on religion in the Nordic countries

The Donner Library opened as long ago as 1957 and is today the largest specialist library on religion in the Nordic countries. The library is located in Humanisticum (The Dahlström Palace) at Biskopsgatan 13 in Turku, in the middle of the beautiful Åbo Akademi University campus. The library is open during weekdays between 9.00 and 16.00 (closed in July). Our primary customers are students and researchers of religion, but our library is also open to the general public.

Our collection comprises approximately 90 000 volumes pertaining to research on religion in a broad perspective. The central journals within the field are available in printed form in the library and we can help you to find your way among the e-publications as well.

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Book of the month

Book of the month: The Golden Bough (vol. I-XII) by Sir James Frazer

The Scottish anthropologist and folklorist Sir James Frazer (1854-1951) published the first version of The Golden Bough in 1890, but he continued working on the book for many years. Starting with two volumes it grew to three in the second edition (1900) and no less than twelve in the third edition (1915). The book made a great stir in its day. It was read widely and influenced a great deal of artists, writers and scientists.

However, already during Frazer’s time his work was criticized: his great Darwinian theory about the origins of religion in magic and transition to science was rejected and his sweeping comparisons and “writing-desk-anthropology” method became painfully out of date. Still his work stands as one of the real classics in the study of religions; it is thought provoking, informative and very well written. But watch out as a reader: according to the role playing game Call of Cthulhu a reader loses two sanity points…

Måns Broo