The Schumacher Center Library
Home to a number of special collections and archives, the Schumacher Center's Library was established in 1990 to meet the growing need for a research center to steward the rich tradition of community economics. Housed in South Egremont, Massachusetts, the library has grown to over 20,000 unique books and documents that explore the theory and practice of building ecologically and socially responsible economies.
The library catalog is accessible online via the LibraryWorld database program, and books can be searched by title, author, specific collection, and keywords. The majority of the holdings have been indexed with the keywords (subject headings) assigned by the Library of Congress. More specific keywords were added when standard classification seemed too general to adequately reflect the unconventional and independently published literature. A Selected Keyword Index facilitates the identification of alternative and decentralist materials that might be overlooked by standard keyword searches.
Includes the general collection, E. F. Schumacher's personal library, and additional individual / special collections.
The library’s general collection contains theoretical and practical knowledge on a wide variety of subjects. Topics include appropriate technology, development of renewable sources of energy, land reform, peace and nonviolent resistance, democratic governance, worker ownership, alternative agriculture, and environmental sustainability.
The bulk of Ernst Friedrich Schumacher's personal library and archives were donated to the Schumacher Library in 1994 by his widow, Verena Schumacher. The 2,500 volume collection of books, many containing Schumacher’s research notes, and some inscribed by their authors, span a surprising range of topics.
The Schumacher Center Library has received generous donations of materials belonging to individuals who have made significant contributions to decentralism. These incredible individuals have entrusted their personal libraries and, in some cases, their life's work to our collection.
Includes E. F. Schumacher's personal papers and articles, and the local currency archives.
The Schumacher Center's Library is currently undertaking the expansion and indexing of our Local Currency Archives, the only collection of its kind in North America. The Local Currency Archives contain a wide variety of materials gathered from over fifty different alternative currency projects around the globe.
Donating to the Schumacher Library
The Schumacher Center's board of directors recognizes that we have in our care a collection that is a vital resource for the sustainable-economies movement.
These essential books must be moved from the 2,500-square-foot, sun filled, high ceilinged upper floor of the Library to a humidity and light controlled environment. We need to complete the renovation of the 1,600-square-foot ground floor level of the building, including all the energy efficient measures needed to protect the integrity of the collections.
Since much of the infrastructure is already in place, our contractor estimates a manageable cost of $200,000 to finish the 1,600 square feet to specifications. Each $100 donation, earmarked for a square foot of library renovation, will help create a secure new home for our books.
To view photos of the renovation, click here.
Although the library is a non-lending, research collection, open by appointment, its catalog is available online. We hope this will lead students, educators, researchers, and activists directly to material that can then be requested at their local libraries. It is our hope that the library collection will contribute significantly to the growing momentum carrying us toward a more rational, just, and appropriate-scale society by introducing young people—our future leaders—to the ideas of Fritz Schumacher.
Contact the librarian for assistance with questions in regard to the collections, archives, or in setting up an appointment to visit or do research at the Schumacher Center Library.