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Special Collections
Watt Collection

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The Watt Collection

The Watt Collection consists of books about theosophy and occult and related topics. This material was originally collected by Alexander Watt of Waterloo, Ontario. According to Dr. Dena Bain Taylor, Proprietor Ben Abraham Books:

"He was a real estate agent with a wide circle of acquaintances. He was a prominent member of the Theosophical Society in Kitchener for approximately twenty years, in the 1940's and 1950's. In addition, he was apparently a Rosicrucian, belonging to both the English and American organizations. Finally, he was obviously a member of the O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis), the magickal [sic] order formed by Aleister Crowley when he broke away from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and headed by him until his death in 1947. Watt, whose Order name GADA... appears frequently in the books, knew Crowley, who acknowledged his work for the order by giving him one of twenty special copies of his work OLLA (now contained within the collection). Watt had a large number of students over the years, many of whom were professional people and who went on to make significant contributions to society. Any students of his with whom we have spoken remember him not only with affection but with the greatest respect for his learning and his abilities as a teacher.

With regard to the collection itself, I have several observations. ... It contains significant items—indeed, all the items one would feel a working occultist ought to have—from every field of esoteric interest relevant to the Western magical tradition: alchemy, mysticism, Freemasonry and Rusicrucianism, Christian Kabbalah, ceremonial magic, astrology, human sexuality (these relating to his work with the O.T.O. system), Theosophy, yoga and Hindu scriptures (these relating to his work in the Theosophical Society), etc. The collection contains works by virtually all the major occult figures of the late 19th and early 20th century: Blavatsky, Crowley, Yeats, Machen, AE, Waite, macGregor Mathers, Westcott, Regardie, and so on. ... It also contains some older material of great value, such as the early 17th century kabbalistic treatise by Martellus, a first edition [1714] of Montfaucon's Comte de Gabalis, and an early edition of the prophecies of Nostradamus."

The collection was presented to Special Collections in 1989 by his son, Hugh T. Watt.

With the exception of a few articles and non-book material items, this collection has been catalogued already.

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Procedures

The following steps should be taken for items from the Watt Collection in addition to the normal cataloguing practices:

  1. Use the location code sc,lp.

  2. The collection is classified together in call number BF1439.W37t no.. The items are numbered sequentially. If adding an item to the collection, determine the last number used, and class in the next number.

  3. Add a pseudo series to the record, as follows:

    440::<Watt Collection ;|v no. [same sequential number as used in call number]>

  4. Many of the items in this collection have a bookplate in the front from Alexander Watt's library. Make a 590 field note indicating its presence.

  5. Many of the items in this collection have handmade dust jackets. These dust jackets should be retained. Make a 590 field note indicating its presence, and describe the dust jacket in the note.

  6. If the item is an added copy, made a 590 note indicating that Special Collections copy belongs to the Watt Collection.

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Section 10, Subsection SC, Part W8
Created May 4, 1998 by E. Read.

Page maintained by Elizabeth A. Read, readel@queensu.ca. Created: 04/05/1998 Updated: 04-Feb-2004 04:55 PM