H.S. Olcott - a Bibliography

Katinka Hesselink 2007

Henry Steel Olcott is primarily known for two things: being founding president of the Theosophical Society and having stimulated  Buddhism in Sri Lanka (called Ceylon back then). As founder and president of the Theosophical Society his role in religious history was wider even than that though. One wikipedia article gives him credit for: "Pioneers like Madam H.P. Blavatsky and Colonel H.S. Olcott, the founders of the Theosophical movement, had undertaken an extensive tour of South India and propagated the revival of devadasi institutions and the associated art of sadir." From the perspective of theosophical history this is highly unlikely. Olcott did travel India extensively and lectured on what people asked him to lecture on. So it's not impossible that he did lecture on the fate of the dancing girls a few times and on how their lot could be improved. 1)

The point is that the influence of theosophy on Indian religion has been large, but hasn't been tracked for the use of the general public. Another example is the Indian Zoroastrians or Parsis. Their history has been profoundly influenced by theosophy, but hardly a theosophist outside India knows this fact, which is yet self-evident to any scholar of Indian Zoroastrianism 2). In order to gauge the breadth of Olcott's work, a bibliography is of central importance. After all, that's one sure way of finding out what subjects he most wrote about. 

Books and pamphlets by H.S. Olcott

I. Old diary leaves : the true story of The Theosophical Society by Henry Steel Olcott. - New York, Londen, Madras : G.P. Putnam's Sons, The Proprietors of the "Theoso, 1895. (Old Diary Leaves)

II. Old diary leaves : the only authentic history of The Theosophical Society by Henry Steel Olcott. - London ; Madras : Theosophical Publishing Society ; Theosophist Office, 1900, 1928, 1954. - (Old Diary Leaves ; Second Series, 1878-83)

III. Old diary leaves : the only authentic history of The Theosophical Society by Henry Steel Olcott. - London ; Madras : Theosophical Publishing Society ; Theosophist Office, 1904, 1972. - (Old Diary Leaves ; Third Series, 1883-1887)

IV. Old diary leaves : the only authentic history of The Theosophical Society by Henry Steel Olcott. - London ; Madras : Theosophical Publishing Society ; Theosophist Office, 1910, 1975. - (Old Diary Leaves ; Fourth Series, 1887-1892) - index [Contains material about Olcott's involvement with Islam]

V. Old diary leaves : the only authentic history of The Theosophical Society by Henry Steel Olcott. - Adyar : Theosophical Publishing House, 1932. - (Old Diary Leaves ; Fifth Series, january, 1893 - april, 1896) - index. [Contains material about Olcott's involvement with Zoroastrianism]

VI. Old diary leaves: the only authentic history of The Theosophical Society by Henry Steel Olcott. - diamond jubilee. - Adyar : Theosophical Publishing House, 1935. - (Old Diary Leaves ; Sixth Series (April, 1896-September, 1898))

Address of the president-founder at the third international congress of the European Sections of the T.S. - Adyar, Madras : Thompson and Co. ; Minerva Press, 19XX

Asceticism : word of friendly counsil - Adyar, Madras : Theosophist Office, 1905

Applied theosophy by H.S. Olcott. - Adyar, Madras : Theosophical Publishing House, 1930. - Adyar Pamphlets ; No. 143

A buddhist catechism : according to the sinhalese canon : namô tassa bhagavatô arahatô sammâ sambuddhassa, by Henry S. Olcott. - 39th thousand, repr. - Adelphi : Theosophical Publication Society, 19XX, 1915 (etc.)

The buddhist revival in Japan - Adyar, Madras : Theosophical Publishing House, 19XX

The Count de Saint-Germain and H.P.B. : two messengers of the White Lodge, by H.S. Olcott. - repr. from The Theosophist, july, 1905. - Adyar, Madras : Theosophical Publishing House, 1918. - Adyar Pamphlets ; No. 90

The common foundation of all religions, by H.S. Olcott. - Adyar, Madras : Theosophical Publishing House, 1918. - Adyar Pamphlets ; No. 95

Human spirits and elementaries and eastern magic and western spiritualism, by H.S. Olcott. - repr. - Madras : The Theosophist Office, 19XX

Inaugural adresses of four presidents of the theosophical society, Adyar : Theosophical Publishing House, 1946.

India : past present future : a reprint of a lecture delivered at Amritsar 1880
by Henry S. Olcott.
- Madras : The Theosophist Office, 1905. - Adyar Pamphlet Series ; No. 1

The golden rules of Buddhism compiled by H.S. Olcott. - Adyar : Theosophical Publishing House, 1938, 1944, 1967

The life of Buddha and its lessons several ed. - Adyar, Madras : Theosophical Publishing House, 1912, 1919. - (Adyar Pamphlets ; No. 15)

People from the other world - Hartford, Conn. : American Publishing Company, 1875, reprint 1972

The peril of Indian youth - Adyar, Madras : Vasanta Press, 19XX

The poor pariah - z.p

The spirit of Zoroastrianism: a lecture deliverd at the Town Hall, Bombay, on 14th february, 1882
by colonel H.S. Olcott. - Adyar, Madras : Theosophical Publishing House, 1913. Adyar Pamphlets ; No. 23

Spiritualism and theosophy - Adyar, Madras : Theosophical Publishing House, 1919. Adyar Pamphlets ; No. 104

Theosophy, religion and occult science; with glossary of eastern words. - London : George Redway, 1885

The vampire, Adyar, Madras: Theosophical Publishing House, 1920. Adyar Pamphlets ; No. 112

Articles by H.S. Olcott, including prefaces 

In chronological order

I've selected the articles by Olcott that are relevant to the question of what subjects the man investigated and promoted. Articles that have been reprinted have been left out, as they are mentioned above.

Spiritualism & Theosophy (1), The Theosophist: vol. 2 (1880), (November), p. 36

Spiritualism & Theosophy (2), The Theosophist: vol. 2 (1880), (December), p. 49

A Glance at India - Past, Present, & Future, The Theosophist: vol. 2 (1881), (March), p. 123.

A. Sankariah & HS Olcott - Alliance with the Hindu Sabha, The Theosophist: vol. 2 (1881), (May+), p. 3.

The Effects of Theosophy in India, The Theosophist: vol. 3 (1882), (July++), p. 10

Colonel Olcott upon the late riots, The Theosophist: vol. 4 (1883), (May+), p. 12.

Colonel Olcott's Lecture on "Dr Esdaile & Mesmerism in Calcutta 36 years ago", The Theosophist: vol. 4 (1883), (July+), p. 7

Healing - A Warning from Colonel Olcott, The Theosophist: vol. 4 (1883), (July+), p. 12

Hindu Music (Dr WW Hunter's exertions), The Theosophist: vol. 4 (1883), (August), p. 265

An Open Letter to the Right Reverend, The Bishop of Madras (Mr Gell), The Theosophist: vol. 5 (1883), (Oct+), p. 9.

Mesmeric Cures, The Theosophist: vol. 5 (1884), (Jan+), p. 12

Sanskrit & other schools, The Theosophist: vol. 5 (1884), (Jan+), p. 12

Hereditary Faculties in Man, review of a book by Francis Galton, The Theosophist: vol. 5 (1884), (May), p. 206

The Dangers of Black Magic, The Theosophist: vol. 5 (1884), (September), p. 283

Colonel Olcott on "Islam", The Theosophist: vol. 6 (1885), (September), p. 311

Interpretations of Folk-Lore: The "Hastha Visesham", The Theosophist: vol. 7 (1885), (November), p. 106

Phantom Pictures in the Astral Light, The Theosophist: vol. 8 (1886), (October), p. 24

C., N. - Psychometry and thought-transference : with practical hints for experiments; with an introduction by Henry S. Olcott. - Adyar, Madras : Proprietors of the "Theosophist", 1887, 1901

Ranjit Singh's Sadhu, The Theosophist: vol. 8 (1887), (August), p. 664

A Self-Levitated Lama, The Theosophist: vol. 8 (1887), (September), p. 726.

The Sabdakalpadruma, The Theosophist: vol. 10 (1889), (Feb+), p. 45.

Applied Theosophy, The Theosophist: vol. 10 (1889), (June), p. 515

Salutation to India, Lucifer 1887-1897 London, HP Blavatsky: vol. 5 (1889), (September), p. 69

Comment on Buddha Rays, The Theosophist: vol. 11 (1890), (Feb+), p. 102

Christian Theosophy, The Theosophist: vol. 11 (1890), (April), p. 399

Remarks on Second-Sight, The Theosophist: vol. 11 (1890), (July), p. 564

Nett Result of our Indian Work, The Theosophist: vol. 12 (1890), (October), p. 1

The New Religious Cycle in India, The Theosophist: vol. 12 (1891), (January), p. 195

Fire Elementals, The Theosophist: vol. 12 (1891), (February), p. 259

Burma Revisited, The Theosophist: vol. 12 (1891), (March), p. 323

My Hypnotic Research in France (1), The Theosophist: vol. 13 (1891), (November), p. 61

My Hypnotic Research in France (2), The Theosophist: vol. 13 (1892), (April), p. 391

Row, T.S. - Esoteric writings ( 1895, 1910, 1917, 1931, 1980) a sketch of the life of the late T. Subba Row by H.S. Olcott. First published in The Theosophist.  Adyar, Madras : Theosophical Publishing House

The Influence of Music in Psychic Development, In: The Theosophist: vol. 13 (1892), (January), p. 226

A United Buddhist World, The Theosophist: vol. 13 (1892), (January), p. 239

Prof Max Muller on Indian Literature, The Theosophist: vol. 13 (1892), (January), p. 256

Fundamental Buddhistic Beliefs, Lucifer 1887-1897 London, HP Blavatsky: vol. 9 (1892), (February), p. 505

Dharmapala's Work, The Theosophist: vol. 13 (1892), (Aug+), p. 88

Religion in the Ceylon Census, The Theosophist: vol. 14 (1892), (October), p. 54

Cuttings & Comments - Sword Mantrams, The Theosophist: vol. 15 (1893), (October), p. 67

The EST, The Theosophist: vol. 15 (1894), (Jan+), p. 2

Heresy Hunting, The Theosophist: vol. 15 (1894), (May), p. 508

Blue Light & Vegetation, The Theosophist: vol. 22 (1900), (November), p. 111.

Appeal to his Countrymen for the Pariahs, The Theosophist: vol. 23 (1901), (Dec+), p. 7

The Awful Karma of Russia, The Theosophist: vol. 27 (1905), (October), p. 56

Human Spirits & Elementaries (1), The Theosophist: vol. 28 (1907), (July), p. 721.

Eastern Magic & Western Spiritualism (1875) (1), The Theosophist: vol. 29 (1907), (October), p. 18

Eastern Magic & Western Spiritualism (2), The Theosophist: vol. 29 (1907), (November), p. 103.

The Adept of the Roses, The Theosophist: vol. 59 (1938), (February), p. 404

Notes

1) See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devadasi

2) For further information about Zoroastrianism and Theosophy see: 

Michael Stausberg, Die Religion Zarathushtras, Geschichte - Gegenwart - Rituale, Band 2, Verlag W. Kohlhammer, 2002 which gives the following sources:

Kh. S. Dabu, Message of Zarathustra. A Manual of Zoroastrianism - The Religion of the Parsis, Bombay 1956 (An orthodox Zoroastrian priest who is also a member of the Theosophical Society with headquarters at Adyar)

J. Hinnells, "Social Change and Religious Transformation among Bombay Parsis in the Early Twentieth Century" in Traditions in contact and change p 105-125. Waterloo, Canada : Wilfried Laurier Univ Pr, 1983

K.W. Jones, Socio-religious Reform Movements in British India, Cambridge u.a. 1989 [The New Cambridge History of India III/I], p. 167-179 

H.S. Olcott, The spirit of Zoroastrianism: a lecture deliverd at the Town Hall, Bombay, on 14th february, 1882
by colonel H.S. Olcott. - Adyar, Madras : Theosophical Publishing House, 1913. Adyar Pamphlets ; No. 23 (various other reprints as well)

M. Stausberg, Faszination Zarathushtra. Zoroaster und die Europäische Religionsgeschichte der Frühen Neuzeit I-II, Berlin, New York 1998 (relevant in light of some European roots of Theosophy)

K.J.B. Wadia, Fifty Years of Theosophy in Bombay, Being a History of the Blavatsky Lodge, Theosophical Society, Bombay, 1880-1930, Adyar 1931

Sources

This bibliography is based on the collection of the Theosophical Library in Amsterdam, because at the moment the online catalogue of the libraries of the American Section of the Theosophical Society isn't accessible.