The Digital Library of the Carl Menger Collection

Introduction

On the Carl Menger Collection and the author’s copy of Grundsätze der Volkswirtschaftslehre

Yamazaki Koichi
(Professor of the Center for Historical Social Science Literature, Hitotsubashi University)

The Center for Historical Social Science Literature at the Hitotsubashi University is a rare book library established in April 1978, for the purpose of contributing to the advanced study of social sciences. The history of the Center goes back to 1875 when Shôhôkôshûjo (the School of Commercial Law), the predecessor of Hitotsubashi University, was first established. For over a century since then, the collection of historical social science literature in Western languages has been expanding continuously. The University Library was particularly enriched by the acquisition of some notable private libraries, such as the Gierke, Menger and Soda Libraries in the 1920s as well as the Burt Franklin Library in the 1970s. Soon it was apparent that the rare materials deserved and required a facility of their own ; hence the Center was established in 1978, when the pre-1851 books, periodicals and other materials in general, as well as some of the previously mentioned private libraries in particular, were transferred to a new building specially constructed to manage those rare materials. Since then, the collection has increased steadily and in 2010, it maintained approximately 75,000 volumes of scarce and valuable materials in Western social sciences.

In 1922, the University Library acquired an excellent collection of books, pamphlets, bound periodicals and other materials assembled by Carl Menger (1840-1921), the founder of the Austrian School of Economics. The collection contains approximately 19,100 volumes and includes works in many fields of social science including economics, political science, law, history, ethnography and travel. It also includes many books with Menger’s own marginal notes, the records he kept as a book-collector and letters addressed to him. However, the most important would be his author’s copy of Grudsätze der Volkswirtschaftslehre with many holograph revisions.

When Menger published the book in 1871, he kept a special edition for himself, inserting a blank paper on every page of the book to create space to write his reflections. Thus, he prepared the publication of the revised edition. The copious notes, written in black ink as well as red and blue colour pencils on the blank papers as well as on the margins of the printed pages trace well the development of his ideas on economics.

After all, Carl Menger did not publish the revised edition in his lifetime. His son, Karl Menger, published the second edition of the Grudsätze in 1923, but he could not refer to his father’s special book because it had already been purchased by the Hitotsubashi University and brought to Japan. However, this does not imply that the important notes of Carl Menger were completely forgotten. In 1960, Professor Emile Kauder, an economist from the Austrian School, came to Japan and conducted research on the book and reproduced Menger’s notes on a typescript entitled Carl Mengers Ausatze zu ≪ Grundsätze der Volkswirthschaftslehre ≫ (xxv, 292p. Tokyo, 1961).This book, although a devoted effort of Professor Kauder, has a fundamental defect: because it is separated from the original text, one cannot guess on which passage Menger had annotated. As a result, one is obliged to look into the original book, if one wants to conduct a detailed research.

On the other hand, we recently noticed another problem: Menger’s hand-written notes, especially those that were written with colour pencils, had faded and become blurred after years of handling by researchers who have consulted the book. Considering these two reasons, we decided to take photos of all the pages of the book and publish them digitally. We hope that our attempt will make Menger’s hand-written notes more approachable and stimulate research on his economic thought.

Essay

Bibliographical details

Carl Menger, Grundsätze der Volkswirthschaftslehre

(Menger/Mon.:2142)

Publication details

Grundsätze der Volkswirthschaftslehre / von Carl Menger
Publisher: Wien : Wilhelm Braumuller
Publication Date: 1871
Physical Description: xii, 285, [1] p. ; 23 cm
Notes: No more published
Errata at end
Includes bibliographical references
Interleaved, with manuscript notes by author
Title corrected in pen by author’s hand: Allgemeine theoretische Wirthschaftslehre
On t.p. written in pencil: No. 3
Author: *Menger, Carl, 1840-1921
Language: German

Browse the Digital Library

Carl Menger, Grundsätze der Volkswirthschaftslehre

And more

List of Literature referred to by Menger (126KB)

John Stuart Mill, Grundsätze der politischen Oekonomie

John Stuart Mill, Grundsätze der politischen Oekonomie : nebst einigen Anwendungen derselben auf die Gesellschaftswissenschaft
(Menger/Eng.:983)

Publication details

Grundsätze der politischen Oekonomie : nebst einigen Anwendungen derselben auf die Gesellschaftswissenschaft / von John Stuart Mill ; aus der fänften Ausgabe des Originals äbersetzt von Adolf Soetbeer
Edition: 2. deutsche Ausg
Publisher: Hamburg : Perthes=Besser und Mauke
Publication Date: 1864
Physical Description: xxiv, 734 p. ; 24 cm
Original Title:Principles of political economy
Authors: *Mill, John Stuart, 1806-1873
Translator: Soetbeer, Adolf, 1814-1892
Language: German

Browse the Digital Library

Under construction

Karl Heinrich Rau, Grundsätze der Volkswirthschaftslehre

Karl Heinrich Rau, Lehrbuch der politischen Oekonomie, 1. Bd. Grundsätze der Volkswirthschaftslehre
(Menger/Comp.:266:1)

Publication details

Grundsätze der Volkswirthschaftslehre / von Karl Heinrich Rau
Edition: 7. Ausg
Publisher: Leipzig ; Heidelberg : C.F. Winter
Publication Date: 1863
Physical Description: xvi, 588 p. ; 23 cm
Notes: Includes bibliographical references
Series Title: Lehrbuch der politischen Oekonomie / von Karl Heinrich Rau. 1. Bd.
Author: Rau, Karl Heinrich
Language: German

Browse the Digital Library

Under construction

Wilhelm Roscher, Die Grundlagen der Nationalökonomie

Wilhelm Roscher, System der Volkswirthschaft : ein Hand-und Lesebuch fur Geschäftsmänner und Studierende, 1. Bd. Die Grundlagen der Nationalokonomie : ein Hand- und Lesebuch für Geschaftsmänner und Studierende
(Menger/Comp.:287b:1)

Publication details

Die Grundlagen der Nationalökonomie : ein Hand- und Lesebuch für Geschäftsmänner und Studierende / von Wilhelm Roscher
Edition: 6., verb. Aufl
Publisher: Stuttgart : J.G. Cotta
Publication Date: 1866
Physical Description: xii, 596 p. ; 23 cm
Notes: Includes bibliographical references and indexes
Series Title: System der Volkswirthschaft : ein Hand- und Lesebuch für Geschäftsmänner und Studierende / von Wilhelm Roscher. 1. Bd.
Author: Roscher, Wilhelm, 1817-1894
Language: German

Browse the Digital Library

Under construction