Over the years the General Collections & Humanities Center on the 3rd floor of the Main Library has acquired numerous books on the occult, including popular and esoteric sources dealing with alchemy, astrology, dream interpretation, extrasensory perception, magic, the paranormal, and more. For many of these titles, library-use-only reference copies were purchased. The result is that the General Collections & Humanities Center has a rather extensive reference collection of occult books. Unfortunately due to the size of the collection and the desire to keep the materials safe, the collection is kept behind closed doors and is not available for browsing. However, specific titles from the collection can be requested at the 3rd Floor Page Desk. Ask any librarian in the General Collections & Humanities Center for help to find books in the collection.View the SFPL Occult Collection selection list in more detail.

Alternately, you can browse the collection via our online catalog by using some of the following search strategies.

Do a subject search in our Classic Catalog, using specific terms related to the occult. When you do a subject search, you are searching for a predetermined subject heading of that book. Whereas keyword searches search through the entire record (title, author, subject headings, publisher, contents, etc.) of the book and could yield results unrelated to what one is looking for. Some subject terms which yield the most results for titles in the Occult Collection are...

Some other related subject terms...

To further refine your search, click the Limit/Sort Search button near the top of the page. Next to “Where item is located” you can select “General Collections” and then click the OK button. This will limit the search to just the items that are part of the Occult Collection.

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