My copy of Yeats’s Golden Dawn by George Mills Harper has not been a lot of use in my Golden Dawn research for my thesis. One appendix at the back has been useful. It is the catalogue of books in the “Westcott Hermetic Library” founded by…Westcott in 1891. The catalogue is from 1897 but it lists the books of the library, many of which would have been in Westcott’s personal collection earlier.
Among these books, there are Ginsburg’s and Franck’s books on the Kabbalah. There are also Thomas Taylor’s translations of Iamblichus’ On the Mysteries and Sallustius’ On the Gods and the World. Since one section of my thesis is on the antecedents to the Golden Dawn’s conceptions of the soul, it is very useful to know what texts Mathers and Westcott, as the two architects of the Golden Dawn, had access to in their work. Both published extensively during the time of the formation of the Golden Dawn or just before it but having a list of books from a library that Westcott founded strengthens my ability to point to things like Taylor’s translation of Iamblichus or Franck’s writings on Kabbalah. The fact that Westcott is the translator of published editions of Levi’s work helps there as well.
Nothing “proves” anything but it helps with the arguments about where their ideas were coming from before I get into the Golden Dawn’s own ideas concerning the nature, role, and structure of the soul (my thesis topic) in their papers, ritual work, lectures, etc.