Papers and Reports relating to Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Scope and Content

The collection consists of: reports of the Gifford Lectures delivered by Albert Schweitzer at Edinburgh University in November 1934 and November 1935; and, papers relating to Schweitzer produced by the Albert Schweitzer Foundation, Chicago, 1960-1961.

Administrative / Biographical History

The German theologian, philosopher, and mission doctor Albert Schweitzer was born in Kaysersberg, Upper Alsace, France, on 41 January 1875. He studied philosophy and theology in Strasbourg. While he established himself in the field of theological studies he also became an accomplished organist, taught by Charles-Marie Widor. In 1913 he became a doctor of medicine and at Lambarene in Gabon, on the shores of the Ogowe River, he set up a mission hospital which he equipped from his own income and maintained with funds from around the world. During a period of internment while the First World War was underway, Schweitzer turned himself towards international problems, setting out a philosophy of the reverence for life and an ethical principle involving all living things. He returned to the hospital in 1924 to rebuild it from the derelict state into which it had fallen. This time a leper colony was added. By 1963, his hospital had around 500 patients. His works include J. S. Bach: le musicien-poete (1905), Von Reimarus zu Wrede (1906), The quest for the historical Jesus (1910), Kulturphilosophie (1923), and Die mystik des Apostels Paulus (1930). In 1952 Schweitzer was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Albert Schweitzer died on 4 September 1965.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Albert Schweitzer Foundation papers, acquired 1961, Accession no. E61.12.


Note that when this record was created any associated photographic/illustrative material was unseen.

The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) The new encyclopaedia Britannica. 15th edition. Vol.10. Micropaedia. Ready Reference. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1991.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.