Guide to the Collection


The Hong Kierkegaard Library (HKL) is a special collections library and its resources must stay inside the Library. After use of materials and prior to leaving the HKL, books should be placed in the designated area for the Library staff to re-shelve. We request that you do not re-shelve the book yourself.

The new space in Steensland allows for much research and study space on both levels. Due to a large number of visiting scholars during the summer, cubicle space within the Library cannot be reserved for individual use. Any open seats or unused spaces are available on a first come, first serve basis. Areas left unattended will be considered available for the next scholar.  During the academic year, HKL and KHF Fellows have their own cubicle office.


This floor of the Hong Kierkegaard library is divided into four main sections:

  • The Kierk 1 section houses primary sources in all languages (i.e. Kierkegaard as author).
  • Kierk 2 contains hundreds of critical materials with substantial sections about Kierkegaard.
  • The Related Thinkers (Rel. Th.) section offers materials by and about related thinkers, including contemporaries of Kierkegaard, thinkers who influenced his thought, and later thinkers who were affected by Kierkegaard’s ideas.
  • Dissertations – donated by eminent scholars about Kierkegaard, his contemporaries, and the growing body of scholarship he has generated.

Sections of the Upper Level

  • AKierk 1 (Primary Sources)
  • BKierk 1 (Primary Sources) and Kierk 2 (Philosophy (General))
  • C – Kierk 2 (Existentialism, Sartre, Buber, Heidegger, International Kierkegaard Commentary, Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception, and Resources)
  • D Kierk 2 (Logic, Speculative Philosophy, Psychology, Aesthetics, Ethics, Religion, Christianity, Bible, Theology, Christian Denominations)
  • EKierk 2 (Kierkegaard & Christianity, History, Northern Europe & Denmark, Sociology, Political Science, Education, Literature, Romantic literature, English Literature) and Rel. Th. (German literature, Physics, Psychiatry & Psychoanalysis, Bibliographies)
  • FRel. Th. (Literature, French/Italian/Spanish/Portugeuse literature, English & American Literature, German/Dutch/Danish/Scandinavian literature)
  • GRel. Th. (Practical Theology, Denominations, History of Civilization, History (General), Germany, Northern Europe/Scandinavia, Sociology (General), Political Theory, Education, Literature on Music, Fine Arts, Philology/Linguistics, Greek Language & Literature)
  • H – Rel. Th. (Psychology, Aesthetics, Ethics, Religions, Judaism, Christianity, Bible, Doctrinal Theology)
  • I  – Rel. Th. (Philosophy (General))
  • J –  Hong Translations of Kierkegaard
  • K – Re. Th. (Philosophy (General), Logic, Speculative Philosophy, Psychology

—– lower level —–

The Lower Level – Gordon Marino Floor – of the Hong Kierkegaard Library contains the remaining Related Thinkers section, dictionaries, thesauri, lexicons, and other reference materials in many different languages, including German, Danish, Latin, Greek, Russian, and Japanese. There are also several shelves of duplicate copies of materials housed in the Main Room of the Kierkegaard Library.

Sections of the Lower Level

  • A – Duplicate Copies (indicated by the call numbers, which match the copies in the Main Room, followed by “copy 2”)
  • B – Duplicate Copies
  • C – Duplicate Copies, Encyclopediae
  • D – General Philosophy Reference
  • E – Kierkegaard Reference, Aesthetics, Ethics, Religion & Philosophy of Religion, Mythology, Christianity & Christian Thought, The Bible
  • F – Christian Thought, History of Civilization, Danish Encyclopediae
  • G – Greek/English Lexicons, Latin Dictionaries, Dictionaries (Romance Languages), Danish
  • H – Danish Lexicons, English Dictionaries
  • I – English Thesauri, Dictionaries (German, Russian, Japanese, Others), Literature (Various Languages)
  • J – Books (General), Library Science, Danish Book Lists
  • K – Periodicals
    Danish Yearbook of Philosophy, Historisk Archiv: Et Maanedsskrift for Populaere Skildringer af Historiske Personer og Beginheder, Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook
  • L – Periodicals
    Kierkegaardiana, Liselundbogen, The Reed, Soren Kierkegaard Newsletter


The Rare Book Room, home to the Library’s materials published before 1856 and other rare or fragile materials, is housed in the lower level of the Rolvaag Memorial Library. Scholars wishing to use these materials should contact HKL Curator (Anna Söderquist) or the HKL Assistant Director (Eileen Shimota). They will provide protocol, guidance and assistance to retrieve the book for use and provide special instructions when using the materials. Flash photography and any sort of scanning of the Rare Book Room materials will only be permitted upon special request.


Our collection contains periodical articles, lectures, and other sensitive documents. The HKL article collection is located in the file cabinets in Rolvaag Memorial Library. Most of these articles are available online but please talk to a HKL staff member if you are not finding what you need. They can assist with this request.


Our archive includes materials related to the biographies and work of Kierkegaard scholars. The Library archives include Howard and Edna Hong and other notable Kierkegaard scholars, the history of the Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College, and the history of Kierkegaard studies worldwide.


The Kierkegaard Library has access to several online databases that allow scholars to locate additional materials and resources. Our online resources.

  • Access to indexes are available through Catalyst for the St. Olaf libraries or through our interlibrary loan. Electronic journal databases (such as JSTOR) are available to patrons of the Kierkegaard Library with some materials available in full-text.
  • A helpful reference is the Websites for Philosophy that is maintained by the St. Olaf Libraries.
  • The Kierkegaard Library also maintains a master list of online Danish resources and related sites.

In addition to the HKL, scholars are welcome to use the Rolvaag Memorial Library, the main library of St. Olaf College, as well as the Halvorson Music Library. Your St. Olaf ID card will allow you to borrow materials from all of the on-campus libraries. Rolvaag’s holdings include some Kierkegaard studies materials and other significant theological and philosophical works.

Your St. Olaf ID card also enables you to borrow materials from the Laurence McKinley Gould Library at Carleton College, located a short 30-minute walk into downtown Northfield, which also holds some Kierkegaard studies resources. In addition, the Northfield Public Library located in the center of Northfield is also available for your use, with the acquisition of a free Northfield Public Library card.

The Northfield Public Library
The Gould Library