Theosophical Book Gift Institute

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The Theosophical Book Gift Institute (TBGI) is a not-for-profit corporation registered in Illinois in 1948 and still operating at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society in America. It was established to distribute Theosophical books to public libraries, hospitals, prisons, and military posts, financed by donations.

Book distribution before TBGI

Many individual Theosophists and lodges undertook distribution of books as a service to the Theosophical Society. Here is an example from 1924:

Mrs. Laura S. Hunt has financed the placing of books in public libraries throughout the country and has thus rendered a service of inestimable value to both the Theosophical Society and to the public. Through her generosity more than 120 libraries have received considerable lists of theosophical books. These have all been placed only after careful investigation by Mr. J. H. Talbot who makes certain in advance, by visiting the librarian, and also by ascertaining the views of the library board, that the books will be welcome and will be properly catalogued and displayed. When the right conditions do not exist no books are placed as it would obviously be useless. By this careful method many public libraries where theosophical books have been unknown are now supplied...[1]

Establishment of TBGI

Activities over the years


  1. "Public Library Work" The Messenger 12.4 (September 1924), 53.