The CESAALA specializes in the preservation of Atheist, Freethought, Rationalist, Secularist, Skeptic, Humanist, Agnostic and Deist materials. Our holdings constitute one of the nation’s largest private gathering of books, booklets, pamphlets, periodicals, ephemera and other records pertinent to these topics. We also have an extensive collection of materials on philosophy, science, the history of religion as well as state-church separation and First Amendment rights.
The Library and Archives currently house about 10,000 books, and tens of thousands of pamphlets, booklets, periodicals, letters, photographs and other material relevant to our mission. We have an extensive collection of newsletters and other documents representing the history and activities of hundreds of atheist and freethought organizations at the local, regional and national level.
In addition, CESAALA maintains complete or extensive collections of renowned Atheist, Freethought and related publications – most of them extinct – including The Atheist, Free Society, The Truthseeker, Temple of Reason, and The National Reformer.
The Library also serves as an archive for records, publications, pamphlets, audio-visual materials and other pertinent information related to American Atheists and its founder, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, and her family.
For nearly five decades, Madalyn Murray O’Hair collected books, pamphlets, letters and related materials on the history of Atheism and Freethought. She knew the importance of preserving these works. In 1965, Charles E. Stevens, an early supporter of Ms. O’Hair’s legal battle to end mandatory prayer and Bible verse reading in public schools, made a donation to establish on a permanent basis the library that would eventually bear his name.
CESAALA is open to scholars, students, and researchers by appointment only and is located at the American Atheists Center, 225 Cristiani Street, Cranford NJ 07016. To make an appointment, please contact us via email at [email protected]