Introduction to the Wolff Archive

A principal enterprise of the Franklin Merrell-Wolff Fellowship is the publication and distribution of the archive of Franklin Fowler Wolff—that is, the “Wolff Archive.”

This website is the Fellowship’s primary means for making this material publicly available, including all of Wolff's published and unpublished manuscripts, books, articles, audio tapes and recordings, correspondence, drafts and notes, photographs, video material, educational and student materials, as well as any works authored or apparently authored by either of Wolff’s wives. In addition, this website contains an inventory of the books in Wolff’s library, digital images of any handwritten annotations in these books, digital copies of the photos on Wolff’s office walls, and an inventory (as well as photographs) of the memorabilia in his office.[1]

Please note that the items posted here are, for the most part, scans of original manuscripts, and that these documents may contain typographic errors, spelling mistakes, editing notes, and so forth. Where it is feasible, we have also provided transcribed versions of this material; these transcriptions are reformatted, “clean” copies of the archival items, and may be slightly edited from the original. The Fellowship believes that the original copies are valuable for a number of reasons: some may find it interesting to see Wolff’s edits, spellings, handwriting, and so forth; most importantly, however, the Fellowship wishes to ensure that any copies of Wolff’s work are true to its source. This is in accordance with Wolff’s desire that his work not be appreciably edited; having the original material available is the best way we know to safeguard this request. You are welcome to download any of scans of the material in the Wolff Archive for your personal use.

Wolff lived to the age of ninety-eight, and the Wolff Archive covers most of this span—hence, it is sizeable. To ease access to this material, it has been organized using categories that reflect the type of material in each grouping (Audio Recordings, Books, Essays, and so on) or, in the case of the productions of Wolff’s two wives, the author (Sherifa and Gertrude). These categories are listed below, and each has its own webpage that contains a description of the material that falls under the category and a link to a table that contains this material.

The “ultimate objective” of Wolff’s lifework was “to facilitate, as far as possible, development toward that event which, when achieved, is known as ‘Fundamental Realization’ or ‘Enlightenment’.”[2] The Fellowship presents the Wolff Archive in hope that some may find that it contains an inducement toward this end, and in recognition that it is possible to learn both from Wolff’s life as well as from his message.

Organizational Schema for the Wolff Archive

  1. Aphorisms & Poetry—Wolff’s aphorisms and poetry are found here.
  2. Audio Recordings—a complete library of Wolff’s audio recordings from 1950-1984 is available for listening and download. A transcript accompanies each recording.
  3. Books—besides books published by Wolff, documents (such as reviews and marketing material) relevant to these works are also found here.
  4. Correspondence—Wolff’s correspondence, sorted by correspondent, is found here.
  5. Essays—all papers and articles penned by Wolff fall under this category.
  6. Lectures, Notes & Outlines—this section of the Wolff Archive contains Wolff’s numerous lectures, some in finished form, most in outline. In addition, this section of the Wolff Archive contains a number of miscellaneous notes found among the items in Wolff’s estate, notes that range from the record of a passing thought to those that document various books in Wolff’s library.
  7. Mementos & Memorabilia—various items found in Wolff’s office are documented here.
  8. Organizations & Group Work—this section of the Wolff Archive contains documents that relate to Wolff’s work with various groups and organizations over the course of his life.
  9. Photographs—a sample of photographs from the Wolff Archive can be viewed here.
  10. Sherifa—Sarah A. Wolff wrote a number of short works that can be found here. In addition, her journals and correspondence are relevant to the work that she co-led with Wolff.
  11. Gertrude—Gertrude wrote a book titled Man Evolving, which may be found here. She also penned a number of short articles and essays, all of which are cataloged here.

Endnotes

[1] The Fellowship is still in the process of collecting all of this material, and when it is complete, the Wolff Archive will be donated to Stanford University (Wolff’s alma mater), where it will be placed in a special collection.

[2] The Philosopher’s Stone, a video produced by Faustin Bray & Brooks Dwyer