Tanner Memorial Library of Philosophy

Tanner library

Hours and Location

Located on the first floor of Building 90, Tanner Library supports the teaching and research mission of the department with a core collection of books and journals.

The library hours are:

  • Monday-Thursday: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
  • Friday: 9:30 am to 4:00 pm

*Closed during winter and spring breaks, and over the summer.

Tanner’s holdings are listed in SearchWorks, the general online catalog for Stanford University Libraries. Dissertations, honors theses, and reserve materials for philosophy department courses are also kept in Tanner. 

Tanner Library is open to anyone with a SUnet ID card and anyone with such an ID may check out books. The library provides a quiet place for study.

Brief History

 Obert C. Tanner, MA '37, and his wife, Grace A. Tanner

In 1959 the philosopher and philanthropist, Obert C. Tanner, MA '37, and his wife, Grace A. Tanner, offered to underwrite the costs of creating a library within the department. On March 4, 1960, 150 people attended the ceremony during which the Tanners dedicated the library as a memorial to three sons of theirs who had died young.

The library collection has developed steadily over the years, from the original bequests of books by Professors Harold C. Brown, Henry W. Stuart, and Clarence I. Lewis, to the 8,500 volumes it houses today. The Tanners continued their patronage of the library over the next thirty years and in 1990 they helped to secure its future by enhancing an endowment they had established in 1961. Other members of the Tanner family have also continued to support the library through the years. 


Department of Philosophy
Main Quad, Building 90, Room 91F
Stanford, CA 94305-2029

Phone: (650) 723-1539

Email: tanner-library [at] stanford.edu

Stephen Sherwood is the Tanner Librarian.

The Tanner Philosophy Library is accessible to patrons with limited mobility.

Learn more about Tanner on Stanford University Libraries