In mid nineteenth century England, public lectures provided the opportunity for people of modest means to learn about the world around beyond their communities and the world around themselves. One of the many traveling speakers, a man calling himself "Parallax" toured the lecture halls and auditoriums of England, drew crowds by expounding upon his personal experiments, which, he claimed, showed the Earth was not a globe, but a flattened disk. Parallax, a skilled debater, would begin to revive the age old idea of the flat earth. Parallax, a man actually named Samuel Birley Rowbotham, and those he inspired, would go on to write a number of books discussing the idea of the flat earth. These authors, their ideological successors and those who have written about them are represented in the books, book chapters, and book excerpts of The Flat Earth and its Advocates: A List of References.
This list of books, chapters and excerpts on the flat earth theory has been split, with Library of Congress materials being given their own list on this page, followed by the list of materials from other institutions which Freitag included in her original guide. Journal and magazine articles have been given a separate page. The resulting resource lists have been organized by author's surname where known, and then by title.
The Flat Earth and its Advocates: A List of References was originally published in May of 1998. Works which postdate 1998 are drawn from the new material available in the Library's collections on the subject.
The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content, including full digitized books, are included when available. Specific chapters focusing on this topic are noted in the citations.
Ruth Freitag's original guide included material that does not appear in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. For these items, we have provided links to the OCLC Worldcat External database, a free tool which allows users to search a combined catalog of materials from many of the world's prominent libraries. The original guide provided British Library shelfmarks in the locations where they appear. Call numbers from other institutions have been added and are provided as examples only. Items in question may or may not have copies held at multiple institutions. Consult OCLC Worldcat records for additional holdings information. The list is organized by author's surname where known, and then by title.
The following materials include links to fuller bibliographic information in OCLC Worldcat. External Links to digital content are included when available.