Treadwell’s is a resource for university researchers and students. We point enquirers towards accurate information, relevant scholarship and personal contacts to assist their work on pagan and esoteric subjects. Enquiries from people who are working in these areas  are welcome – please email, and we endeavour to reply within three working days.

Assistance to Academic Scholars

We regularly provide informal assistance to academics who are working on books, monographs and articles touching upon pagan themes and esoteric movements.  Students and scholars come into the shop for a chat, and we can make suggestions. Sometimes, however, our contributions is more involved, as in the cases below.

  • Sociology of religion MA 2011 (Lund University)  we arranged interviews on the subject of women in Wicca in Britain
  • Sociology of Religion  MA 2008 (Brunel University) we arranged interviews with Wiccan priests for a dissertation on the negotiation of secrecy in a pagan community
  • Geography PhD ( Southampton) we provided an interview subject for a doctoral thesis on economic geographies of independent bookshops
  • Study of Religions PhD (University of Cork) we sourced rare occult periodicals for free consultation for a doctoral thesis on 1970s trends in British  occultism

For Schools/Undergraduates

We regularly provide reading guidance and bibliographic suggestions to final-year undergraduates working on dissertations treating paganism, Wicca and esotericism, and also help teachers find visiting speakers for classes and student groups. A few recent examples include:

  • Art History: provided archival notes and dissertation topic guidance  on early 20th-century women artists and ceremonial magic  for a B.A. thesis student at University of Sussex (2013)
  • Religion, Wicca: we arranged for a visiting pagan to speak at the religion society Eton College (2013)
  • Sociology of Religion: we arranged a visiting Wiccan priestess to speak to B.A. students’ religion class at St Mary’s University College (2009, 2010)

Studying Paganism

Paganism as a  religious movement is also the subject of academic study. The American Academy of Religion has been a focal centre for these researchers, and studies are now diverse and flourishing, not only in North America  but also in Britain. Introductory overviews of the field of the academic study of contempory paganism can be found in the titles listed below. These introduce the field of pagan studies, rather than being the most approachable ways to learn about paganism itself, for which we would recommend the titles here.

Our London shop stocks a selection of books on the scholarly study of all strands of pagan spiritualities. Those who can visit us are welcome to browse our titles in person.

Studying Western Esotericism

Western Esotericism has taken off as a field of study in the past decade, and includes alchemy, hermeticism, astrology, planetary magic, secret societies, Rosicrucians, Theosophy, Thelema and more recent occultism. The titles below introduce the field of esoteric scholarship, rather than being the most approachable ways to learn about these subjects themselves, for which we would recommend the titles here.  

  • Nicolas Goodrick-Clarke, The Western Esoteric Traditions: A Historical Introduction
  • Antoine Faivre, Access to Western Esotericism
  • Antoine Faivre,  Western Esotericism: A Concise History
  • Kocku von Stuckrad, Western Esotericism: A Brief History of Secret Knowledge

Academic programmes and scholarly networks in Western Esotericism are accessible via the internet, journals and online publications. New work is presented regularly at the many vibrant conferences held in Europe and North America.

Our London shop stocks a selection of books on the scholarly study of the history of Western esotericism. Those who can visit us are welcome to browse our titles in person.

 What They Say…

I am a PhD candidate researching the transmission of occult ideas and practices in the Middle East. I have been frequenting Treadwell’s regularly for over a year. Christina has been very helpful in guiding me through the Western esoteric tradition. Her interest in the subject is tempered by impressive academic rigour. I have not found a more fertile environment in which to develop my knowledge of this fascinating field than Treadwell’s. It is a haven for enthusiasts and academics alike.  Anon.

I am resarching occult periodicals and a friend suggested I contact the shop,  so I sent an email. Having noticed that I was a researcher, Christina responded by offering to help locate materials and invited me to the shop to look through them. I spent the better part of two days researching at Treadwell’s. While there, I received a warm welcome and my own space in which to work. The knowledge and enthusiasm of the staff combined with the collection at Treadwell’s makes it a valuable resource for anyone undertaking research.  Colin Duggan, PhD candidate, University College Cork.

While choTreadwells Scholarsosing a topic for my final dissertation, I came across a block. I wanted to include my interest in magic and the occult in my studies, but wasn’t sure how to. I had been to a couple of talks at Treadwell’s, and contacted them on a whim. I was pleasantly surprised to hear back from Christina offering me a trip in to the shop. While I was there she set me up with her mounds of information, pointed me in the right direction and helped me to finalise my ideas. I feel like the help and advice I have received from Treadwell’s is on a par to that I get from my university.  Aimee Lockwood, Art History BA candidate,  University of Sussex.

I found Treadwells Bookshop to be very helpful when I needed to include them in my PhD research examining the economic geographies of independent bookshops in the UK. Christina and staff were welcoming, open and ready to talk. I also got to meet some of the shop’s customers at one of the very informative events they run. This was the launch of a new book, with people from all over the UK in attendance. A bookshop with a welcoming atmosphere that successfully combines learning and fun.  Gemma O’Brien, PhD Candidate , University of Southampton.