The Library include various sections pertaining to the theme of the individual, the self and self-portraiture. These highlight the character of the Warburg Library as a Library of problems rather than a mere collection of books. The following sections are of particular relevance.
Ancient to Modern Art (1st floor)
The main section on self portraiture is at COC 50 at the beginning of the section on portraiture, placed inside a larger iconographic section exploring the theme of the human figure. The sections on national schools and individual artists also contain studies on specific self portraits.
Language, Literature, Survival of Classical Literature (2nd floor)
The literature sections include many autobiographical elaborations, from Dante, to Petrarch, Montaigne, Rousseau Baudelaire and Proust. The chronological arrangement of the collections allows readers to survey the rise of the ego in Western Literature.
The NAC 50 sections holds a collection of studies on the history and formation of the concept of Renaissance and includes several studies on the question of Renaissance individualism.
The section on pictorial symbols includes a collection of books on early modern hieroglyphics, emblems and imprese. The impresa, a compound of text and image representing the intentions or aspirations of its wearer, is particularly relevant to the history of self-representation. Imprese, frequently feature on the reverse of portraits and sometimes of self-portraits in the corpus of medals, which can be examined in the iconographic database.
Religion, Science, Philosophy (3rd and 4th floor)
The Christianity section include texts and studies on Saint Augustine's Confessions.
Books classified under BFF 270 deal with the theme of confession - which could be envisaged in terms of autobiography.
The section on philosophy include some studies on the concept of individual and individuality but these are arranged either under specific authors or broader themes (e.g. Renaissance Philosophy) rather than in a dedicated section.
Social and Political History (4th Floor)
The Psychology section, which opens the floor dedicated to history, includes several collections on the formation of the self. See DAC 50.
Books classmarked DHF 195, under sociology, deal with the formation of the individual in society.
A collection exclusively dedicated to the theme of the autobiography is located under classmark HAF 100, at the beginning of the section dealing with historiography, or the history of history.
More material can be harvested across the collections through keyword searches: autobiogr*, in particular, will bring autobiographical pages from most fields of human activities, composed by figures as diverse as Flavius Josephus, Lorenzo de' Medici, Athanasius Kircher, Buffalo Bill or Frances Yates.
See also individu* and self.
In the Photographic Collection self portraits are held in two cabinets containing c. 800 reproductions of self-portraits from Antiquity to Modern times. This section is located in the Portraits section of the collection.
Follow this link to examine this section
See also the corpus of medals, kept in the iconographic database, for more portraits and some self-portraits.