I recently came across the great blog The Medicine Chest by historian of medicine Marieke Hendiksen at Leiden. She recently ran a review of the “Alchemy on the Amstel” exhibition that is still running at the Ritman Library (Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica). Worth checking out – as is the rest of the blog! (discovered via Mike Zuber’s Praeludia Microcosmica).
In September last year, I heard of the Amsterdam Ritman Library or Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica for the first time. I had been wanting to see the exhibition ‘Alchemy on the Amstel‘ (until 20 September 2013) ever since, and last week I finally got a chance. On a sunny afternoon I cycled to the library, hidden away in a side street of the Prinsengracht, a stone’s throw from the Westerchurch.
In stark contrast to the hustle and bustle outside, just metres away from the throngs of tourists queuing for the Anne Frank house, the Ritman Library is an oasis of silence. Founded by the Amsterdam businessman and maecenas Joost R. Ritman (1941), the library holds a unique collection of hermetic books and manuscripts with a focus on the Christian tradition. The collection covers areas as diverse as alchemy, Rosicrucian works and Gnostics, from the Middle Ages to the present…
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