New hope for the Ritman Library?

This morning the Dutch newspaper Trouw brought some promising news about the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, or Ritman Library, which was closed last November. Due to a large  debt and an ensuing conflict between Mr. Joost Ritman, Friesland Bank, and the Dutch State, the collection was dissolved at the end of last year, with one part going to the National Library in the Hague, and another confiscated by the bank.

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Update: The BPH collection dissolved

Dante, Divina commedia. Venice, Giovanni Battista, Melchior and Domenico Sessa, 1564. From the BPH collection.

Almost a month after the conflict between Joost Ritman, Friesland Bank and the Dutch government became public knowledge, it now seems that things have not turned out well for the famous and unique collection of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in Amsterdam. The case has been discussed in the Dutch parliament and national media during the last two weeks. Despite the petition which has gathered the support of academics world wide, and despite the pressure put on Halbe Zijlstra, the Secretary of State for Education, Culture and Science, the Dutch Government has already made the first move towards a dissolution of the collection which may indeed become permanent.

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Save the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica!

The Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica (BPH, or Ritman Library) in Amsterdam has been a very important institution for research into hermetic philosophy and related currents, particularly early modern Rosicrucianism and alchemy, for decades. In a dramatic and very unsettling turn of events, the library’s existence as we know it is now being threatened. It is all very unclear what will happen, but there is no doubt that spreading the word and creating attention around the developments is the least we can do to try and influence things in the best possible direction – to save the library, the staff, and its national heritage collection of manuscripts and printed books. Please sign this petition, and feel free to spread the word to anyone you think should know about this. For more information, read the note below.

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