Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica reopens

The Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in Amsterdam was frequently in the news in 2011 because of financial difficulties. A Dutch bank impounded the historical collection and the Dutch State, which owns part the core collection, transferred books and manuscripts to the Dutch National Library. This effectively split the collection in two and the bank intended to sell the impounded books. A protest and petition were organized by international scholars in the field of study. While attempts to save the library were made, a media silence was imposed.

Although it remains unclear exactly how it was achieved, the BPH has announced that it will formally reopen on 16 December 2011. The organizational and ownership structure of the library has been reviewed, which will hopefully prevent any problems reoccurring.
Keynote speaker prof. Wouter Hanegraaff (Chair for the History of Hermetic Philosophy and related currents at the University of Amsterdam) will give a lecture ‘Per aspera ad fontes’ to mark the reopening on 16 December 2011. This will coincide with the opening of a new exhibition ‘Oneindig Vuur’ (‘Never ending fire’) in the BPH building. The library collection will then be accessible again to students and scholars from 19 December onwards (while the state-owned part of the collection presumably remains accessible in the National Library in The Hague). For more information: bph@ritmanlibrary.nl

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