Author Dan Brown donates to digitize ancient textsJune 16, 2016
Author Dan Brown donates to digitize ancient texts
Novelist Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code) has donated € 300,000 to the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica to digitize and preserve part of its priceless collection, including Hermetica, alchemy, mysticism, Rosicrucians and Kabbala.
Thanks to Brown’s donation, the public will be able to access the core collection of some 4,600 ancient books online in the near future. Brown is a great admirer of the library (widely known as The Ritman Library after its founder Joost R. Ritman) and visited on several occasions while writing his novels The Lost Symbol and Inferno. “I consider it a great honor”, the world-famous author said, “to play a role in this important preservation initiative that will make these texts available to the public.” The Dutch Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds is also contributing to the digitization project, to the amount of € 15,000.
The comprehensive digitization project will be carried out by Picturae, a company specializing in making Dutch cultural heritage digitally accessible. It is expected that the core collection of The Ritman Library will become available online in the spring of 2017.
The Ritman Library’s collection comprises some 25,000 works: c. 4,600 manuscripts and printed books before 1900, c. 20,000 books printed after 1900, unique archival collections and a collection of prints. The collection is regarded as world heritage, being one of the finest private collections of rare books in the world. Director Esther Ritman: “It has always been our dream to connect this treasure house with the community and make it Hermetically Open to all. Thanks to Dan Brown we can digitize our core collection. I am thrilled to see this dream becoming a reality.”
Embassy of the Free Mind
The Ritman Library is moving into the historic ‘House with the Heads’ on Amsterdam’s Keizersgracht. After major renovation the building will house the new ‘Embassy of the Free Mind’. This Embassy will offer room for exhibitions, tours, presentations, debates and conferences and will be a platform where innovative and free thinkers from the Netherlands and abroad can meet. The library, with its wealth of knowledge and its unique collection, will be the vibrant heart of the Embassy of the Free Mind.
Viewers can follow the digitization process on YouTube, FB, Instagram, and the library’s website http://www.ritmanlibrary.com/digitization-project/.
Information for the press: http://www.ritmanlibrary.com/author-dan-brown-donates-to-digitize-ancient-texts/
Website Dan Brown: www.danbrown.com