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Author Dan Brown donates to digitize ancient texts

Posted on by BPH

Author Dan Brown donates to digitize ancient texts

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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 Collection

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

Information for the press:

Website Dan Brown:

Esther Ritman en Dan Brown voor het Huis met de Hoofden

Esther Ritman and Dan Brown in front of the House with the Heads

6 Responses to Author Dan Brown donates to digitize ancient texts

  1. Airetta Myrick says:

    Please let me know how to access the digital files once they are available on any level to the public or to members. Thank you.

  2. Fredrick C. Buck says:

    Thank you Dan Brown and The Ritman Library. You are my new saints and heroes!

    Here in the southern USA, I fear that many would like to squelch the study of all things mystical. It is good to see the Light of Knowledge shining through!!!

    You are the Light of the World
    Thank you again
    Fred Buck

  3. carmen sola sole says:

    estoy deseando poder ver las traducciones de los libros más importantes del conocimiento de nuestra civilización. gracias

  4. charlie says:

    Hopefully when the files are online, Dan Brown will reveal the secret he has been attempting to reveal by encoding clues in his books. Or he could reveal the secret now and by the time the online editions are available the world would be more interested in confirming the secret.

  5. Raynard Hall says:

    Dan we share the same impulse. My donation pales in the shadow of your largess but tell me: Where do I send my contribution to the campaign to preserve this wonderful collection?

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