Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica

Amsterdam’s Ritman Library hosts an extensive collection of hermetic writings and related materials. It’s website states:

“The Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica brings together manuscripts and printed works in the field of the Hermetic tradition, more specifically the ‘Christian-Hermetic’ tradition. Following the ‘ad fontes’ principle, The Ritman Library tries to collect the earliest examples of works falling within its collecting interest, that is to say: manuscripts or first and early editions, without, however, ignoring subsequent written and printed sources. To date, the library holds more than 23,000 volumes: ca. 4,500 manuscripts and printed books before 1800, ca. 17,000 books (primary and secondary sources) printed after 1900, unique archival collections and a collection of prints and engravings.”

The collection was put together and is actively curated and maintained by its nameseake, Joost Ritman, to wit:

“Joost R. Ritman (1941) is an active Amsterdam business man with a deep interest in spirituality. He began collecting rare books at a young age, after his mother had presented him with a copy of a seventeenth-century edition of the Aurora, a work by Jacob Böhme, one of the authors who are a lasting source of inspiration to him. When he conceived the plan to turn his private collection of books into a library, his vision was to bring together under one roof manuscripts and printed works in the field of the Hermetic tradition, and to show the interrelatedness between the various collecting areas and their relevance for the present day.”

If you’re not in the vicinity and unable to make the trip you can take a virtual tour:

And you can browse their catalogue here:


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