Da Vinci Code gives back!


Author Dan Brown donates to digitize ancient texts


In 2012 the Ritman Library started the Hermetically Open project with the aim of extending its traditional core tasks to the virtual domain. The library’s online community has grown significantly thanks to the constant use of the social media and other online channels. The new online catalogue which will be launched in the spring of 2017 will present the available digital content per title. The digital content will furthermore be linked to public information sources through Linked Open Data.

In 2016 the BPH will be preparing to move to the ‘House with the Heads’ on Amsterdam’s Keizersgracht. This important event in the history of the library will be used as an opportunity to digitize the core collection. In the near future, it will be possible not only to consult the books physically in the new building but also online throughout the world. This project fulfils a major objective of the Hermetically Openproject by making the core collection accessible online through digitization and integration of the material in the new online catalogue.

The comprehensive digitization project will be carried out by Picturae, a company specializing in making Dutch cultural heritage digitally accessible.

This project is co-financed by author Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code), who has donated the sum of € 300,000, and by the Netherlands’ Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, which has donated the sum of € 15,000. The BPH has been advised in its fundraising campaign by “Wijzer Werven”, an initiative by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to support cultural non-profit organizations (organizations with an ANBI status). The BPH contributes to the digitization project by engaging staff and volunteers in the field of project monitoring.

project digitization includes

Corpus Hermeticum (1472)

Jakob Böhme’s works in English (1764-1781)

Giordano Bruno’s Spaccio de la bestia trionfante(1584)

the first printed version of the tree of life (1516)

an early Quran printed in Arabic (1694)

a copy of a first-edition Quran in Latin (1542-1543)

a hand-colored version of the Bible (1568-1573)

see full details here: Ritman Library Digitization Project



Barry William Hale

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