Spooky Crowley Holding at Harvard’s Houghton Library

As pointed out by Richard Kaczynski on his FB feed, Harvard University’s student paper the Crimson posted an article about Halloween-appropriate holdings in their library. These would include:

“Moving away from fiction and into reality, the library owns some oddly fascinating material concerning Aleister Crowley, a 20th-century British esoteric known for founding the religion of Thelema. A whole set of Crowley’s letters are at Houghton (013362685), and they are creepy, to say the least. Formulaic statements, unrecognizable symbols, and numerology abound, and Crowley signed his letters with the number 666 rather than his name. Crowley also contributed to a set of tarot cards, proofs of which are at Houghton; pentagrams and other eerie imagery are present throughout (013340169).

“Finally, since Harvard is so close to Salem, Houghton has more than enough material on witches and witch hunts and trials, from the 19th-century manuscript for Elizabeth Gaskell’s “Lois the Witch”—the cover is laden with pentagrams (009585378)—to whole subject classes on witchcraft. An exploration of the old Widener classes on HOLLIS Classic (begin with 24245 on “other call number”) also yields spooky results from centuries ago, such as a report from 1647 about witches in the English county of Norfolk (005777103) and the description of a 1664 witch trial in Suffolk (007218007). ”

See what else they might have of interest: http://www.thecrimson.com/column/meanwhile-in-the-stacks/article/2016/11/1/horror-at-houghton/



Frater Lux Ad Mundi

One Comment

  1. As of a few years ago, Harvard’s library had a beautiful (but very worn) original volume from the first series of the Equinox… with Prof. William James’ personal bookplate pasted in the front. He died in 1910, so it must have been #1 or #2?

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