Alchemy Archive
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What is the purpose of Alchemy Archive?

As lovers of the Royal Art we are always on the lookout for that one book, that manuscript, that hand-written lab note that reveals an important secret of the Art, in a more clear terms than any book before. Here the saying ‘don't judge a book by its cover’ applies. A leather bound book with delightful drawings, like we may consult in libraries around the world, may in fact contain merely that which the old alchemist carefully selected or veiled in such a way that he deemed suitable for publication. On the other hand, the notes this same alchemist kept in a diary or an unseemly lab journal might not be subject to such censure. Often these more secret writings were passed on to a trusted apprentice or were lost.

Alchemy Archive is an initiative of the Inner Garden Foundation which as a group has taken on the role of custodians of the Art in line with the foundation's aims (cf. the AoA of 2010).The Alchemy Archive is both a collection of historical reference materials (such as books, manuscripts, audio records, etc.) and living reference materials (manuals, lessons, best practices, lab reports, research reports) on both traditional and modern forms of alchemy. The archive serves the following tripartite mission:

Mission Statement

  1. the Alchemy Archive aims to be a repository of valuable reference material on Alchemy with the purpose to preserve this knowledge for future generations and as a basis for present ongoing research;
  2. the Alchemy Archive aims to bring together the vast collection of alchemy books in one place in a logical context, classification and structure. This logical context and structure is a basis for its educational value and for a meaningful exchange with the archive's consumers. Knowledge is shared worldwide on the basis of a participative model;
  3. the Alchemy Archive aims to provide continuous access as a central source for trusted information, experienced or tried-and-tested information as well as unverified or mystical references. This information provides the substratum on the basis of which the Alchemical Tradition is disseminated.

Above listed mission closely aligns with the three primary aims of the Foundation as set down in art. 2 of the AoA, 2010:

The Foundation’s object shall be:

  1. to promote and conduct research on traditional and modern forms of Alchemy. This research involves both internal and external Alchemy;
  2. to collect and combine knowledge about Alchemy, and to share that knowledge with partners worldwide;
  3. to propagate and pass on the Alchemical Tradition and its nature-philosophical lifestyle and mystical heritage.

In line with the above valuable alchemical manuscripts, typoscripts and notes are preserved in the Alchemy Archive - heritage works that might otherwise be lost. The archive thus brings together alchemical works that are now found scattered around the word, in libraries or on the web, to form a library that is dedicated to the Art of Alchemy for easy access of its consumers.


How did Alchemy Archive start?

The pleasure and privilige of having great works of alchemy at ones fingertips in a few clicks is something of this age. At the founding of Inner Garden its members had both their individual analog library and a harddisk with digital works. In 2010 we began to bring this together, both the analog versions (as listed here) and the digital works. These were the modest beginnings of a library that expanded through a collective effort, in a time that changed rapidly in favour of the afficinado of alchemy books. In those days the Internet Archive had a collection of one milion texts of which a increasing number had a relevance for the alchemist. Initiatives by libraries to scan their (older) works rapidly multiplied and our own digital libraries grew - each containing a different selection with different gems delved up at various online sources. In our Annual Report of 2015 we noted that ‘a start has been made with an online library of books in the feld of alchemy.’ This was very much in accordance with its time and a year later, in the summer of 2016, the Bibliotheca Hermetica announced its plan to scan all its works.

An impetus to the digital expansion and method of archiving was given by Br. Aashiq al-Hikmah who in 2017 presented Br. Moreh with a great collection of hitherheto unknown, unpublished and valuable works on alchemy. The papers and notes ranged from old rosicrucians documents, papers of the OSFARC (Ordre Souverain des Frères Aînés de la Rose + Croix), of LPN (Les Philosophes de la Nature), of PRS (Paracelsus Research Society) and even a 400 page unpublished tome with profound discourses on alchemical operations. Br. Moreh had an archive of works from the OSFARC as well (he once held the office of GM) and a range of papers related to the PRS he had received from Dr. Schein. It was at this point that a more thorough discipline of archiving was initiated. Together with Moreh an Archive Master Reference was set up with a logical structure based on the Universal Decimal Classification (cf. our Annual Report of 2017). The Decimal Classification System was amended (UDC-IG) to better fit the Inner Garden Archive and the niche of books on Alchemy.

While our digital bookselves began to fill Br. Ibn Hamda added a lifetime (99 years) 2TB of space to our Cloud and Br. JML began the work on a php based interface. We feel we have barely started but the archive is allready becoming, with regard to content, the alchemical equivalent of the Metal Shelves of the Vatican in the making:

Post by Moreh » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:50 pm

Dear friends,
The library project is developing into something magnificent. What we are realising here is the dream that many an alchemist through the ages must have had: to have access to all the well known and lesser know books on alchemy. To be able browse it at one's leisure like one would in a private library at home, and to have it always an arm's reach away by way of the pcloud app. Apart from a number of well known works part of the library also contains some veritable tomes on alchemy that are not found anywhere else.

To give you an idea of what is being added, I have copied te latest report of Br. Aashiq al-Hikma:

***

Periodicals:
LPN Journals: LPN published Le Petit Philosophale from Dec 1982 through mid-year 1995, for 127 issues. Filed by year with a separate ‘index.’ This French-language publication has interesting lab reports and articles that were not incorporated into the LPN courses.
  • Example: 051.000 Le Petit Philosophe 012-021-1984.pdf
PON Journals: The Stone, published 1990-1999, in three volumes. In English.
  • Example: 051.000 Philosophers of Nature - The Stone Vol 1.pdf

Secret and Semi-Secret Societies
PON: 061.250.600 PON Seminar -1993 April - Illinois.pdf - a transcript from audio tapes made by a member, of the 2nd LPN/PON seminar. While flawed by being incomplete due to the audio source, and with some errors in transcription, the contents are of interest. Rosicrucian:
061.250.200 Anonymous - Theoricus Degree.pdf - English translation of Die Theoretischen Bruder Oder Zweite Stuffe der Rosenkreuzer. From AMORC’s Alchemical Manuscripts Series (see under Alchemy). One of my AMORC brothers had made a copy of this work at the Newberry Library in Chicago. and gave it to me in response to my search for a particular document referenced in Albertus’ Alchemists’ Handbook. Through Hans Nintzel, it was sent to Leone Muller, a remarkable translator and mystic. I raised funds through the AMORC Lodge in Chicago to pay translation fees, which Leone had me pay to a society to prevent harm to animals based in Andorra, where she had a home.

I had shown a copy of the German Ms to Frater Albertus during Prima class... after quickly scanning several pages (the first of three parts is a diatribe against the Rosicrucians), he dismissed it as useless. I knew he had not seen the 3rd section. Leone Muller asked me to consider not publishing the 2nd part, which is ritualistic, due to concerns that some may yet use these particular rites, although after meditation, I decided to publish it. The third part includes excellent theoretical alchemical instruction, and practical instruction on menstrua, and finally a path (insert ‘to’) make a transmuting stone via what is, at least on the surface, an antimony-animated mercury path.

From time to time, I replenished the copies I'd given to the AMORC library, as the librarian explained to me that copies borrowed by members, the Imperator among them, tended not to be returned.

Manuscripts:
The Manly Palmer Hall Collection. In response to Ibn Hamda’s comment during recent Meeting of the Ents: the 45 files published by the Getty Research Institute, with an index. Box 18, in 19 volumes, are the Bacstrom collection, obtained by Hall. Box 20 is manuscripts from Cagliostro's library.
  • Example: 091.100 Hall M P - 18v01.pdf

Books on Alchemy:
  • 133.541 Cambriel LPF - Cours de Philosophie Hermétique ou d’Alchimie.pdf - in French, published 1845. Does not appear to be a laboratory manual, but may be of interest, as this publication was acknowledged by J. Champaigne, and Canseliet.
  • 133.541 Poisson A - L’Initiation Alchimique.pdf - in French, published 1900. Correspondence published after his death. Poisson was an initiate in Rose-Croix and Martinist circles, and a practicing alchemist.
  • 133.541 Shaw P - Philosophical Principles of Universal Chemistry.pdf — one of my favorites. From the era when Chymistry had not degraded into materialistic Chemistry. English, 1730. Drawn from a work by Stahl in German. While it has something in common with Chymistry manuals by Lemery, Glaser, and Macquer, it is singular in detailing preparation and use of antimony regulus, butter of antimony and vitriols. The final section summarizes numerous paths to the Philospher’s Stone. I was astounded to find it. Later I discovered that modern scholars Principe and Newmann referred to this text in their groundbreaking works.

The Alchemical Manuscript Series, published by AMORC. In English. Sixteen documents, which were selected by Jack Glass and myself from the former RAMS materials, as references for our Alchemy students. AMORC acquired rights to RAMS collection from Estate of George Fenzke, who had purchased the rights from Hans Nintzel. Contents include Golden Chain of Homer, Complete writings of Hollandus, Bacstrom Compendium, several works of Ripley, Basil Valentine and others. AMORC makes these available for download.
  • Example: 133.541 Bacstrom S - Compendium 1 of 2.pdf

Shamanism, etc.
200.382 Kay P - Datura - American Archaeology.pdf - the category begged for an entry. A paper showing that iconography (dancers, serpent) of some indiginous North American cultures is clearly representing the night flying hawkmoth, which is attracted to flowering Datura.

Is the Alchemy Archive publically accessible?

Part of the library is accessible for everyone, for both the indcidental visitor and long term contributor. The latter, however, has access to a larger part of the library on the basis of his merit of participation in the expansion of the library. The library also knows a restricted section with works that belong to the domain of secrecy that is common in the Alchemical Tradition. Some would insist that this is not of this age any longer and that ‘universal access to all knowledge’ is of this age. As custodians of the Art we honour the traditions that come with tit and hence are very reserved about giving access to works that have been given in good faith, to share among a few on the basis of advancement in the lab, in inner work or on the basis of merit in contributing to our foundation's aims.




Getting started

If you are still here after reading this far, you are probably interested or at least curious about the Alchemy Archive. A guideline of how to participate is available here.


Your feedback and our response

We welcome your feedback as it helps us to improve what we do. Please send any feedback you may have to feedkcab@alchemyarchive.org.


Comments and requests updated June 2018

What you have said What we have done
While you are setting up the access page, how can I add books and access the archive? There is much work in progress but you can already contribute books. We have made a guideline on how to submit books (see above on how to get started). As of yet, please send any submissions directly to rotaruc@alchemyarchive.org.
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