Saturday, June 25, 2016

Dan Brown pays it forward

ANOTHER DIGITIZATION PROJECT: Dan Brown Donates €300,000 to Digitization Project at the Ritman Library (NATE PEDERSEN, Fine Books Magazine).
Novelist Dan Brown, known for his runaway bestseller The Da Vinci Code (2003), has donated €300,000 ($338,000) to the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, aka The Ritman Library, in Amsterdam. The money will be used to digitize the library’s core collection of about 4,600 early printed books (pre-1900) and about 300 older manuscripts. Once they are digitized, the collections will be freely available online on the library’s website. The Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds also contributed €15,000 to the project.

The Ritman Library was founded by Dutch businessman and book collector Joost Ritman in 1984. The library specializes in hermeticism, as well as the related fields of Rosicrucianism, alchemy, gnosis, esotericism, and Kabbalah and is widely considered one of the finest collections of its type in existence.

Dan Brown has his good points and his bad points, but in this he has done a good thing and I commend him. My review of The Da Vinci Code novel is here and of the movie is here. And for the 2006 copyright lawsuit against him by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, co-authors of The Holy Blood, and the Holy Grail, which Brown won, see here with lots more in the searchable PaleoJudaica archive. I've enjoyed his novels, but he shouldn't insist that they are based on FACTS. The movies have been better about this.

For many other manuscript digitization projects, start here and follow the links.