Posted by: bluesyemre | January 25, 2021

Ritman Library (Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica – Amsterdam)

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.

It is true, without a lie, certain and most true,
that which is below is as that which is above,
and that which is above is as that which is below,
to perform the miracles of the one thing.

(Hermes Trismegistus, Tabula Smaragdina)

In addition to his passion for books, Ritman also feels greatly committed to his native city Amsterdam, in particular its cultural treasures. Museum Het Rembrandthuis, the Westerkerk and the Library of the Royal Concertgebouworchestra are some of the institutions to have benefited from his sponsorship. His merits for the world of the book were acknowledged with a number of notable awards. In 1995 Ritman was presented with the Laurens Jansz Coster award, a prize annually presented in the Coster city of Haarlem. In 2002 he was awarded the silver medal by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW); in the same year he was also knighted in the Order of the Dutch Lion.

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