The newly donated Bibliotheca Hermetica series: Alchemical Texts in the University Library

As part of a large donation from emeritus Art History Professor Jean Michel Massing, Cambridge University Library now possesses 13 works from the collection Bibliotheca Hermetica, an illustrated, encyclopedic collection of works on alchemy, astrology, and magic, dating across the Medieval to the late Renaissance period. Directed by René Alleau, with translations into Modern French, this collection, published in the 1970s, hoped to contribute to a greater understanding of traditional hermetic teachings.

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Autrement Mêmes

This guest post, written by Roger Little (Quondam Professor of French (1776), Trinity College, Dublin) describes a collection that he directs: Autrement Mêmes, published by L’Harmattan in Paris. The University Library has purchased many volumes in this collection, in recognition of the fact that the Library previously held very few, if any, of the texts.

Many a project stems from the recognition of a gap, and so it was with the series ‘Autrement Mêmes’, devoted to the publication in French of books representing Blacks or, more generally, the Other. Once an explanation about the title had been given to the director of the Paris publishing house L’Harmattan, Denis Pryen, suggesting that beyond the surface differences between people there was a common humanity which writers had explored, and would continue to explore, in the light of their personal experience and vision, and the attitudes of their time, the series published its first volumes in 2001. At the time of writing, April 2015, 108 volumes have appeared (pdf), some in two tomes.

A selection of covers from the Autrement Mêmes collection

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