Good News

Good News from the Theosophical Library in Amsterdam

Part of this impressive library

Those of you who know your editor, know that he loves books, real books, books you need to hold in both your hands and open, books in which you can make notes, books of which you can actually “smell” the pages. Yes, your editor is old fashioned, but he’s quite happy to be like that, a book is a book and any electronic, handheld device cannot in any way compete with it.

There are many precious Theosophical libraries all around the world, Theosophy Forward has often made mention of them. The one in Amsterdam, founded in in 1899, is certainly one of the oldest and largest esoteric libraries in Western Europe. Paying it a visit is a breathtaking experience, so if you are in the vicinity of the Tolstraat 154 in Amsterdam, make an effort to do so.

Renger Dijkstra (r) and Simone Chandler (l) a new volunteer specialized in astrology

Renger Dijkstra is its first librarian and he has been in that position as a volunteer for more than 25 years. (Please don’t make any notes in the books he so carefully looks after!) Together with another Dutchman, Peter Walstra, who is currently living in Denmark, he is in the process of working on a new and further developed computerized reference and catalogue system whereby the Theosophical libraries in the cities of Amsterdam, Naarden, Arnhem, Utrecht and The Hague will be interlinked. Therefore the collective material will be far better accessible for researchers not only in the Netherlands, but also for students from all over the world.

The library’s collection of around 25,000 titles consists of four main-categories: Theosophy, esotericism, religion and peripheries. There are works in the Dutch language but there is also a large amount of English material available, next to a great number of magazines in both Dutch and English. The interface of the newly renovated site will be in English and Renger and his team work hard to have the project ready shortly, we’ll keep you posted.

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