Astrolearn astrology library progress report
– No. 22: 16th January, 2016
I have decided to restore the previous regular weekly Saturday schedule to these updates despite the relative slowness of developments lately, having drifted late by a few days a couple of weeks ago.
This past week, I have taken delivery of, and duly catalogued, a previously unknown-to-me British almanac title of the early 20th century that ostensibly ran for just one year: “The Zodiack or Prophetick Almanack & Kalendar”. You can now find it listed in the English-language almanacs section on the bibliography index page.
Also received, a complete run in a single volume of Ernst Tiede’s pioneering German astrological magazine “Monatsscrift für Astrologische Forschung” (1910-12). It was a very slim monthly in its first year, then a quarterly in its second and third, before Tiede took over editing the Astrologische Rundschau, rendering his first magazine obsolete. I have catalogued this in my offline catalogue, but it remains my intention to delay uploading details of German-language periodicals in the archive to a later date – possibly March this year, but perhaps not until December.
Further received this past week, a most generous donation by the Reverend Pamela F. Crane of the most recent edition of her famous book “Draconic Charts”. You can now find it listed, with full pagination details, alongside the earlier edition of 2000, in the relevant index page of the bibliography. I am truly grateful to the Rev. Crane for supporting the development of the archive and bibliography with this donation.
The first batch of Astrolearn CDs was received at the mail-forwarding centre handling my US purchases earlier this week. I have therefore ordered it sent on here, together with various book purchases, in a single package; but it will probably not arrive until the week after next.
As forewarned in November, in connection with the launch of the CDs, I have slightly upwardly revised the pricing of the existing DVDs. The CDs will offer a much lower-priced alternative for those who only want a few select books or volumes of journals.
It is going to be quite complicated to automate the CD sales because the range of countries that Kunaki will ship to is more limited than the range that I can ship to directly from here, and because the relative international shipping costs and VAT arrangements do not correspond to those for the DVDs. In fact, I believe I’m going to have to purchase an extension to the default e-commerce plug-in on WordPress that allows more sophisticated shipping calculations before this will be possible.
What I may do as a stopgap is put up full products pages with pictures and prices for the eighteen CDs existingly available (once the samples get here and I’ve been able to check them), integrating links to Kunaki’s own retail page, but also invite manually administered orders by Paypal. The automated shop will continue to service the DVD sales.
There has been a major glut of new important academic book releases of relevance to the history of astrology since early last Autumn. I have some on order, as well as one earlier one that escaped my notice until recently; but others I shall only gradually be able to afford as this year unfolds, probably at the rate of one or two a month, in March, April, May and June. February will be an expensive month with domain name renewals and a dental appointment, and it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to afford any books at all that month, my income remaining very low.
There were also some rather important non-academic new releases last year that I hope to catch up on later this, but the academic ones are my priority. And in the event that exceptionally important used books or journals of priority collecting interest to me turn up, they will take precedence over everything else.
You can expect to see slow, incremental but nonetheless valuable improvements to the bibliography pages at Astrolearn in the year ahead, accordingly.
I have not yet planned the details of my anticipated formal appeal for funding in the Spring. It is a matter that I look upon with considerable trepidation, because I feel singularly uncomfortable approaching people, or even organisations, with requests for money. It simply isn’t my natural way.
Nonetheless, several astrologers have advised me to do just that, so I must take the idea seriously.
If all else fails, which is to say, if even after my planned appeals in the coming Spring there is no adequate offer of funding from the astrological and academic communities forthcoming, I shall have to return to the job market or even to formal higher education in Sweden this summer in order to self-fund the continuing development of the archive in the future, entirely independently of outside sponsorship or other financial help and support. In that circumstance, it would become very much a spare-time project to be undertaken alongside a quite separate career. Sales of DVDs and CDs alone, while every one is very much appreciated, are only bringing in pocket money, and are not going to be enough to sustain me personally into the future, or my daughter, let alone to fund the continuing development of the archive. That is the hard economic reality.
Best wishes to all,