Astrolearn astrology library progress report
– No. 2: 16th July 2015
The past week’s progress was somewhat interrupted by a catastrophic crash in my Windows Live Mail installation that resulted in it losing its records not only of every email it had ever received before, but also of the folder set-up into which the various emails were supposed to be grouped, and the message rules store. After initially experiencing some difficulties using the contact form, I was eventually able to make contact with a helpful member of staff at Softambulance, an American firm specialising in data recovery. Duly reassured, I purchased a copy of its Live Mail Recovery product, which did an excellent job of restoring ten years of emails, although I had to manually restore the folders and still haven’t got round to replacing the message rules. The amount of time it takes for the computer to process this job needs to be witnessed to be believed, however. With several gigabytes of emails, it takes hours and hours, and there are several distinct stages involved. So this ended up costing me practically the whole of last weekend.
However, before and afterwards, I have been continuing to revise and enhance the cataloguing of books in the archive. I have significantly expanded my aims over those stated a week ago, to include all English-language modern hardbacks and also ultimately all academic works whether they are paperbacks or hardbacks. The latter addition is because the academic works are likely to be of particular importance to students and researchers, and details like their paginations and which series they belong to are therefore well worth including.
But this expanded set of aims will mean that it takes longer to finish the job and have the books section of the catalogue ready for upload. At present my best guess is that it will take about another calendar month, this figure taking into consideration an expected visit of close to a week by one of my parents, which will absorb several days of that time.
This afternoon, Le Docteur Maurice Rollet’s “Médecins Astrologues” (1910) arrived in the post. At first glance, it’s rather an impressive work, including extensive technical details on precepts of medical astrology as well as history. The first nine chapters of a late 17th century French work by a Porchon (1688) appear to have been included in whole.
The two prophetic almanacs from the late 1930s by Dom Néroman have also arrived and been catalogued via the existing bibliograhy index at this site, in the French-language astrological almanacs section.
But the excitement this past week did not stop with these previously ordered books showing up. Two more worthy tomes are also now on order.
Firstly, an Internet search showed up an affordably-priced copy of another academic work on the history of astrology in French that the archive has hitherto lacked, and it is now on order from Australia. The work in question:
“Astres, astrologie, religions astrales dans l’Antiquité” (1983).
This is a relatively early example of that modern academic publishing phenomenon of compendia of academic essays on the history of astrology by different authors. It gets extensive references in part of David Juste’s online bibliography of the history of astrology at the Warburg Institute website, and appears to have been part of a serial academic journal called Pallas, this being No. 30. I shall certainly be looking forward to its arrival in a couple of weeks.
Secondly, at auction a copy of a German work from 1916 by an A. Hauber, entitled “Planetenkinderbilder und Sternbilder zur Geschichte des menschlichen Glaubens und Irrens”, came up for sale. This work appears to run to 290 pages plus 36 plates and is currently exceptionally scarce on the free market. It is also listed in David Juste’s bibliography of the history of astrology at the Warburg Institute website, a generally reliable mark of quality approval. I therefore bid to win, and in this instance, despite intense competition, was the successful bidder.
All in all, these have been quite an expensive couple of weeks, but with regard to the value of the new acquisitions to the archive, I have no regrets (provided of course that they get here in the post), even if I can’t eat a whole lot for the rest of this month.
And now I’m looking forward to another solid week on the cataloguing before the family visit alluded to earlier.