Astrolearn astrology library progress report
– No. 19: 28th December, 2015
There have been no major but several minor changes to the bibliography during the past eight days since my last report was posted.
Received in the post, and therefore newly integrated into the bibliography, are the following seven books:
Grimm “Uranus Bücher Band 3”;
Grimm “Uranus Bücher Sonderband”;
Wolff “Astrologische Prognose”;
Müller “Der Mensch im Kraftfeld Kosmischer Faktoren”;
Sporner “Witte’s Planetenbilder + Transneptuner = Moderne Astrologie”;
Carleton “The Madness of Astrologers” (facsimile reprint, 1960s);
Barnes “Astrology and Reformation”.
Three previously neglected modern Ascella editions of works by John Gadbury, John Partridge and John Worsdale were also added to the bibliography alongside the existingly included original editions of the same works. Further, the Astrology Classics edition of Robson’s “Students’ Text Book of Astrology” has been added. All of these modern editions have been in the archive for years; but I had overlooked them in favour of the original editions until recently. I think they deserved including too, so this has now been amended.
I have also applied enhanced cataloguing to several items previously excluded although they should according to my own prioritisation rules have been included. Significantly, the following pre-1960 items which had simply evaded my searches before and therefore lacked a full description that they were entitled to by virtue of their date alone:
Niclot, Jean “Le Domigraphe-CAF” (1943) (full description of contents now included);
Thierens, A. E. “Elements of Esoteric Astrology” (1931);
Bartolet, Sam “Bartolet’s 1948 Text Book of Directional Astrology” (1948).
Additionally, the following modern hardback books, eligible for enhanced cataloguing according to my prioritisation schedule, have now been treated thus:
Barbault, André – complete zodiac series of 12 books, 2005 editions, listed under the names of the individual signs in French.
Further, six modern large-format books by Denis Labouré, eligible on account of their size format and / or (in some cases) their being hardback editions.
Of course, all these categories are ultimately arbitrary. It is possible that at some point in the future, enhanced cataloguing will also be applied to the thousands of miscellaneous modern paperbacks in the collection, as well as the modern hardbacks of peripheral relevance such as the works of Alice Bailey.
But I had to apply a selective prioritisation regime in order to make the workload manageable and compatible with getting the bibliography up and running by the end of this year, as has been achieved. And the time it would take to do a fully comprehensive job with all books would have exceeded the amount of time I could afford to spare.
Even as things are, the many months I have set aside this year to developing and selectively annotating the bibliography have come at the expense of new product development and therefore income.
Because I have piled all available financial resources into making late additions of importance to the book collection in time for the bibliography going live, I have still not yet paid to have my A3 book scanner professionally repaired by Plustek, a job that has in fact needed doing since the Spring of 2015. The cost will be close to 300 Euros including two-way shipping. I do not have these funds at present.
This time of year is expensive in any case. I have just had to renew my hosting package for this website for the next two years. In January, I need to try to renew my subscription to the Journal for the History of Astronomy and my lapsed subscription to “L’Astrologue”, and also to pay to have a small lot of outstanding astrology books and magazines being held at a mail forwarding facility in the United States sent on, so that I can integrate them into the bibliography. Also, I need to order samples of all 18 discs in the new Astrolearn CD series in order to take pictures so I can integrate these products properly on this website.
It seems unlikely at this stage that I’ll be in a position to afford the scanner repair at least until March. If all else fails, I may put out an appeal for short-term funding for the cost of the repair closer to that time, in exchange for purchases of existing astrological text discs and / or those under development.
In the absence of funding from any academic institution or other organisation, I am presently barely surviving from one month to the next. Fortunately I do not have loans, so I am living within my means. But nor do I have savings or property; and it is going to be critically important for me to make progress with my income situation in the first six months of 2016, since the temporary income support offered by relatives since the Autumn of 2014 is likely to end this coming summer.
In the Spring of 2016, I expect to put out more direct appeals for funding to various institutions in the hope of giving this project the chance to live out its full potential. I am living with one of the most thorough and far-ranging archives of literature on astrology and its history. It seems a great shame that it should simply gather dust aside from serving my personal reference purposes, but that is its lot at present; and there is no prospect of that changing so long as I lack the means to branch out into more expensive rented accommodation that has the space to receive and accommodate guests.
But more crucially in the time ahead, if my temporary family income support is indeed completely cut in the summer of 2016, I won’t even be able to afford to maintain my basic standard of independent living without outside funding or a local job. It would be a shame to have to retreat from developing Astrolearn and the underlying archive owing to lack of economic support, but that is a real risk at present.
For now, I shall continue to live like a hermit in order to make limited ends meet. I shall endeavour to gradually somehow catch up with the recent academic releases in astrological publishing with what little I can spare in order to bring the bibliography more fully up to date over the first six months of 2016. I already have several important works earmarked. Any such additions will be notified in future updates, but at this stage I anticipate updates probably becoming less frequent than previously: perhaps two a month or one a fortnight.
Best wishes to all,