The Alchemical Emblems Project is a long term focussing of my work and resources on the world of alchemical emblems. I have already been able to substantially document this amazing mass of material, but there remains much to do. All the easy work with the well known items is now complete but now there remains a much more time intensive phase in finding and documenting those entirely unknown emblems. This requires me either visiting libraries or else having microfilms made of manuscripts or books.
I would now really appreciate the help of some benefactors who might share my enthusiasm for this task. It is very expensive having microfilms, high quality scans or photographs made of manuscript material. It can cost £30-40 ($50-60) for a single colour photograph to be made. I have had to absorb all the costs of obtaining research materials over the past years but I now find this very difficult to justify and I really need help and subsidy with this. There are, consequently, some items I have not yet been able to see as I cannot justify the expense of having copies made, or travelling to see the work in person.
I know few share my enthusiasm for these old images, but I believe they are an essential part of the language of alchemy that has been much neglected. It seems that the task of research and discovery has fallen to me as no one else is willing to put in the thousands of hours necessary to uncover and reveal this material. I have been able to struggle on for years, and for over a decade had the generous support of J.R. Ritman, during which time I was able to devote a substantial part of my energies
and time to this work. Now I am entirely self-supporting it is much more difficult to continue this work.
The some of the things for which I need support are the following:
- Funding to cover the costs of researching, making microfilms or photographs of manuscripts and books.
- Costs of preserving and framing up all the coloured emblems I have available so they are ready for display.
- Subsiding the costs of designing more study courses, and perhaps running workshops.
- Preserving my work for the future - I am very aware that should I, for any reason, be unable to continue, then much of my work might be lost. I really need to find some way of archiving it in advance.
I have a considerable archive already. My own personal collection of modern books and articles on alchemy is substantial (see my alchemy research library
). I intend to leave this to an institution which would preserve it as a collection. I would also like to do the same with my collection of emblems, but this is more difficult to do as the framed paintings require considerable storage space already and I have only found time to frame about one third of the collection. I am currently in the crazy situation of being unable to obtain insurance cover for the emblem collection as insurance companies are not able to assign a meaningful value to it.
The body of work I have accumulated over the years on alchemical emblems is, I believe, an important one. I am very keen to somehow ensure its preservation and enable it to be used well into the future.
Any help with this would be appreciated.
I know that few people have the resources to help in this way. For those, like myself, of modest means, you can still help by purchasing some of the CD-Roms of emblems, the prints and books, or by taking the study courses. You could also help by publicising my work with emblems and drawing it to the attention of like minded friends and colleagues, or putting me in touch with anyone who you think could help sponsor this work.
If you feel you might be able to help in ways other than financial, say with research or documentation, please get in touch with me at <email@example.com>. I am sorry, but I can only work with people who accept my approach and wish to work to my guidance - I am too old now to be messed about by enthusiastic youngsters with their own agendas ! I delight in enthusiasm, but hidden agendas merely corrode a working relationship.