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Alchemy: a bibliography of English-language information
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Alan Pritchard
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 Posted: Thu May 13th, 2010 01:23 pm
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I am very pleased to say that I now have a contract with a publisher. The publisher is AMS Press (http://www.amspressinc.com/), who have published quite a few relevant reprints as well as original works, e.g. Stan Linden'd Mystical metal of gold, as well as books by Lyndy Abraham, Michael Walton, etc.

Publication is going to be a while yet (probably 2-3 years), as I have quite a bit more work to do in completing the book, and the production process will take some time. It currently consists of around 16,000 entries and I anticipate there will be more than 20,000 entries. It is arranged by a more sophisticated classification scheme than the first edition, with a comprehensive index.

I will probably need to pester the group with queries in the next few months. I have a number of issues that I need to clarify.

In the meantime, I would be very pleased to receive any information about any more unusual books (e.g small, non-commercial and/or occult presses) or articles (unusual journals or web sites where one would not expect an article on alchemy). All help will be fully acknowledged.

Alan

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Thu May 13th, 2010 09:40 pm
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Alan Pritchard wrote:
I am very pleased to say that I now have a contract with a publisher. The publisher is AMS Press (http://www.amspressinc.com/), who have published quite a few relevant reprints as well as original works, e.g. Stan Linden'd Mystical metal of gold, as well as books by Lyndy Abraham, Michael Walton, etc.

Publication is going to be a while yet (probably 2-3 years), as I have quite a bit more work to do in completing the book, and the production process will take some time. It currently consists of around 16,000 entries and I anticipate there will be more than 20,000 entries. It is arranged by a more sophisticated classification scheme than the first edition, with a comprehensive index.

I will probably need to pester the group with queries in the next few months. I have a number of issues that I need to clarify.

In the meantime, I would be very pleased to receive any information about any more unusual books (e.g small, non-commercial and/or occult presses) or articles (unusual journals or web sites where one would not expect an article on alchemy). All help will be fully acknowledged.

Alan


Congratulations Alan, I am sure that 'Pritchard' will take its rightful place alongside John Ferguson and all the other great bibliographies in the field.

Alan Pritchard
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 Posted: Fri May 14th, 2010 08:26 am
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Thank you, Paul.

I do see 'Pritchard' quoted occasionally in booksellers catalogues.

I would not class myself with Ferguson. Bibliography is definitely an area where Newton's aphorism applies - If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Alan

adammclean
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 Posted: Fri May 14th, 2010 08:44 am
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In the meantime, I would be very pleased to receive any information about any more unusual books (e.g small, non-commercial and/or occult presses) or articles (unusual journals or web sites where one would not expect an article on alchemy).
Have you access to the writings and drawings of the amazingly named Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule ? He is obviously well read in alchemy, though he takes us on a rather more esoteric, confusing, over-sexualised, but always amusing, journey through its symbolism. I have a copy of a Journal Spool #4 2010, entitled Alchemy and Hermaphrodites which has some reasonable articles on alchemical themes amongst all the graphics.

Many of the new magic groups seem to have recently returned to producing artwork based on alchemical imagery, such as used to be issued in the 1979s and early 80s.



Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Fri May 14th, 2010 08:57 am
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adammclean wrote:
In the meantime, I would be very pleased to receive any information about any more unusual books (e.g small, non-commercial and/or occult presses) or articles (unusual journals or web sites where one would not expect an article on alchemy).
Have you access to the writings and drawings of the amazingly named Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule ?



Real name Geoff Day :P

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Fri May 14th, 2010 10:36 am
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Alan Pritchard wrote:
I am very pleased to say that I now have a contract with a publisher. The publisher is AMS Press (http://www.amspressinc.com/), who have published quite a few relevant reprints as well as original works, e.g. Stan Linden'd Mystical metal of gold, as well as books by Lyndy Abraham, Michael Walton, etc.

Publication is going to be a while yet (probably 2-3 years), as I have quite a bit more work to do in completing the book, and the production process will take some time. It currently consists of around 16,000 entries and I anticipate there will be more than 20,000 entries. It is arranged by a more sophisticated classification scheme than the first edition, with a comprehensive index.

I will probably need to pester the group with queries in the next few months. I have a number of issues that I need to clarify.

In the meantime, I would be very pleased to receive any information about any more unusual books (e.g small, non-commercial and/or occult presses) or articles (unusual journals or web sites where one would not expect an article on alchemy). All help will be fully acknowledged.

Alan


Don't know whether these study guides to the Aurora Consurgens are of any interest?

http://www.jgsparks.net/guides/

About half-way down that page.

Alan Pritchard
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 Posted: Sat May 15th, 2010 10:54 am
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That's a completely new one to me.

Is Spool likely to be still available, do you think? Via Atlantis or Treadwells.

Strange web site with a page on the Alchymic Marriage, which rather ties in the the article you mentioned.

On the Spring Equinox 2000 I married my Anima (female within the male), whom I had been progressively womanifesting over the 9 moonths prior with the intake of eostrogen (to become a hermaphrodite rather than to just change genders) combined with invocation, mantra, mudra and meditation.
As I had brought my inner female to the physical plane to some degree, it seemed apt to celebrate this by bringing the Alchymic Marriage beyond a metaphor for spiritual inner union into a physical wedding ceremony.


Thanks for the reference

Alan Pritchard
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 Posted: Sat May 15th, 2010 10:55 am
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Thanks, Paul

I have quite a lot of Jungian material, but that one is new.

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Sat May 15th, 2010 11:30 am
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Alan Pritchard wrote:
Thanks, Paul

I have quite a lot of Jungian material, but that one is new.


Here's an interesting website about Yeats. The chapter on Tinctures is especially relevant to alchemy:

http://www.yeatsvision.com/Yeats.html

adammclean
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 Posted: Sat May 15th, 2010 02:25 pm
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Alan,

How do you intend to deal with website material, in a printed book ?

I find that websites disappear very quickly or rearrange and rename their pages.

With my alchemy website I have kept the original names for the early pages created back in 1995-98, even though these were created on Windows 3.1 and thus had to conform to being a maximum of only eight characters.

Also many databases, such as library catalogues, use dynamic html and the page does not exist till you enter the search term. This temporary html is often changed as the IT systems personel move the actual files around from directory to directory

Alan Pritchard
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 Posted: Sun May 16th, 2010 10:25 am
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Hi Adam,

That is an interesting question, and one that I have been considering for some while. Along with a number of other problems/questions relating to the process of the compilation of bibliographies. I have not been able to find any organised group interested in this, so am posting some thoughts gradually on Academia.edu and facebook. Eventually I'll organise them properly and put them into a paper. Many will relate to library problems, and will not be of nterest to this group & I'll not clutter it up. If you are really interested, then you can follow my ramblings/whinges at either of the two sites above.

The problems seem to be:
The complexity of urls, e.g. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=1677454&blobtype=pdf
The transience of urls, as you point out. People change IPs and their addresses change (e.g. the Alchemy web site!!. Web sites die. Hosts close down whole areas (Geocities)
The dynamic nature of urls, as you point out.

There may be others, as well (apart from the IPR aspect, which will be the subject of a separate blog).

Some of the possible answers that I see to these problems (these are not necessarily answers that will apply to my bibliography):

Complexity. Provide an electronic version of the bibliography for those records that have urls. Could be on a CD supplied with a book - or else a web site available only to purchasers of a book. DOIs may also help, although some may also be lengthy, e.g. http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/3336451.0004.203 or http://handle.uws.edu.au:8081/1959.7/114


Transience. DOIs definitely. Automated checking to ensure validity of url (this obviously only applies at the time the check is run, and cannot apply to the future). Provide a reference to the site/page on the Wayback machine (if there is one).
I don't actually have too much of a problem with dead links - I see them as being the electronic equivalent of an out of print book, and should be included in a bibliography. At least in a comprehensive bibliography, which should include all material that has ever been published on a topic - dead links can be noted. Using the book analogy, a publishers catalogue only includes what they currently have available, but a bibliography should include earlier o/p material. The Internet similarly is a snapshot of what is currently available, but a bibliography should include earlier material. That view may be a little completist and extreme for some people!

Dynamic nature. DOIs may help. Otherwise putting the full url with the search equation in (see the Pubmed url above).

However DOIs have their own problems. They are mainly associated with academic publications, and many of these are only available via paid-for services such as individual publishers (Maney for Ambix) or repositories such as JStor or Muse. I have taken the decision that I will only include urls to openly available free sources. It seems to me that a user would be irritated to be pointed at an article in Isis and then to be told to pay, say $39 (for an article in the latest issue of Ambix). I do have some exceptions, e.g. ebrary which only requires a nominal fee of $5 to be able to read material; I may make an exception for Ambix, since all issues will shortly be available free to members (only £27 for full membership - a bargain). A non-completist view, but I never claim total consistency.

Sorry for the length of this, but you did ask!. Always happy to discuss detail with anyone off-list if OT from alchemy

Alan Pritchard
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 Posted: Sun May 16th, 2010 10:25 am
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Thanks, Paul

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Sun May 16th, 2010 11:22 am
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Alan Pritchard wrote:
Hi Adam,

That is an interesting question, and one that I have been considering for some while. Along with a number of other problems/questions relating to the process of the compilation of bibliographies. I have not been able to find any organised group interested in this, so am posting some thoughts gradually on Academia.edu and facebook. Eventually I'll organise them properly and put them into a paper. Many will relate to library problems, and will not be of nterest to this group & I'll not clutter it up. If you are really interested, then you can follow my ramblings/whinges at either of the two sites above.

The problems seem to be:
The complexity of urls, e.g. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=1677454&blobtype=pdf
The transience of urls, as you point out. People change IPs and their addresses change (e.g. the Alchemy web site!!. Web sites die. Hosts close down whole areas (Geocities)
The dynamic nature of urls, as you point out.

There may be others, as well (apart from the IPR aspect, which will be the subject of a separate blog).

Some of the possible answers that I see to these problems (these are not necessarily answers that will apply to my bibliography):

Complexity. Provide an electronic version of the bibliography for those records that have urls. Could be on a CD supplied with a book - or else a web site available only to purchasers of a book. DOIs may also help, although some may also be lengthy, e.g. http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/3336451.0004.203 or http://handle.uws.edu.au:8081/1959.7/114


Transience. DOIs definitely. Automated checking to ensure validity of url (this obviously only applies at the time the check is run, and cannot apply to the future). Provide a reference to the site/page on the Wayback machine (if there is one).
I don't actually have too much of a problem with dead links - I see them as being the electronic equivalent of an out of print book, and should be included in a bibliography. At least in a comprehensive bibliography, which should include all material that has ever been published on a topic - dead links can be noted. Using the book analogy, a publishers catalogue only includes what they currently have available, but a bibliography should include earlier o/p material. The Internet similarly is a snapshot of what is currently available, but a bibliography should include earlier material. That view may be a little completist and extreme for some people!

Dynamic nature. DOIs may help. Otherwise putting the full url with the search equation in (see the Pubmed url above).

However DOIs have their own problems. They are mainly associated with academic publications, and many of these are only available via paid-for services such as individual publishers (Maney for Ambix) or repositories such as JStor or Muse. I have taken the decision that I will only include urls to openly available free sources. It seems to me that a user would be irritated to be pointed at an article in Isis and then to be told to pay, say $39 (for an article in the latest issue of Ambix). I do have some exceptions, e.g. ebrary which only requires a nominal fee of $5 to be able to read material; I may make an exception for Ambix, since all issues will shortly be available free to members (only £27 for full membership - a bargain). A non-completist view, but I never claim total consistency.

Sorry for the length of this, but you did ask!. Always happy to discuss detail with anyone off-list if OT from alchemy


Would it be possible for us to establish our own alchemical Wayback machine by downloading and storing alchemical websites before they disappear from the Internet? Then a single permanent URL pointing to such a site could be listed in your Bibliography.

adammclean
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 Posted: Sun May 16th, 2010 11:43 am
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Paul Ferguson wroteWould it be possible for us to establish our own alchemical Wayback machine by downloading and storing alchemical websites before they disappear from the Internet? Then a single permanent URL pointing to such a site could be listed in your Bibliography.

I am not sure if one would have the rights to store other people's copyright material in this way without their permission.  There would also be the problem of editing. People running websites, blogs etc., often want to revisit their pages and edit them. If there was a copy stored on some Wayback machine then this page would have to be changed too.

Alan Pritchard
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 Posted: Mon May 17th, 2010 03:05 pm
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I agree about the work involved. Don't know how they handle copyright Not sure about editing. I am pretty sure that the Internet Archive is a snapshot of a web site on a certain day and time & is frozen in time. Very useful for copyright discussions, or who had a name first. See http://web.archive.org/web/*/www.alchemywebsite.com
where they have taken up to 60 snapshots in a year.


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