Manuscript Trove Illuminates the Roots of Chemistry in Philadelphia Inquirer

November 27, 2013 - Philadelphia, PA

It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to buy a 600-year-old cookbook. It’s even rarer that the ancient handwritten recipes detail how to create the Philosopher’s Stone—essential in transforming base metals into gold.

So it’s hardly a surprise that James R. Voelkel, rare-book curator at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, 315 Chestnut St., was intrigued to learn that Joost R. Ritman’s Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, an Amsterdam library of philosophical arcana and “secrets,” might bring a number of manuscripts to the market. Read more.

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