INVENTORY OF THE MANLY PALMER HALL COLLECTION OF ALCHEMICAL MANUSCRIPTS, 1500-1825

Finding aid prepared by Trevor Bond
The Getty Research Institute
Research Library
Special Collections and Visual Resources
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©1998
J. Paul Getty Trust.

INVENTORY OF THE MANLY PALMER HALL COLLECTION OF ALCHEMICAL MANUSCRIPTS, 1500-1825

Accession no. 950053

Finding aid prepared by Trevor James Bond.
Getty Research Institute

Contact Information:

  • The Getty Research Institute
  • Research Library
  • Special Collections and Visual Resources
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
  • Los Angeles, California 90049-1688
  • Phone: (310) 440-7390
  • Fax: (310) 440-7780
  • Email Requests: http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/library/reference_form.html
  • URL: http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/library/
Processed by:
Trevor Bond
Date Completed:
March 1998, revised Jan 2005
Encoded by:
Trevor Bond, revised by Julio Vera
©1998 J. Paul Getty Trust.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Manly Palmer Hall collection of alchemical manuscripts
Date (inclusive): 1500-1825
Collection number: 950053
Collector: Hall, Manly Palmer, 1901-
Extent: 7.5 linear ft. (243 vols.)
Repository: Getty Research Institute
Research Library
Special Collections and Visual Resources
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1688
Abstract: A collection of 243 manuscripts detailing the arts of Alchemy, Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, and Masonry, gathered by Manly Palmer Hall, author and researcher in the realms of mysticism and the occult.
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Language: Collection material in Latin

Administrative Information

Access

Open for use by qualified researchers.

Publication Rights

Preferred Citation

Manly Palmer Hall collection of alchemical manuscripts, 1500-1825, Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession no. 950053.

Acquisition Information

Acquired in 1995.

Processing History

Trevor Bond processed the collection January 1998 and wrote the finding aid March 1998

Separated Material

224 printed books were transferred to the library on June 6, 1995.

Biographical/Historical Note

Manley Hall was born in 1901,in Peterborough, Canada, to William S. and Louise Palmer Hall. The Hall family moved to the United States in 1904 and lived for a time in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Manly Hall settled in Los Angeles in 1919.
As a young man he became interested in occult matters. He subsequently joined a number of societies, among them the Theosophical Society, the Freemasons, the Societas Rosecruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis, and the American Federation of Astrologers.
In 1922 Manly Hall wrote his first book on philosophy/religion, Initiates of the Flame. According to Hall, he began collecting works on mysticism and the esoteric sciences: "late in the fall of 1922, the plan for a comprehensive work on the symbolism of western mystical societies began to take shape in my mind. It soon became apparent that research facilities for such a project were not available in Southern California... The only answer was to contact antiquarian book dealers and elict their cooperation in the search for the items desired." The collection of books and manuscripts which Hall purchased, primarily in the 1920s and 1930s, became the basis for his own research and the cornerstone of the Philosophical Research Society's holdings.
Ordained to the ministry in 1923, Hall became minister to an occult/metaphysical congregation. As the leader of the Church of the People, Hall started a magazine titled the All Seeing Eye. In 1928 Hall published his extensive work An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic, and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy.
In 1934 Hall founded the Philosophical Research Society, a research institute modeled on the ancient school of Phythagoras. 1935 marked the ground breaking for the first building of the complex. Major additions to the Philosophical Research Society came in 1950 and 1959. Hall delivered weekly lectures and continued writing on mystical topics. By 1940, Hall is said to have delivered over 7,000 lectures.
1944 was the year of the first printing of Hall's book, Secret Destiny of America, apparently an expansion of a lecture he gave in 1942. The Philosophical Library edition of Secret Destiny of America was published in 1958. And in 1986 Hall completed his book the Rosicrucians and Magister Christoph Schlegel: Hermetic Roots of America.
Manly Hall died in California. During his life he wrote over 50 books and hundreds of shorter works.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection contains 243 manuscripts, some only a few pages, bound in 68 volumes which detail the arts of Alchemy, Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, and Masonry. Highlights of this collection include: a twenty-one foot long Ripley Scroll, a heavily illustrated manuscript that records an alchemical poem by Ripley (George Ripley d. 1490); a 17th-century French manuscript copy of Michael Maier's "Atalanta Fugiens" with emblematic and mystical drawings and illuminations after Jacob Böhme; an 18th-century Pennsylvania Dutch manuscript of Rosicrucian cosmological charts and symbolic images; two triangular masonic manuscripts; two independent collections, the first named for Dr. Sigismund Bacstrom, who gathered together an assortment of manuscripts from the 16th to the early 19th century, many of which he translated into English, the second collection, attributed to Count Cagliostro, contains thirty manuscripts bound in one volume.

Arrangement

Arranged in one series according to Hall's inventory list and using the manuscript numbering from Hogart's bibliography of the Manly P. Hall collection of books and mauscripts.
Numbers in brackets following item descriptions refer to the numbering in Hogart's bibliography of the Manly P. Hall collection of books and mauscripts

Indexing Terms

Topics

Alchemy
Hermetism
Masonry
Occultism
Rosicrucians

Genres and Forms of Material

Scroll (information artifact)

Contributors

Böhme, Jakob, 1575-1624
Bacstrom, Sigismond
Cagliostro, Alessandro, conte di, 1743-1795
Maier, Michael, 1568?-1622
Ripley, George, d. 1490?

Titles

Ripley scroll Atalanta fugiens

Bibliography

Publications consulted by the cataloger.
Hogart, Ron Charles, 1958- Alchemy, a comprehensive bibliography of the Manly P. Hall Collection of books and mauscripts: including related material on Rosicrucianism and the writings of Jacob Böhme; introduction by Manly P. Hall . Los Angeles, Calif.: Philosophical Research Society, 1986.
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Alchemy and the occult: a catalogue of books and manuscripts from the collection of Paul and Mary Mellon given to Yale University Library. New Haven, Yale University Library, 1968-77.

Box 1

... Livre des figures... ca. 1800

Scope and Content Note

Abraham Juif. 22.5 x 16.3 cm. 139 leaves. Illustrations ink, some pastel-colored. [3]
Box 2

Explication et figure, hieroglifique du livre d'or des divins secrets d'abraham le Juif prince et prestre des Levites astrologue et philosophe de la nation des Juifs disperèe par l'Ire de dieu parmy les gaules, salut ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Abraham Juif. 15.5 x 9.9 cm. 86 leaves. Illustration opposite title page. [4]
Box 3

... De Arte divina & sacra, sine Aenigmate tradita & del praxin conscripta ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 33.5 x 22 cm. 49 leaves. Illustrations, watercolor. [14]
Box 4

Das Buch mit Sieben Siegeln ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 25.4 x 20.8 cm. 5 volumes. 296 leaves. Illustrations, watercolor, ink. Some plates missing. Originally in one volume. Hall had the manuscript disbound and separated into its present 5 volumes. [19]
Box 5

F. de La Rose-croix ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 32.4 x 21.6 cm. 11 leaves. Illustrations, watercolor. [24]
Box 6

flambeaux des vrais rosecroix, ou des Sages ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 37.2 x 24.8 cm. 57 leaves. Illustrations, watercolor, ink. [26]
Box 7

Le Grand Livre des Pantacles ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 26.3 x 20.5 cm. 27 leaves. Illustrations, watercolor, ink. Written in Rosicrucian characters. [29]
Box 8

De Mirabilibus naturae arcanis. Traduit du Latin en francais par Gobreau 1773

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. Translation by Gobreau. 16 x 10.3 cm. 16 leaves. [36]
Box 9

Occulta Philosophia Von den verborgenen Philosophischen Geheimnüssen, und Lapidis Philosophorum... ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 20.3 x 16.3 cm. In two sections: first 128 pages, second 67 pages. Illustrations, ink. [39]
Box 10

Operation sur le Zinc selon l'intention de Respours et de Delogues, pour en tirer l'esprit mineral et en fair le sujet du grand ouvre, Combinée at Commantée pour M... Anonime ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 23.2 x 17.9 cm. 48 leaves. [40]
Box 11

Rozaire des Philosophes ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 23.3 x 17.7 cm. 168 leaves. Illustrations, ink. [49]
Box 12

Sapientia Veterum ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 34.5 x 26.7 cm. 14 leaves. Illustrations, watercolor. [50]
Box 13

Traité de CHymie ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 32.3 x 21.2 cm. 8 leaves. Illustrations, ink, watercolor. Bound with "Anatomia Magica Vocabuli Mercurio," (Ms 11) and "Abbé de Galifet Secretz," (Ms 143). Written in symbolic characters. [57]
Box 14

Les Vaisseaux D'Hermes ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 27.1 x 19.3 cm. 5 leaves. Illustrations, watercolor. [58]
Box 15

Veritables Adeptes, Illuminées et Initiés de l'Hermétisme ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 21.7 x 17.9 cm. 72 leaves. Blue paper. [60]
Box 16

Untitled ca. 1600

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 25.8 x 19.2 cm. 15 leaves. Illustrations, ink, watercolor. [69]
Box 17

"Cabala" ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 34.5 x 26.5 cm. 9 leaves. No text. Illustrations, watercolor. [71]
Box 18

Bacstrom Collection of Manuscripts ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Most manuscripts copied and translated in English from earlier works between 1790-1808 by Dr. Sigismund Bacstrom. 21.4 x 17.7 cm. 19 volumes. Some volumes contain illustrations, ink, watercolor. All volumes are uniformly bound. Following is a brief listing of the contents of each volume, including author information, when known. [102]
Box 18

Vol. 1: 9 works

Scope and Content Note

Including one each by W. De Cones and George Ripley. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Box 18

Vol. 2: 10 works

Scope and Content Note

Including one by H. Nollius and four by S. Bacstrom. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Box 18

Vol. 3: 7 works

Scope and Content Note

Including two by E. Gobineau de Montluisant, one each by D. J. Wallachin, and W. Blomefeeld. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Box 18

Vol. 4: 1 work 1791

Scope and Content Note

Letters to the Rosey Crucian Society attriubuted to M. Sendivogius. Translated by Dr. Sibly. Illustrations, ink, watercolor.
Box 18

Vol. 5: 9 works 1723

Scope and Content Note

Including one by J. de Monte Raphaim.
Box 18

Vol. 6: 19 works

Scope and Content Note

Including one each by Paracelsus, Alexis Piemontese, Baro Urbigerus, Ford, S. Trismosin, and Abraham Eleazar.
Box 18

Vol. 7: 10 works

Scope and Content Note

Including one each by J. Langelott, Paracelsus, J. Helvetius and three by von Suchten. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Box 18

Vol. 8: 16 works

Scope and Content Note

Including one each by J. G. Jugel, Neuman, K. Digby, and Abbé Rousseau, H. von Batsdorff, J. J. Beccher, W. von Schroeder and Leona Constantia, and two by Trismosin.
Box 18

Vol. 9: 8 works

Scope and Content Note

Including one each by G. von Welling, and Paracelsus. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Box 18

Vol. 10: 7 works 1577

Scope and Content Note

Including one each by M. Fachsen, D. Beuther, J. Sternhals, and S. Norton. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Box 18

Vol. 11: 9 works

Scope and Content Note

Including one each by S. Norton, V. Koffsky, G. von Welling, Ali Puli, and C. F. de Sabor. Illustrated, ink frontispiece.
Box 18

Vol 12: 9 works

Scope and Content Note

Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Box 18

Vol 13: 5 works

Scope and Content Note

Including two by P. Poney, and one by Neptis. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Box 18

Vol 14: 20 works

Scope and Content Note

Including one each by J. Yardley, St. Dunstan, J. Gier, C. Horn, C. Stella, Dippelius, Chrysogonus, J. d'Espagnet, and Eirenaeus Philalethes. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Box 18

Vol 15: 1 work

Scope and Content Note

Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Box 18

Vol 16: 3 works by Bernard of Treves

Box 18

Vol 17: 6 works

Scope and Content Note

Including one each by A. Bëyer, and Leona Constantia. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Box 18

Vol 18: 3 works

Box 18

Vol 19: 1 work: Diploma Bacstrom

Box 19

Basilii Valentini Via Veritatis ex MSCP to 1500... ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Basil Valentine. 37.6 x 24 cm. 53 leaves. [107]
Box 20

Collection of manuscripts in Cagliostro's library ca. 1775

Scope and Content Note

Conti de Alessandron Cagliostro, pseud. Guiseppe Balsamo. 23 x 20.2 cm. 927 leaves. Illustrations, ink. Engravings. The collection contains 30 manuscripts listed in a table of contents, including works by Basil Valentine, J. Colleson, Antoine Joseph Pernety, de Vallemont, Bernard Carictheres, Rhomaeus Agricola, Nicholas Flamel, Jean d'Espagnet, David L'Agneau, Quesnot, and a translation by Michael Maier. [119]
Box 21

La Boussole Des Argonautes faite avec l'acier et l'aymant Des Sages Pourfaictement Despéinte, sous loedipe Hermetique Dans Les Deux Entretiens D'Artiste avec Lupin Par fratris Canino fait coppie a Marseille Le quatre Janvier 1715

Scope and Content Note

Fr. Canino. 22.8 x 16.8 cm. 44 leaves. [120]
Box 22

"Prima Medicina nostra ex Natura est composita" ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Claudio de Dominico Celentano. 29.5 x 21.9 cm. 52 leaves. Illustrations, watercolor. [123]
Box 23

La nature à découvert par le Chevalier inconnu ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

P. Fabre. 16.2 x 11.8 cm. 81 leaves. [134]
Box 24

Science D'alchymie ou Secret de la pierre des Philosophes Expliqué dans Les Lavures de Nicolas flamel Ecrivain de la parroisse Saint Jacques de La Boucherie à Paris 1767

Scope and Content Note

Nicolas Flamel. 22.6 x 17.2 cm. 65 leaves. [139]
Box 25

Premier Traitté De Nicolas Grosparmy De Normandie Fait le 29 decembre en l'ánnée 1449

Scope and Content Note

Copié a Paris au mois de May 1736. Nicolas Grosparmy. 23.2 x 18.4 cm. 55 leaves. [149]
Box 26

Die Leiter der Weisen oder Die Philosophie der Alten... ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

B. C. van Helpen. Translated by H. von Kossel. 32.8 x 21.5 cm. 114 leaves. [153]
Box 27

Atalanta Fugiens ca. 1600

Scope and Content Note

Michael Maier. 32.3 x 21.2 cm. 48 leaves. Illustrations, watercolor. [170]
Box 28

Livre de frere Michel, Adulphus Jacobin du convent de Troyes ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Michael Adolphus. 32.4 x 21.2 cm. 17 leaves. Illustrations. Bound with "Les Aventures du philosophe," (Ms 16); "Douz Clefs" by Basil Valentine, (Ms 104); "L'explication des figures," (Ms 137); "Thresor de Philosophie," (Ms 140); "Tresor de Tresors" by Christofle de Gamon, (Ms 144); "Petit commentaire" by Hortulanus, (Ms 158); and "Exposition particuleire" by Salomon Trismosin, (Ms 228). [172]
Box 29

Le Manuscrit de Marie La Prophétesse Traitan de la Secrète Préparation de la Matiere de la Pierre des Philosophes ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Mariam the Prophetess. 21.6 x 14.1 cm. 10 leaves. Contains translation. [173]
Box 30

Universal P. & Augment ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Ignatius Adolphus de Mussy. 15.6 x 20 cm. 16 leaves. Illustrations, watercolor, gilt. Contains translation. [175]
Box 31

...Collectaneorum et Propriarum quarundam Inventionum Joannis Jacobi Olben Inchoatus Anno Salutis humanae 1669

Scope and Content Note

Johannes Jacob Olben. 30.4 x 20.4. 97 leaves. Illustrations, ink. [181]
Box 32

La Prophetie du Docteur Philipe Theophraste Paracelse Touchant Le Lion Septentrional

Scope and Content Note

Paracels us. 20.4 x 15.4 cm. 3 leaves. Contains translation. [187]
Box 33*

The Ripley Scroll ca. 1600

Scope and Content Note

George Ripley. 18 in. x 20 ft. Illustrations, watercolor. [205]
Box 34

"No. Soixante & Seize" De la collection maconnique du F... Ex Dono Sapientissimi Comitis St. Germain Qui Orben Terrarum Per Cucurrit ca. 1775

Scope and Content Note

Comte St. Germain. 28.4 x 23.9 cm. 31 leaves. Illustrations, ink, gilt. Contains translation of Masonic symbols. Triangular book. [209]
Box 35

Ex Dono Sapientissimi Comitis St. Germain Qoi Orbem Terrarum Per Cucurrit ca. 1750

Scope and Content Note

Comte St. Germain. 28.4 x 22 cm. 24 leaves. Illustrations, ink, gilt. Contains translation of Masonic symbols. Triangular book. [210]
Box 36

Nouvelle lumiere de Medecine du Mistere ... De Joachim Soleman, Traduit du Latin 1721

Scope and Content Note

Joachim Soleman. 22.1 x 14.4 cm. 30 leaves. Lavender paper. [215]
Box 37

La Philosophe Solidonius Le premier qui a sceu accorder les quatre elemens, favorise de Dieu et chéri de la Nature ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Albert Poisson. Translated by Solidonius. 23.2 x 18.9 cm. 84 leaves. Illustrations, watercolor. Contains translation. Bound with "La Philosophe Solidonius," (Ms 216). [216]
Box 38

In Cruce cum Sphaera. En! venit sapientia vera. Post Cruces Luces, post Nubila Jubila surgunt ca. 1600

Scope and Content Note

Salomon Trismosin. 23.2 x 1 8.9 cm. 28 leaves. Illustrations, watercolor. Contains translation. [230]
Box 39

La Toyson D'or. L. J., Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Ocultum Lapidem ca. 1600

Scope and Content Note

Salomon Trismosin. 32.3 x 21.2 cm. 49 leaves. Illustrations, ink. [232]
Box 40

Hebdomas hebdomadum kabalistarum, Magorum Brachmarum Antiquorumque omnium sapientium, secreta misteria continens 1700

Scope and Content Note

Nicolas de Valois. 20 x 16.1 cm. 52 leaves. Illustrations, ink. [237]
Box 41

Sophismes des adeptes composez par ces mêmes adeptes pour cacher la veritable medicine universelle ou la pierre philosophale... 1700

Scope and Content Note

Jean Lucas de Vipalta. 23.3 x 18 cm. 32 leaves. [239]
Box 42

Trávail des femmes ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 15.9 x 9.6 cm. 65 leaves. Bound with "Petit traité," (Ms 76); "Avant propos," by Barile (Ms 103); "L'oeuvre universel," by Basil Valentine (Ms. 105); "Poème philosophique," by Hesteau (Ms 156); "Vadé mécum," (Ms 169). [56]
Box 43*

"The Böhme Manuscripts"

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 52 x 37.4 cm. 19 leaves. Illustrations, watercolor, ink. [17]
Box 44*

Physica Metaphysica et Hyperphysica ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 54.1 x 30.6 cm. 16 leaves. Illustrations, ink. [45]
Box 45*

Untitled ca. 1700

Scope and Content Note

Anonymous. 33.5 x 24.6 cm. 15 leaves. Illustrations, watercolor. [70]