About the Research Archive
Our unique collection of microfilm includes much of the Yorke and OTO archives of Aleister Crowley's work on microfilm: over 25,000 images of Crowley's diaries, notes, papers, letters, and more. These essential resources of Crowley's work, once only accessible at the Warburg Institute in London, are now available to researchers in Portland, Oregon. In addition to these collections, you will also find selected Sloane Manuscripts including many important Elizabethan texts. Our research station includes a microfilm reader, with computer interface and laser printer.
This complete collection is available to O.T.O. members, scholars, authors and other serious researchers.
We look forward to adding more collections on microfilm in the future.
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- Sekhet-Maat Lodge
- ATTN: Treasurer
- 1409 SE Stark St.
- Portland, OR 97214
Grand Opening Barbeque Dinner Address
as delivered by our Past Master, Frater Diapason
August 29, 2003 ev
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
I think it's safe to say that Aleister Crowley was one of the most prolific English language writers among the various students and practitioners of magic and mysticism who came into prominence during the later part of the 19th and early part of the 20th century. Beginning with his first published book of poetry in 1898 at the age of 23, through his three volume Collected Works, the 10 numbers of Volume 1 of the Equinox, Equinox III: Number 1, Book 4, Eight Lectures on Yoga, Little Essays Toward Truth (all published during his lifetime) to Liber Aleph, the Book of Thoth, the Holy Books, Magick Without Tears (all published posthumously) - well, you know the list, and of course it goes on - the sheer scope and breadth of the writings of Aleister Crowley is staggering, to say the least, and one of the results of his writing efforts has been to provide generations of practicing Thelemites with what most of us consider to be our core curriculum of study material.
As we all know, one of the functions of the Ordo Templi Orientis has been to act as the primary custodian for the published works of Aleister Crowley: preserving, safeguarding, editing, and distributing this work, so that it can continue to be made available to generation after generation of Thelemites and other interested students. But that's not even half of it: in addition to his published work, there is an enormous volume extant of unpublished essays, letters, diaries, notebooks, poetry and fiction, as well as manuscripts and typescripts of already familiar works. And it's also part of the O.T.O.'s function to continue to make much of this material available over time.
For the most part, this unpublished material was originally in the hands of private collectors, and was therefore virtually unavailable to any but a small group of people. Gradually, however, much of this material passed along to the O.T.O. Archive or to various University libraries, such as the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in Austin, the George Arents Research Library in Syracuse, the Libraries at Northwestern and Indiana Universities, to name a few. Alongside these U.S. libraries, one of the most significant collections in the world today is the one housed at the Warburg Institute's School of Advanced Studies at the University of London, which acquired the Aleister Crowley holdings of Gerald Yorke, his estate executor.
Until recently, this material was only available for viewing by making a trip to London. But last year, through the efforts of our Frater Superior, this entire collection of Aleister Crowley holdings was transferred and published onto microfilm, in order to make it available, in his words, "to serious people for serious research" (and to spice it up even more, he also added about 10% of the holdings of O.T.O.'s own archive). Part of this project involved donating sets of this microfilm material to various libraries, but, in addition, he also offered it to interested local O.T.O. bodies that had the ability to properly house the material and make it available, again in his words, "for use within the Order to augment existing research centers ... and to form new centers."
And so, tonight, we have the pleasure of inaugurating, with all of you, one of those new research centers, the first of its kind in the Northwest, the Research Archive of the Sekhet-Maat Lodge Library. In this room is now housed over 25,000 microfilm images, on reels, of profoundly significant Crowley material for viewing, study, and research. Our microfilm reader is interfaced with a PC for scanning and better viewing, and it's also interfaced with a Laser printer. The collection is housed in what we at least hope is a user-friendly room, with comfortable furniture, where serious researchers can conveniently spend as much time as they choose with this material.
It's taken a while to put this all together; now that it is, it's our sincere hope that, by establishing this Research Archive, we can help to expand your understanding of and familiarity with this important Crowley material, and help to promote and make possible your individual research endeavors. Our library team has written and compiled documentation that walks you through the procedures for utilizing the equipment, and so on, and they will be available in the coming weeks to assist you as we get this archive fully under way. It's been their goal to make everything as user-friendly and convenient as possible, while also making sure that this equipment and media will continue to last for many, many years to come. (It's also our goal, in the future, to continue to expand the archive with additional microfilm acquisitions and any other equipment that may become necessary.)
Of course, all of this required a substantial investment in time, labor, and money. The time and labor we can't, and wouldn't want to, recoup; but it's important for Sekhet-Maat Lodge to be able to raise funds to adequately finance these expenditures, so that we can pay for the current equipment while continuing to maintain our overall financial stability, pay the rent, and so on. Like always, we try to do this by fundraising efforts that are, hopefully, enjoyable, fraternal, and memorable: efforts like this incredible barbecue dinner prepared by Brother Jason and others. Our present goal is to raise $2000 to offset some of the expense of establishing this archive. We've already received donations from members both in and outside Oregon. And we're hoping that after tonight we'll be substantially closer to that goal.
I'd like to thank you all, on behalf of Sekhet-Maat Lodge and our terrific Library Staff, for coming tonight. We greatly appreciate your support; if any of you would like to make additional donations to this project, please contact one of us, and we'll be more than happy to assist you. Thanks once again for coming, feel free to ask questions as they occur to you, and have a wonderful time.
Love is the law, love under will.