13 Million and 1University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Library Collection

The 13,000,001st Volume
An anonymous donor has made a gift to purchase The Occult Reliquary—officially
becoming the 13,000,001st volume in the Library’s collections. The book presents
a selection of images from the Richel-Eldermans Collection, an occult archive of
some 2,000 images and artifacts housed in the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle,
Cornwall. The Special Edition acquired by the Library was limited to 100 handnumbered copies—and sold out almost a year before publication.
A Library Friend, who prefers to remain unknown, recognized the significance
of the number 13, with all of its ties to myths and magic, and thought the
book to be perfect for the Library’s Mandeville Collection. This collection of
more than 15,000 volumes is supported by an endowment established by the
late Merten J. Mandeville, a professor of management at Illinois. Works of a
serious nature, and those which emphasize the positive aspects of the occult,
make up the collection. Primary subject areas include astrology; the divinatory
arts and palmistry; esoteric religion and mysticism; occult techniques for
health, happiness, and success; psychical phenomena and research, including
clairvoyance, ESP, and out-of-body experiences; spiritualism, including
apparitions, mediumship, and reincarnation; unidentified flying objects; and
witchcraft and magic.
“Tales of Ise is a lovely and important volume—a perfect selection to carry the honor
of being a millionth volume. The acquisition of The occult reliquary is a nod to
all the superstition and mystery surrounding the number 13. Obtaining these two
very different works of literature further demonstrates the Library’s commitment to
building a collection of depth and breadth. We are very grateful to our
donors for providing the financial support that made it possible for
our Library to acquire these volumes. Their generosity helps our
collection sustain its greatness.”
Paula T. Kaufman
The Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries
and University Librarian
ptk@illinois.edu

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