Ouroboros Press is publishing a corrected edition of Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum. This site introduces the text and documents several aspects of the process of publication. The TCB is a significant cultural phenomena embracing many disciplines including, poetry, early science, philosophy, esotericism, literary criticism, Middle English studies, Medieval & Renaissance studies, art history, English history, history of the book, typographical studies, bookbinding, and antiquarian studies. We hope you find this information on bringing this important text into print as intriguing as we have.
The Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum is the most ambitious publishing project we have worked on to date. The labor necessary to produce a book such as this is considerable. Not only did the 500 pages+ text have to be keyed into digital format [OCR proved too difficult given the original archaic typefaces employed] but the list of editorial and production responsibilities was also massive. The entire project required over a score of individuals and institutions. Countless hours were consumed with tasks related to the project. Among those tasks were, word processing, research, scanning of original materials, liaison activities with institutions and archives, inquiries to scholars and colleagues, editorial tasks, production and design meetings, typographical considerations, image preparations, proofreading, paper and binding decisions and budget considerations.
The impact that the production of a book such as this has reaches beyond the publishing studio at Ouroboros Press. We have worked with artists, designers, scholars, librarians, archivists, photographers, digital experts, binders, and even contemporary alchemists. By issuing this book we are not only continuing in our devotion to the cultural and literary legacies of the western esotericism and book arts, but also allowing others in those fields to ply their expertise as well. This means people in the humanities are kept working, it provides added value to institutional services and produces a fine made text considered a classic among the source works in the alchemical corpus and the field of western esotericism .
Pro Magnum Opus!
William J. Kiesel, Publishing Director
William Kiesel – Joseph Uccello
Joseph Uccello – William Kiesel
Katrina Ellison – Ai Endo – William Kiesel
David Leech – Elizabeth Morgan – Karen Mosley
Colette-Yasi Naraghi – Timothy McCown Reynolds
Kevin Shipp – Joseph Uccello
Ars Obscura Bookbinding & Restoration
Academic & Archival Institutions
Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica
European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism
University of Amsterdam
University of Oxford
University of Pennsylvania Libraries
University of Washington Libraries
Others integral to the production of this book specifically and generally include: Anonymous 13, Patricia Cram, Billy Davis, Fields Bookstore, Cheryl E. Fitzgerald, Robert Fitzgerald, Jose Luis Rodriquez Guerra, Eyvind Kang & Jessika Kenney, Ann Marie Kiesel, John Leary, The Loyd Family, Magus Bookstore, Alan Pritchard, Catamara Rosarium, Daniel Schulke, Trey Spruance, Weiser Antiquarian, Mark Wessel, Benjamin Vierling, John Zorn, and Uncle Phred.
Information on this site is for educational purposes related to the Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum publication project at Ouroboros Press. No part of the text may be reproduced in any form without written permission. Copyright © 2007 – 2011 William J. Kiesel & Ouroboros Press.
Original Manuscript Images reside in the British Library. The TCB scans were provided by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries.