Category Archives: Uncategorized

Rudolf Steiner Library News, December 2016


Contact librarians Judith Kiely or Jennifer Locke for more information.
(518) 944-7007 
Library hours are Wednesday-Saturday 10 am – 3 pm.

PLEASE NOTE – Library Closure: In observance of  the Christmas holiday, the library will be closed Saturday, December 24, 2016.


Waldorf Educational Foundation Grant: If you are affiliated with a Waldorf school in the continental United States, you can still sign up for a FREE individual library membership thanks to a grant awarded by the Waldorf Educational Foundation to the Anthroposophical Society in America.

Waldorf school faculty and staff, teacher trainees, board members, and Waldorf school parents are eligible. Memberships run from September 2016 through August 2017.
For more information: or sign up:


A Lakota Approach to Biodynamics, Devon Strong, Lindisfarne Books,
2017, 134 pp.
Biodynamic farmer and rancher and ceremonial leader, Devon Strong, worked for years farming, ranching, teaching and connecting the Lakota buffalo ceremony with biodynamic practices.  This book features a collection of articles, Strong’s unfinished manuscript, poems and a section by other authors on the life and work of an amazing man.

Raphael’s Madonna’s:  Images for the Soul, with a lecture by Rudolf Steiner, Lindisfarne Books, 2017, 115 pp.
Featuring beautiful reproductions of Raphael’s Madonna paintings, this book also in includes an contextual introduction by Christopher Bamford and a lecture, “The Mission of Raphael” by Rudolf Steiner.  A great pick for anyone interested in art history or the role of the Eternal Feminine.  A lovely companion for meditative practices.

Form Drawing and Colouring: For Fun, Healing and Wellbeing,
Angela Lord, Hawthorne Press, 2016, 94 pp.
A new addition to the adult coloring book trend, this title by a therapist and art educator takes it a step further by including form drawing patterns.  The patterns are inspired by various cultural traditions plus forms found in nature and are four-fold patterns to form draw and to color.  A great way to inspire and cultivate creativity!

Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World, Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel, Ph.D., Grand Central Life & Style, 2014, 338 pp.
A nice companion to the author’s best-selling title, Nourishing Traditions, this book focuses on the healing benefits of bone broth.  Included are sections on the various aliments helped by bone broth consumption as well as recipes for various meals of the day from all over the world.

Library Notes March 1, 2016

(Left) Our maintenance worker Travis Henry reading after cleaning the library.
(Right) William Furse checking materials he has scanned for emailing to a library borrower. William has been helping out at the library for over 20 years!

Just a few weeks ago we were still hearing from some members that they didn’t know the library had re-opened. Yes, we are open (since December 2015) and are ready to receive your orders for library materials or requests for help with research.

Library materials are loaned for one year, and can be renewed for an additional 6 months if they have not been requested by other borrowers. We will ask you to return an item you have had for at least 3 months if another member requests it.

For mail-orders, borrowers reimburse the library for shipping costs. You may mail us a check or stamps, but if you have a Paypal account, you can now reimburse the library for postage costs by directing your Paypal payment to:

For 2016, the General Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America allocated $60,000 for the library budget, which allows us to operate 15 hours per week (Thurs-Fri-Sat 10 am – 3 pm).

Donations to supplement the current budget for the library can be made online at:

In addition a group of supporters, the Rudolf Steiner Library Circle of Friends, has formed to help the library remain sustainable into the future. The group is in the process of incorporating and will soon be mailing an appeal for donations to augment the current library budget.

Thank you for your support!

P.S. This will be our last blog entry for now—with our current 15-hour/week schedule, it’s not possible to keep up with everything. We will continue to focus on meeting our members’ research and borrowing requests.

Temporarily closed

The Rudolf Steiner Library is temporarily closed; we hope to resume lending and research services within a few months. All materials currently checked out have been renewed.
If you need to return your books now, our mailing address is:
Rudolf Steiner Library, PO Box 800, Philmont NY 12565-0800.
Our phone number will not be in service while we are closed; you may contact the librarian at
Thank you for your patience, and we look forward to being able to serve you again soon!

GERMINAL CELLS – reflections on our first work week

“Little thoughts will get us nowhere, so we must pluck up the courage to think big thoughts.”    ~ Rudolf Steiner

Germinal Cells are all that physically remain of a caterpillar in the midst of metamorphosis.  Small clusters of cells swim in a sea of liquid, enclosed in the cocoon.   The form of the butterfly will manifest upon this foundation.  Nature’s wisdom lies with the beings that stand behind her forms.  Contraction, dissolution, redistribution, flow, movement and unconditional surrender to the process are part of metamorphosis.  This is the image I hold when I consider the Library in this time of transition.  We know its present form quite well, but its future form is still a mystery.  The being(s) that stand behind the library guide a process to which we surrender our preconceived ideas, our beloved, and habituated forms, trusting that the ‘germinal cells’ of the library will remain to hold the center.   This became very clear to me during the library’s recent Youth Section work week.


Fresh from the inspiring InPower conference in Spring Valley, these young men and women spent a week at the library, repairing books, discussing non-violent transformation and the future of the library.   Accomplished in their own rights, as musicians, educators, scholars, social reformers and initiators, it was heartening and touching to experience their collective energy, the freshness of their perspectives, their enthusiasm and commitment to bring anthroposophy into practical life.   We accomplished a great deal in terms of book repair, but more importantly we conversed about the future of the library with a generation through whom that future will manifest.

“Sending many books off to the book sale and removing all but the most helpful of old markings felt like a controlled forest burn or deadheading of garden flowers. The library is poised for new growth, though the specific forms have not yet sprouted. What intangible deeds underlie this transformation? With what forces are we working when we care for these old books and the space that now houses them? There is an amazing archive of writings in the library, the documented heritage of our movement, and it must be living.”  ~Elizabeth Roosevelt

Wonderful social events filled the week: community dinners, conversations amidst beautiful waterfalls and natural beauty, shared meals among participants and library staff, and more.   The week’s theme engaged a global perspective; and one could see  how it related to regional, local and even personal matters.  Non-violent transformation.  How are forms and relationships changed while holding to the sacred integrity of the other?  To the necessity of the relationship?  How has humanity made the large transitions from violent overthrows and resistance to non-violent, socially dynamic, life-affirming processes of change?   How will we change ourselves and our own relationships through processes that value and recognize the inherent integrity of individual destiny and freedom?  It is a fitting theme within which to also explore the library’s transition.

“We gathered to brainstorm and prototype possible future forms and processes for the library. We wondered how this library could be renewed, revitalized, transformed. It is currently funded by the Anthroposophical Society in America and membership fees.  We wondered how the library could connect the books to the people who need them, who will use them, regardless of cost. How can we get the books to the people who will take the information in them and transform it into living knowledge within themselves? How can Anthroposophy become living knowledge within human beings, rather than stagnate and calcify…What form is needed? What processes would bring life and vitality to this organism? Many beautiful and creative ideas were put forward.”  ~Olivia Hanna

“We searched for certain common qualities that nonviolent actions and resisters seem to share. I noticed how leaders seem willing to commit to giving everything, even their lives, for the sake of gaining equality for their brothers and sisters….I wonder how I can connect with this truth forceand place of fearlessness within myself and apply it to what comes towards me out of the future in my own life?” ~Olivia Hanna

 YS work week gorge jump

The shared work of repairing books created an atmosphere imbued with intentionality, focus, rhythm and peace.   It invited dialogue, inspired questions, drew forth ideas and reflections, and brought diverse perspectives into relationship.  The ghosts of former readers resurfaced, through notes in the margins and underlined sections of text, offering questions and questings from past generations to the present.  It became clear that group engagement with the collection was an important aspect of keeping the dialogues alive and relevant, of bringing new life into concepts once delivered and codified many years ago.

“As we erased anonymous underlining in old books, striking phrases jumped off the page and echoed around the table. Through whose hands had these pages passed?Encountering each book, we wondered about its history and its previous readers”.  ~Elizabeth Roosevelt

In the picking up and sifting through of books and manuscripts, there was a space made open for questions to sprout and ideas to blossom.”  ~James Kuhn

Many participants expressed how wonderful it was to work together like a buzzing beehive, how enjoyable it was to work with their hands and craft something with care and attention to detail. I found this way of working together very nourishing and I wonder how this type of work can be expanded and applied to other project areas to create healthier communities where we can freely give our work to create something beautiful together.” ~Olivia Hanna


Relationship, community, conversation, connection, these are perhaps the “germinal cells” around which the new form of the library will manifest.   Can one unite inwardly with the process?  Can one offer outer support?   It can be as small as a donation, a “share” on social media, or a letter outlining your thoughts for relevancy in a quickly changing world.   You can come for a few hours when visiting the area, or join us for a work week and spend 20+  hours repairing books while participating actively in the processes forming the future.

One question that still burns in me is: WHO? Who is going to take these ideas and transform them into reality? Who is actually going to commit and do the work? I sensed that those of us sitting in the circle were inspired in some way to hold the library in our consciousness and to participate in small and large ways towards renewing it. Working on the books helped me to feel connected to the specific collection there. I am now curious to see what will happen with it, to stay in touch. I wonder how my generation….will be able to work with and renew the Anthroposophical organizations that exist, many of which were guided and guarded by individuals in the past who gave decades of their lives to caring for these social organisms.”    ~Olivia Hanna

The August and September work weeks hold the same promise as the Youth Section work week.  Participants will have opportunities to interact more deeply with the collection, meet and discuss significant matters related to the role books play in our biographies and the dissemination of ideas in the world, and support and participate in the transition with human will, intention, and openness to what is streaming toward us from the future.  It is an exciting time at the library.   We certainly hope you join us in the process.

I am grateful for having been able to participate in the library week. It seemed that, as participants, we were fed by the same forces of renewal that we strove to bring to this place.”  ~Elizabeth Roosevelt


  DSCN0514 library open doors

Lisa Damian

For more information on how you can participate in the RS Library transition, check out the August Work Week, the September work week, Book Repair Workshop, or fill out the Volunteer Form.

Our History

This notice was in the Anthroposophical Movement in America journal, Vol 1 #4. Easter 1928. (Click on it to see a larger version)

The Library’s opening announcement 86 years ago. In that time the library has grown from 60 books to 36,000 books, pamphlets, audio and video recordings, and various other treasures. A pretty incredible history.


Gearing up!

Spine repair

Well, things are underway at the library. We’re getting all the journals ready for digitization and getting all our systems in place for cleaning and repairing the books. We’ll be replacing spines and hinges, repairing corners and whole covers, tipping in individual pages, binding pamphlets, perhaps even de-acidifying some of the most brittle, but important books. How does one do all these things?

Last weekend was our first training in the repair work and it was a real joy. Maurice, who had a book-repair business locally for a couple years, gave Judith and me a basic tutorial. Now it’s time to practice on the very worst books (the give-aways, of which we have quite a few… we’ve been weeding our collection) and also get some additional training at the Camphill Copake bookbindery. By the time we open our doors for work parties later this month, and then for work weeks this summer, we should be all ready. Hope you can join us!

– Seth