AP-96-1 -- Information Science; Archives, Libraries, Museums


Literarische Nachlässe in Nordrhein- Westfalen: ein Bestandsverzeichnis [Literary Manuscripts in North Rhein Westphalia: An Inventory]. Ed. Dagmar Rohnke-Rostalski and Elisabeth Niggemann. Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1995. xiv, 485 p. 25 cm. (Schriften der Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Düsseldorf, 24) ISBN 3-88226-851-4: DM 68.00

Unlike the other German-speaking countries, Germany does not have a good, up-to-date inventory of literary manuscripts. This new work represents a welcome change. Granted, the collections in North Rhein Westphalia, Germany's most populous state, are often fragmentary and pertain to authors of only local significance; the notable exception is Heinrich Böll's collected papers. The information in this work was assembled from existing bibliographies, questionnaires and personal visits and describes approximately 650 collections in 113 institutions. Individual entries provide detailed biographical and bibliographical information concerning the author, the type of collection and its contents, the rights to this author's works, and in a separate section, information concerning the institution that houses the collection. There is also a name index. One wishes that similar inventories of this quality would be prepared for other states in Germany with richer literary collections. [sh/ldl]


Directory of Literary Societies and Author Collections. Ed. Roger Sheppard. London: Library Association Publishing, 1994. viii, 288 p. 22 cm. ISBN 1-85604-113-1: £ 35.00, £ 28.00 (LA members)

This directory, which is based on two other directories prepared by the same author, should never have been issued by a respected organization like the Library Association. There is neither a clear topical focus--many of the societies mentioned are not literary societies, even with a very broad definition of this term-- nor a clear geographical focus: most of the societies are found in Great Britain, but some are in the United States and a few are in other countries. The individual entries do not provide adequate information concerning the institutions that house the collections and many institutions appear to have been missed altogether. There is, for example, only one entry under Shakespeare (The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust). Even when used in conjunction with the Aslib Directory of Literary and Historical Collections in the UK, this book does not provide an adequate picture of the literary societies and author collections in Great Britain. [sh/ldl]


Location Register of English Literary Manuscripts and Letters: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Ed. David C. Sutton. London: British Library, 1995. 2 vols. xi, 1041 p. 31 cm. ISBN 0-7123- 0388-X (set): £140.00

This work, which covers writers who lived into the 18th and 19th centuries, overlaps considerably with the previously published register (1988) that pertains to the 20th century, especially with Victorian writers, who straddled both centuries. Regrettably, it omits the detailed introductory and explanatory material found in the previous volume. The authors covered are writers who were born in Great Britain or the Republic of Ireland or who spent a significant part of their careers in these countries. All public institutions are covered (as well as private ones that are accessible to the public), and both literary and non-literary manuscripts are recorded. There are also references to corresponding collections in other countries, notably the United States. Compared to similar German works, this volume contains a much more detailed inventory of the collection (in some cases individual poems or individual letters), though there is much less biographical information concerning the authors themselves. Curiously there are no indexes (not even for the persons to whom letters were addressed), perhaps because this information is also available in MARC format through bibliographic utilities such as RLIN. [sh/ldl]


National Libraries: A Selection of Articles on National Libraries. Ed. Maurice B. Line & Joyce Line. London: Aslib, 1995. (Aslib reader series, 10) vii, 303 p. ISBN 0-85142-342-6: £45.00

This volume contains articles published between 1986 and 1994, and supplements two previously published volumes covering the post-war period (1979) and the years 1977 through 1985 (1987). Much work has been done on the subject of national libraries, and in fact, the journal Alexandria (edited incidentally by the editors of this volume) is devoted exclusively to it. Ten of the 33 contributions of the collection of essays are from Alexandria, and most of those remaining are from other journals. It is questionable whether two articles from the Encyclopedia of Librarianship and Information Science should have been included in the present collection. The 33 articles (all but three are in English) fall into three categories: general (5), special aspects (9), and national libraries of individual countries and regions (19). Contributions in the first two sections are especially interesting, and include two by M.B. Line, "National Libraries in a Time of Change" and "Commercial and Revenue- Raising Activities in National Libraries." The selection of articles in the third section seems necessarily arbitrary, possibly because nothing has been published concerning the most interesting developments in individual libraries; there is, for example, nothing about the recent reorganization of the Schweizerische Landesbibliothek (Swiss National Library). All in all, a balanced panorama of national libraries does not emerge from this collection of essays. Perhaps the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL) could undertake a similar project, whereby a specific focus on Europe would not be a disadvantage. [sh/sd]


Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Deutschland [Handbook of Historical Book Collections in Germany] Ed. Bernhard Fabian with Karen Kloth. Hildesheim: Olms-Weidmann. 30 cm.
Vol. 1. Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Bremen. Ed. Paul Raabe. 1996. 381 p. ISBN 3-487-10135-1: DM 198.00, DM 148.00 (subscription price)
Vol. 14. Berlin. Part 1. Ed. Friedhilde Krause with Paul Raabe. 1995. 255 p. ISBN 3-487-10054-1: DM 198.00, DM 148.00 (subscription price)
Vol. 15. Berlin. Part 2. Ed. by Friedhilde Krause with Paul Raabe. 1995. 240 p. ISBN 3-487-10055-X: DM 198.00, DM 148.00 (subscription price)

Less than a year ago, details on the continuing publication of this Handbuch series appeared in RREO 95-2- 197. The newest volume in the series is for the northernmost German states. While only two states of the former Federal Republic remain to be covered (Lower Saxony and Bavaria), work continues apace with volumes on the former German Democratic Republic. Origin ally, before unification, a separate edition was planned to correspond to the set covering the western states. After unification the two projects merged. In the next two years the remaining volumes will be published, including a three-volume index. During the same time period volumes covering the Austrian states will appear in the series Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Österreich (Handbook of Historical Book Collections in Austria). And finally, the first volumes of the new series Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Europa (Handbook of Historical Book Collections in Europe) were announced for publication in 1996. If all proceeds according to plan, we can hope to have the complete set of handbooks, far and away the best of its kind, on our shelves by the end of the century. [sh/sd]


Bibliotheken in Berlin und Brandenburg [Libraries in Berlin and Brandenburg]. Detlef Skalski, project coordinator. Berlin: Institut für Bibliothekswissenschaft der Humboldt- Universität. 21 cm. (Institut . . ., Clara-Zetkin-Str. 26, D-10099 Berlin)
1995. ix, 781 p. DM 35.00

This new list of libraries in Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg is based on previously published lists and adds new information current as of August 1995. The resulting printed "trial edition" is seen as a step towards a possible forthcoming diskette edition, perhaps a CD-ROM and even an Internet edition. It lists 1152 libraries and includes spotty coverage of archives and other information and documentation centers as well as museums. There are inconsistencies in the presentation of information (sometimes separate collections within large libraries are listed separately, other times listed under the parent organization) within the body of the work as well as in the index. The completeness of holdings and contact information varies according to the varying responses to the questionnaires. Libraries are also indexed by name, subject, library code number, and by personal name. Appendices include a list of libraries that have been closed and those whose collections have been dispersed. [sh/sd]


Papyrus: répertoire de bibliothèques, d'archives et de centres de documentation [Papyrus: Directory of [French] Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centers]. Nicolas Baghdadi and Naomi Suzuki. Paris: C.E.P.-Pilotes. 27 cm. (C.E.P.-Pilotes, 8, av. Richerand, F-75010 Paris)
2d ed. 1995-96 (1995). x, 821 p. ISBN 2-909288-02-1: FF 580.00

The review in RREO 95-2- 199/200 presented an overview of two French library address books, including the first edition of Papyrus (1992/1993). That edition listed only libraries in Paris and in seven surrounding départements. This second edition has expanded to twice the size and now includes libraries of all types and archives in all regions of France, over 2,500 institutions. No selection criteria are given: it is unclear what size of holdings qualifies an institution for inclusion. Entries for each institution cover address, year founded, hours of operation, conditions of use, collection strengths, whether libraries have open stacks, the availability of photocopying, etc. In the alphabetical département and city hierarchies there are few typographical aids (such as boldface headings) for finding one's way; there are indexes by subject and by library. A CD-ROM edition has been announced. [sh/rdh]


Patrimoine des bibliothèques de France: un guide des régions [The Heritage of French Library Holdings: A Guide by Regions]. Project leader, Anne- Marie Reder. Paris: Payot, 1995. 11 vols. ill. 24 cm. ISBN 2-228-88977-6: FF 1500.00

Up until now there has been a lack of current guides to holdings in French libraries. These eleven volumes do not represent a tool for researchers interested in historical holdings (such as the Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Deutschland [Handbook of Historical Book Holdings in Germany, discussed in 96-1-012 above]), but are aimed more at instructing the broad public in the printed heritage of France. The focus is on book collections, although other collections found in the libraries -- coins, graphics, photographs, paintings and sculpture -- are also covered. The history of each institution is given, including collection highpoints, history of the holdings and of the building. Much of the volumes' space is taken up by some 3,000 color illustrations. Practical details of each library are in a separate appendix: address, hours, and a short description of holdings. Indexes to localities, keywords, collections and persons are almost useless since they do not refer to page numbers, but to the sequential number of each library, without closer specification. Worse yet, the sequential numbers do not appear with or near the articles themselves, but only in the somewhat hidden table of contents. Though designed for the general public, this title deserves a place in academic libraries outside of France for its essential facts about French historical book holdings. [sh/rdh]


Guide des fonds patrimoniaux des bibliothèques d'Alsace [Guide to the Heritage of Alsatian Library Holdings]. Ed. Daniel Bornemann and Catherine Olry. Strasbourg: B.N.U.S.; Mulhouse: CORDIAL, 1995. 288 p. 24 cm. ISBN 2-85923-022-X: FF 150.00. (Bibliothèque Nationale et Universitaire de Strasbourg, Service des Publications, B.P. 1029, F-67070 Strasbourg)

Though it resembles the previous title in format and in its numerous color illustrations, this guide lends itself much more easily to academic needs. Whereas the guide for all of France lists 13 libraries in the Alsatian region, this work describes the holdings of no less than 202 public, semi-public and private libraries. Compiled from questionnaires, the articles are organized into general information (name, address, hours, responsible persons, summaries of collection size and scope); history of the library and its collections; statistical overview of older holdings by century and language; descriptions of manuscripts, incunabula and special collections; lists of printed and other catalogs; presentations of related graphic and artistic treasures; and complete bibliographies on the library and on individual holdings. There are separate topical and name indexes. It is encouraging to see the collections of older holdings in libraries outside of Paris being inventoried and promoted in this way (see also Guide des fonds patrimoniaux de Bourgogne [Dijon, 1993]), and it would be desirable for other regions to follow the example of Alsace. [sh/rdh]

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