AP -- Archives, Libraries, Museums

Jahrbuch der deutschen Bibliotheken [Yearbook of German Libraries]. Ed. Verein Deutscher Bibliothekare. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. 25 cm. ISSN 0075-2223. [05-2-284]

Vol. 60. 2003/04. 2003. 668 p. ISBN 3-447-04728-3: EUR 79

Vol. 61. 2005/06. 2005. 659 p. ISBN 3-447-05131-0: EUR 79

[Ed. Note: Previous volumes have been reviewed in RREO 94 (94-2-212), RREA 1:107, RREA 3:91, IFB 99-1/4-065, and IFB 01-2-241.]

This directory of Germany’s libraries and librarians continues to be issued in print despite recent doubts about the appropriateness of the format. The latest edition features such improvements as a gray box for the address information, making it easy to spot; a list of new librarians following the list of librarians deceased since the previous edition; and separate indexes for abbreviations and names of institutions. Following inconclusive results from a recent user poll, it appears likely that in the near future, the Jahrbuch will continue to be published in a printed format, but with a reduced size and scope, alongside a continuously updated online version. [sh/gw]

Die Berliner Staatsbibliothek und ihr Umfeld: 20 Kapitel preussisch-deutscher Bibliotheksgeschichte [The Berlin State Library and its Milieu: 20 Chapters of Prusso-German Library History]. Werner Schochow. Intro. Peter Vodosek. Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2005. 384 p. ill. 25 cm. (Zeitschrift für Bibliothekswesen und Bibliographie; Sonderhefte, 87). ISBN 3-465-03342-2: EUR 59, EUR 53.10 (series discount) [05-2-285]

Happily, this collection of twenty essays, the "final edition personally supervised by the author," distinguishes itself from many similar personal essay collections by not being a mere repackaging of old and unchanged essays bound between two covers, but rather a thematically unified selection with all contributions either updated or completely new. Half of the essays deal with historical topics on the Berlin State Library itself (or its predecessor Royal Library), while half offer biographical sketches of central personalities who sustained and shaped it. In both categories, a current concern emphasized in the 2004 inaugural address of the newest General Director of the State Library, Barbara Schneider-Kempf, is repeatedly discussed: the tension between library and scholarship, between being a librarian and a scholar. Among topical essays worth pushing to the fore are one on the collection profile and holdings of the State Library through the centuries, which clearly delineates its growth and impact, and one on bomb damage sustained during the war years 1943-1944. Several of the directors and other librarians presented in the biographical section are also found in the Neue deutsche Biographie, but others, in particular three Jewish librarians, are not; their biographies are new additions to Schochow’s inventory. The volume is based not only on secondary literature, but on historical sources as well. Numerous expressive and relevant photographs complete the effect. As if in answer to the tension noted earlier, Schochow shows himself to be someone who combines the daily work of a librarian with the scholarly insight of a historiographer. [sh/rdh]

Paul Schwenke, Bibliothekar und Buchwissenschaftler: Beiträge des Symposiums in der Herzog-August-Bibliothek am 29. und 30. November 2004 [Paul Schwenke, Librarian and Book Scholar: Proceedings of the Symposium in the Herzog-August Library on November 29-30, 2004]. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2005. vi, 200 p. ill. 25 cm. (Bibliothek und Wissenschaft, 38). ISBN 3-447-09442-7: EUR 99 [05-2-286]

Trained as a scholar, co-founder of the modern library profession in Germany, Paul Schwenke (1853-1921) was among the leading lights in his fi eld. Though his life and work were forgotten until roughly 80 years after his death, recent work has brought him out of obscurity. The reviewer himself, Werner Schochow, wrote about him first in 2002 (and again regarding Schwenke as the first director of the Berlin State Library in the collection reviewed above in RREA 11:28), while these proceedings from the sesquicentennial symposium were published, with some delay, in early 2006. (It is a curious fact that the symposium took place in Wolfenbüttel rather than in Berlin, site of Schwenke’s labors.)

The introductory essay is written in very informal tones as a memoir by a grandson, Peter Boerner-Schwenke, who passes on such family lore as "he never came to work late," thereby characterizing the obsessive nature of his grandfather as attested to in other private papers. The final contribution is a list of Schwenke’s writings, unfortunately lacking a biographical index. Other essays deal with (1) Schwenke’s private library and its fate, (2) his impact as a librarian-scholar (including his efforts to stamp the Berlin State Library as the "National Library," a topic still guaranteed to raise hackles in Leipzig, Munich, and elsewhere), (3) his organizational skills at "professionalizing" the field of librarianship, (4) a history of his tenure and accomplishments as first director of the State Library at the side of Adolf von Harnack, (5) a close look at his correspondence in realms from the personal to the political and cultural, and (6) essays on Schwenke’s research into Gutenberg and the latter’s printing techniques. For at least one essay, the subject is not Paul Schwenke himself, but rather Konrad Landvogt, a Hessian algebraist who was a contemporary of Gutenberg. [ws/rdh]

Bibliographie zur Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Darmstadt [The Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Darmstadt: A Bibliography]. Hans Linck and Werner Picard. Darmstadt: Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, 2004. 118 leaves, 30 cm. [05-2-287]

A predecessor to this bibliography was published in 1993 under the title Bibliographie zur Hessischen Landes- und Hochschulbibliothek. Perhaps coincidentally, the current work was published in 2004, the same year in which the Hessische Landes- und Hochschulbibliothek changed its name to the new form found on this work’s title page, namely the Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Darmstadt. The current work does not supersede the older one, for it includes only selected titles dealing with incunables and musical scores, and completely ignores the many articles that have been published on the Library’s rich manuscript collections.

The current work is based on a computer database that uses Allegro, a software program for online catalogs that is widely used in German libraries. The bibliographic entries conform to the German cataloging code RAK and are organized according to subject area. They are supplemented by an index of names that lists all authors as well as persons who appear as the subject of a monograph or article. This is an improvement relative to the 1993 publication, whose name index covered only authors. The database on which this volume is based is web-accessible at http://www.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/digibib/bthk.html. [sh/crc]

Die westfälischen Stifts- und Klosterbibliotheken bis zur Säkularisation: Ergebnisse einer Spurensuche hinsichtlich ihrer Bestände und inhaltlichen Ausrichtung [Monastic Libraries of Westphalia Up to the Era of Secularization: Results of Research into Their Holdings and Arrangement]. Hermann-Josef Schmalor. Paderborn: Bonifatius Druck, Buch, Verlag, 2005. viii, 360 p. maps 25 cm. (Veröffentlichungen der Historischen Kommission für Westfalen; XLIV, Quellen und Forschungen zur Kirchen- und Religionsgeschichte, 6) (Veröffentlichungen zur Geschichte der Mitteldeutschen Kirchenprovinz, 19). ISBN 3-89710-278-1: EUR 34.80 [05-2-288]

In the Middle Ages and up into the early modern era, the region of Germany known today as Westfalen-Lippe could boast an impressive array of library resources, most of them connected with religious institutions. Many of the area’s monastic foundations date back to Carolingian times, and throughout their long history they worked diligently both to collect and produce books for their libraries. These collections often fell prey to the region’s turbulent history. The secularization of monasteries pursued by the region’s various governments in the late 18th and early 19th centuries was not the only event that led to significant losses among these libraries’ collections; many of the region’s monasteries had already suffered dissolution during the Reformation or suffered major damage during the Thirty Years’ War. Books that originally hailed from Westphalia can now be found scattered throughout libraries in Germany, the rest of Europe, and even America.

In the present work (originally presented as his dissertation at the Universität Paderborn in 2003), Hermann-Josef Schmalor, deputy director of the Erzbischöfliche Akademische Bibliothek in Paderborn, seeks to offer a first comprehensive handbook to the history of monastic libraries in Westphalia. His book is organized into seven sections of varying length and structure. Two brief introductory chapters define his topic and its current state of research. Chapter 3 offers surveys on the topics of monastic library organization, administration, use, and losses suffered by monastic collections. Chapter 4 describes the production of books in the monastic scriptoria as well as the binding process. Chapter 5 describes the catalogs and inventories in use in the various libraries.

The heart of the book is Chapter 6 (p 103-252). After grouping the monastic foundations first chronologically and then according to their monastic order, Schmalor proceeds to offer a history of each foundation’s library. Chapter 7 provides some history on the fate of each library and its collections following secularization (which in most cases occurred around 1802 or 1803). The book culminates in a set of indexes, a list of archives consulted, a list of cited manuscripts, and a comprehensive bibliography.

Schmalor’s book offers an extraordinarily rich array of information. It is best considered as a handbook for reference; it does not lend itself to cover-to-cover reading. Still, it can be consulted most profitably by anyone interested in the history of libraries in general, not just those in Westphalia. One especially helpful feature is the accompanying map that shows the location of all monastic foundations in Westphalia around the year 1750.

One can quibble over certain details of the material’s organization, but on the whole this book is a rich source of new details about Westphalia’s library history. [bw/crc]

Museen in Baden-Württemberg [Museums in Baden-Württemberg]. Ed. Landesstelle für Museumsbetreuung Baden-Württemberg e.V. 5th rev. ed. Stuttgart: Theiss, 2004. 482 p. ill. 23 cm. ISBN 3-8062-1888-9: EUR 19 [05-2-290]

The fifth edition of this official guide presents museums in the broadest sense, of various sizes and significance, including about 150 new additions, compared to the 1,043 museums included in the prior edition of 1999 (see IFB 99-1/4-086). Entries include address, contact information, web address, hours, services, publications, and a brief description of the building and collections and are arranged alphabetically by location. Indexes by topic, but not by museum name, and maps are included. Significant new entries include the Kunsthalle [Hall of Art—http://www.kunst.wuerth.com] in Würth (2001), the Haus der Geschichte [House of History—www.hdgbw.de] in Baden-Württemberg (2002), the new addition at the Graphische Sammlung der Staatsgalerie [Graphics Collection of the State Gallery— www.staatsgalerie.de/graphischesammlung] Stuttgart, the Modemuseum in the Residenzschloß Ludwigsburg [Fashion Museum of the Ludwigsburg Palace— http://www.schloss-ludwigsburg.de] (2004), and the Museum Friedrich Burda [ http://www.bad-bad.de/burda-museum] (2004). The next edition would need to include the new Kunstmuseum [Art Museum— www.kunstmuseum-stuttgart.de] in Stuttgart (2005), Museum Ritter [ http://www.museum-ritter.de] (2005), Literaturmuseum der Moderne [Literature Museum of Modernity—http://www.dla-marbach.de/?id=51590] (2005), and the Daimler-Benz-Museum [http://www.museum-mercedes-benz.com] (2006). For the most current information, including unforeseen closings, see the web site of the Landesstelle für Museumsbetreuung [State Office for the Care of Museums—http://www.netmuseum.de) which provides convenient links to specific museums. [sh/ab]

Museen in Hessen: ein Führer zu … hessischen Museen [Museums in Hesse: a Guide to … Hessian Museums]. Bettina von Andrian for the Hessischer Museumsverband. 5th ed. Kassel: Jenior, 2004. 271 p. ill. 23 cm. ISBN: 3-934377-71-8: EUR 9.90 [05-2-291]

The fifth edition of the official guide to the museums of Hesse presents 350 museums of all sorts, arranged geographically, and provides the usual information: contact addresses, hours, relatively detailed information on buildings, collections, and their history, and a map. The subject index is sadly deficient; the entries are derived from the names of the museums and thus are not reflective of their specific collections. The web site of the Hessische Museumsverband [Hessian Association of Museums] (http://www.museen-in-hessen.de) provides more detailed information and is more helpful in identifying specific collections. [sh/ab]

Hessen für Kunstfreunde: Museen und Ausstellungen, berühmte Werke, junge Künstler und alte Meister [Hesse for Friends of the Arts: Museums and Exhibits, Famous Works, Young Artists and Old Masters]. Ed. Kristiana Müller-Urban and Eberhard Urban. Frankfurt am Main: Societäts-Verlag, 2005. 200 p. ill. 21 cm. ISBN: 3-7973-0956-2: EUR 12.50 [05-2-292]

Hessen für Kunstfreunde is somewhat chaotic and unpredictable, arranged by themes that are not always clear (e.g., "Intermezzo") and including a whimsical selection of museums and artists. Although it does not provide the promised comprehensive overview of museums and artistic sites in Hesse, it does give more attention to contemporary artists than the official guide and encourages new discoveries. The lack of an index is regrettable. [sh/ab]

Museen in Sachsen: ein Führer durch die sächsische Museumslandschaft [Museums in Saxony: a Guide to the Saxon Museum Landscape]. Joachim Voigtmann for the Sächsische Landesstelle für Museumswesen im Sächsischen Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst. 3d ed. Munich and Berlin: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2004. 351 p. ill. 20 cm. ISBN: 3-422-06461-3: EUR 12.30 [05-2-294]

The third post-reunification edition of the official guide to museums in Saxony reflects the status of October 2003 and presents about 470 museums, arranged by location, and provides the usual contact addresses, services, description of buildings, and collections. References to publications are minimal and a location map is lacking. The organization within the geographic divisions is by administrative organization rather than by museum name (e.g., Grüne Gewölbe is not under G but is under Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden), and the index references to place and name rather than to page number are inconvenient. The designation of categories of museums by a color code that is difficult to distinguish and the lack of an index by category are also frustrating. The Sächsische Landesstelle für Museumswesen [Saxon State Office for Museums] provides a web site ( http://museen.smwk.sachsen.de/musf_such.html), but it is not as well organized as the corresponding site for Baden-Württemberg (see RREA 11:32). [sh/ab]

Museen in Thüringen [Museums in Thuringia]. Rainer Krauß for the Museumsverband Thüringen e.V. Leipzig: Edition Leipzig, 2006. 244 p. ill. 23 cm. ISBN 3-361-00612-0: EUR 9.90 [05-2-295]

This guide, with acknowledged reference to the 1995 and unclear relation to the 1991 publications of the same title, describes over 170 museums, arranged geographically and providing the typical contact addresses, hours, and services. The descriptions of the buildings and collections, most of which are signed, are more comprehensive and often provide more extensive citations to museum publications than other guides of this type. There is no subject index, and the included map shows only the museums of the counties and independent cities rather than all sites. The web site of the Museumsverband Thüringen [Association of Museums of Thuringia] (http://www.thueringen.de/de/museen/) is not mentioned. [sh/ab]

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Last update: March 2009 [BG]
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