2007

AP – Archives, Libraries, and Museums


Die archivalischen Quellen: mit einer Einführung in die Historischen Hilfswissenschaften [Archival Sources, with an Introduction to the Auxiliary Sciences of History]. Ed. Friedrich Beck and Eckart Henning. 4th rev. ed. Köln: Böhlau, 2004. xii, 404, [8] p. ill. map. 25 cm. (UTB, 8273). ISBN 3-8252-8273-2 (UTB): EUR 29.90 [07-2-287]

The 1st edition of this guidebook to working with archival sources appeared in 1994 and was followed by two revised editions. Due to heavy demand, the 4th edition has now appeared, in a slightly cheaper, paperback edition by UTB (Uni-Taschenbücher), a publishing company that focuses on the university student market. However, this book could be useful not only to students, but also to teachers, historians, archivists, and anyone using archives for teaching and research. The book has been revised in subsequent editions to incorporate the suggestions of users and critics, and the bibliography has been updated, but the 4th edition is nearly identical to the 3d (see RREA 9:163), except for the placement of the illustrations.

The first part of the book describes various traditional archival sources, such as documents, letters, autobiographical materials, maps, and pictorial representations, as well as modern sources and media. Chapters on various topics are written by different specialists, creating a certain unevenness of readability and assumptions about the user’s previous knowledge of the subject, but overall this is not problematic. The second part of the work focuses on the auxiliary sciences of history, covering such topics as addresses and titles, seals, heraldry, genealogy, numismatics, and so forth.

The book offers not only scholarly guidelines, but also practical advice for using archival materials. For example, the introduction describes in detail all aspects of visiting an archive for the first time. The work is recommended for all those who work with historical sources, particularly in Germany. [ss/akb]

Le fonti archivistiche: catalogo delle guide e degli inventari editi [Archival Sources: Catalog of Guides and Edited Inventories]. Roma: Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali, Ufficio Centrale per i Beni Archivistici. 25 cm. (Pubblicazioni degli archivi di Stato: Sussidi, ...). [07-1-019]

1992-1998. Ed. Maria Teresa Piano Mortari and Isotta Scandaliato Ciciani. 2002. 412 p. + 1 CD-ROM (1861-1998). ( … , 13). ISBN 88-7125-215-2: EUR 14.90 (Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, Piazza Verdi 10, I-00198 Roma)

The initial volume of this bibliography of printed guides and inventories to Italian public, private and ecclesiastical archives was published in 1995 (see RREA 4:55). It covered the years 1861 to 1991 and listed 1,900 titles. This continuation volume for the period 1992 to 1998 lists 1,862 titles–an indication of a considerable increase in the coverage of these highly valuable guides. The bibliography is organized into four sections: (1) Italy as a whole; (2) groups of archives; (3) by province, with Vatican archives at the end of the section; and (4) by subject relationships. An extensive index provides additional access by authors and editors, corporate bodies, year of publication, type of material, and location. The content of both volumes is cumulated on a CD-ROM that accompanies the continuation volume. Work has already begun on the period 1999-2005, and the database on which the bibliography is based is supposed to be available on the Internet eventually. It would be very useful if the guides themselves, especially the recent ones already in electronic form, could also be made available via the Internet. [sh/jc]

Cinquant’anni di attività editoriale: le pubblicazioni dell’amministrazione archivistica 1951-2000 [Fifty Years of Editorial Activity: The Publications of the Archival Administration, 1951-2000]. Ed. Antonio Dentoni-Litta for the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, Direzione Generale per gli Archivi, Servizio Documentazione e Pubblicazioni Archivistiche. Roma: Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, Direzione Generale per gli Archivi, 2003. xxxi, 491, [32] p. ill. 28 cm. ISBN 88-7125-243-8: EUR 38.80 [07-1-021]

The archives of Italy are among the richest in the world, and the bibliographies and guides produced by the Direzione Generale per gli Archivi [General Directorate for the Archives] provide excellent access to their holdings (see, for example, RREO 94-3/4-401). This work is an extensive retrospective bibliography containing 1,697 of the Directorate’s publications for the period 1951-2000. It is in two sections. The first arranges publications by numbered series, unnumbered monographs, commissioned publications, and serial publications, with chronological arrangement of the titles within each group. The titles are thoroughly described, including full contents notes for collections. The second section lists, with limited description, the titles published by the Archivio Centrale dello Stato [Central State Archives] and those of regional archives, arranged alphabetically by region. Extensive author, editor, corporate body, location, and subject indexes provide access to both sections. Thirty-two unnumbered pages contain illustrations of selected covers. For libraries that collect seriously in the area of Italian history, the titles listed in section one are an absolute must. Subscriptions are recommended for titles in series. Selective acquisition of titles in section two is also recommended, although these may only be available directly via the individual archives. [sh/jc]

Ein fast vergessener “Osteinsatz”: deutsche Archivare im Generalgouvernement und im Reichskommissariat Ukraine [An Almost-Forgotten “Eastern Assignment”: German Archivists in Occupied Poland and in the Office of the Reich Commissioner in the Ukraine] Stefan Lehr. Düsseldorf: Droste, 2007. xii, 412 p. 25 cm. (Schriften des Bundesarchivs, 68). Rev. version of Dr. phil. diss., Universität Düsseldorf, 2006. ISBN 978-3-7700-1624-2: EUR 38 [07-2-289]

After a long wait, German archivists are beginning to come to terms with the profession’s Nazi past. The present book examines the history of archival activities in occupied Poland and Ukraine. Among the members of the bureaucratic machine who followed in the wake of the invading troops were many archivists, librarians, and museum curators. Their task was partly to preserve archives from destruction or looting, but also, and more importantly, to select the most valuable materials for eventual removal to Germany. These professionals tended to view their actions in Eastern Europe in an uncritical and selfexculpatory manner, which has made the publication of this book such a welcome event.

The author draws on numerous sources, including many Polish and Ukrainian publications, to place the German archivists’ activities into a broad context. Due to the perceived inferiority of the Slavic peoples, German cultural policy in those areas was much more brutal and overt than in Western Europe. Although they cannot bear sole responsibility, archivists’ activities during the occupation contributed to the large-scale destruction of collections in Poland and Ukraine. Powerful figures in the occupation governments were more interested in plundering than in preservation. As a result, many valuable collections and records were transported to the Reich, and by 1945 massive amounts of archival materials had been obliterated.

The book is an impartial but critical representation of the history of German occupation, in which cultural politics played only a secondary role. It belies the claim that, under the conditions as they existed, any kind of productive and beneficial archival activity was positive. The usefulness of this work is enhanced by a voluminous bibliography, a list of abbreviations, and name and place indexes. [mk/as]

Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Deutschland; Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Österreich; Handbuch deutscher historischer Buchbestände in Europa [Handbook of Historical Book Collections in Germany; ... Austria; Handbook of German Historical Book Collections in Europe]. Ed. Bernhard Fabian, digitized by Günter Kükenshöner. Hildesheim: Olms, 2003. CD-ROM. ISBN 3-487-11711-8: EUR 1,980 (one simultaneous user), EUR 2,980 (unlimited users), EUR 980 (one simultaneous user for subscribers of the print edition), EUR 1,980 (unlimited users for subscribers to the print edition) [07-1-022]

Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Deutschland, Österreich und Europa [Handbook of Historical Book Collections in Germany, Austria, and Europe]. Ed. Bernhard Fabian; digitized by Günter Kükenshöner. Hildesheim: Olms Neue Medien, 2003. Online resource: http://www.b2i.de/fabian. Free via the Internet [07-1-023]

The “Fabian handbooks” for Germany and Austria, and for German collections elsewhere in Europe have been reviewed in great detail in several issues of Reference Reviews Europe (for Germany, see RREO 95-2-197, RREA 2:48, RREA 4:57, RREA 5:51, RREA 6:49, and RREA 7:43; for Austria, see RREO 95-2-206, RREA 2:49, and RREA 4:58; for Europe, see RREA 4:59, RREA 5:5, RREA 6:50, RREA 7:44, and RREA 7:45). The publisher also released a CD-ROM version and, shortly thereafter, a Web version (http://www.vifabbi.de/fabian) using the data prepared for the CD-ROM, freely available via the b2i Guide, a guide to Internet resources of scholarly relevance in the library, book, and information sciences.

The great advantage to the electronic versions lies in full-text searching, which accesses all information in the print volumes. If one searches, for instance, for the term Theaterzettel [playbill], all 70 libraries in whose collection description this term appears are returned in the results. If one pulls up the entry for a library of interest and searches again for this term, it is highlighted in blue throughout. There is, to be sure, no controlledvocabulary searching in the online versions, because neither the index volumes with cross-references nor the rough systematic index of assigned subject headings (volume 27 of the German section, p. 83-269) was digitized.

A further advantage of the Internet offering is that it is an interactive wiki, which opens up the option for the libraries with historical collections listed therein to continually update the data about their institution in the “Copyright-Free” section of the database. This section contains only the header data with practical information about the holding library, which presumably would usually need updating. The intention is not for libraries to revise, supplement, or update entries themselves, although this would be extremely desirable, since changes also occur in the world of rare-book libraries, such as the increased cataloging and digitization of materials or–in the negative–the transfer of collections from one library to another. For example, the Central Library of the Bavarian Capuchins is still represented in the Handbook by its own entry, although its collections have been transferred to the Eichstätt University Library.

It is unfortunate that this wonderful handbook in its printed form does not include libraries in France, the Benelux countries, and the United States in the third, “European,” section. The greatest lacuna, however, is the absence of Swiss libraries, which happily now are offered in the corresponding Internet-only Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in der Schweiz (see RREA 13:38) [sh/tl]

Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in der Schweiz [Handbook of Historical Book Collections in Switzerland]. Ed. Urs Leu, Hanspeter Marti (Germanspeaking Switzerland), Jean-Luc Rouiller (French-speaking Switzerland), and Veronica Carmine (Italian-speaking Switzerland). Online resource: http://hhch.eurospider.com/spezialsammlungen/alte-drucke-rara/handbuchhistorisch/index.html [visited 2010-05-12] [07-1-024]

Unlike its counterparts–the Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Deutschland and the Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Österreich (see RREA 13:36)–this guide to collections in Swiss libraries and archives is being released first as an Internet resource and then, after its completion, as a printed edition. Since 2001, the Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in der Schweiz has appeared as an Internet publication under the editorial leadership of the Zentralbibliothek Zürich [Zürich Central Library] thanks to an initiative by library directors across Switzerland. It is a work in progress, into which articles about libraries are constantly being incorporated as they are completed. This is very advantageous, as one can immediately access these articles without waiting for others–for example, those for an entire canton–to be completed. As of May 2010, 144 libraries in 25 cantons were represented; the canton Appenzell Innerrhoden is the only one still missing.

Articles on the libraries, in the language of the corresponding areas of the country in which they are located, follow the organization of the handbooks for Germany, Austria, and Europe: article header with practical information, followed by detailed descriptions under the following five rubrics: (1) collection history, (2) collection description, (3) catalogs, (4) sources and accounts of the library’s history, and (5) publications about its collections. There are three options for searching: by library (alphabetically by canton, place, and library name), name, and subject. As in the Internet version of the other three handbooks, it is possible to jump directly to each of the five rubrics.

The Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in der Schweiz is an extremely welcome continuation of the previously mentioned handbooks for Germany, Austria, and the historical German-language collections in Europe. As such, one hopes for its speedy progress and a successful conclusion. [sh/tl]

Leibniz und seine Bücher–Katalog: Büchersammlungen der Leibnizzeit in der Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Bibliothek [Leibniz and His Books. Book Collections from Leibniz’s Era in the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Library: Exhibition Catalog]. Ed. Thomas Fuchs. Hameln: Niemeyer, 2006. 124 p. ill. 21 cm. (Schriften/ Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Bibliothek, 2). ISBN 978-3-8271-8902-8: EUR 14.90 [07-2-297]

This catalog of a 2006 exhibition at the G.W. Leibniz Library in Hanover includes a brief introduction by the library’s director, as well as essays on the city of Hanover in Leibniz’s time and Leibniz’s work as a librarian. The editor contributes a solid general introduction and a detailed history of the library, as well as the catalog itself. The publication is aimed at a broad audience who would enjoy a look at the growth, vicissitudes, and practices of this tradition-rich library, which has lost (chiefly though wars and floods), as well as gained, many books over the centuries. It also has much to offer scholars and specialists, not just for the insights into the life and thought of Leibniz they can glean, but for its remarkable fund of provenance research as well, documenting the accession of books from many secular and clerical libraries over several centuries. [hpm/gw]

Österreichische Bibliothekarinnen auf der Flucht: verfolgt, verdrängt, vergessen? [Austrian Female Librarians in Flight: Pursued, Displaced, Forgotten?]. Ed. Ilse Korotin. Wien: Praesens, 2007. 214 p. ill. 21 cm. (BiografiA, 4). ISBN 978-3-7069-0408-7: EUR 25 (Austria), EUR 24.30 (Germany) [07-2-301]

This publication includes seven well-documented essays on the fates of female librarians in 20th-century Austria. Most of the subjects are from the first half of the century, especially the dark years of Nazi oppression from 1938-1945. The biographies include women working in public, academic, and institutional libraries. In the beginning, their careers in the male-dominated profession were limited. Women only began to take on leadership roles in librarianship after World War II. During the war, Jewish, Social Democrat, and Communist librarians were persecuted, oppressed, and sent to uncertain futures in concentration camps, or forced to flee the country for safety. Some returned to Austria after the war, while others lived out the rest of their lives in exile. These women are not well known, but their stories are important to the history of Austrian librarianship, the history of women in library science, the social history of Austria, and the history of the German occupation of Austria. Given the many names included in the text, a name index would have been a welcome addition, but overall, the book succeeds in ensuring that the women are remembered and serves as a welcome addition to BiographiA (http://www.univie.ac.at/biografiA/), a biographical database of Austrian women. [mk/rg]


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Last update: October 2010 [LC]
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