2008

AP Archives, Libraries, and Museums


Forschungsbibliothek im Aufbruch: Göttingen und die Bibliotheksentwicklung in Deutschland, Europa und den Vereinigten Staaten im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert; Festkolloquium am 21. und 22. September 2006 anlässlich des Ausscheidens von Elmar Mittler aus dem aktiven Bibliotheksdienst [The Blossoming of the Research Library: Göttingen and Library Development in Germany, Europe, and the United States in the 18th and 19th Centuries]. Ed. Michael Knoche. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2008. 250 p. ill. 24 cm. (Bibliothek und Wissenschaft, 41). ISBN 978-3-447-05803-2: EUR 99 [08-1/2-034]

This festschrift on the occasion of the retirement of librarian Elmar Mittler in September 2006 presents essays on the history of the University of Göttingen library, discussing themes which have been heretofore insufficiently investigated. Several essays treat the Göttingen library collection itself, the role of the review journal Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen in the growth of the library’s collections, the contribution of Finnish (Swedish) scholarship to the collection, and the acquisition of French-language titles under the directorship of Christian Gottlob Heyne. The majority of the essays deal with the influence of and relations between Göttingen and libraries and librarians elsewhere, including Great Britain and the United States, Hungary, the British Museum Library in the person of director Antonio Panizzi, libraries in Jena and Weimar in the person of Goethe, the library activities of Leibniz, the Bavarian State Library, the court library at Gotha, and Scandinavian libraries in Uppsala, Lund, and Oslo. Another essay analyzes the correspondence between Heyne and Lessing. The volume concludes with a piece by its honoree Elmar Mittler summarizing the development of the Göttingen library into a “research library of the future.” [mk/rc]

“Es nimmt der Augenblick, was Jahre geben”: vom Wiederaufbau der Büchersammlung der Herzogin-Anna-Amalia-Bibliothek [The Moment Takes Away What the Years Have Given: On the Reconstruction of the Book Collection of the Duchess Anna Amalia Library]. Ed. Claudia Kleinbub, Katja Lorenz, and Johannes Mangei for the Klassik-Stiftung Weimar/Herzogin-Anna-Amalia-Bibliothek. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2007. 276 p. ill. 24 cm. ISBN 978-3-525-20851-9: EUR 15 [08-1/2-036]

This publication, the title of which comes from one of Goethe’s Tischlieder (or toasts— this one to the composer Carl Friedrich Zelter), reports on the steps taken to restore the collection of the Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar immediately following a disastrous fire in 2004. Without minimizing the extent of the losses, the volume shows that a determination to restore the library collection as much as possible to its predisaster state has yielded astonishing results in a short time. The book expresses deserved gratitude toward benefactors, describes various donations, and solicits further support.

The purposely heterogeneous essays cover such topics as a summary account of the library’s losses, notably the devastating destruction of its sheet music collection; overall damage assessment and restoration plans; destroyed Hebraica; new acquisitions of rare materials; the gift of Catholica doublets from the Mainz City Library; and the gift of three Carossa letters. The largest portion of the volume (including eight color plates) is devoted to a catalog of 60 newly acquired printed books and manuscripts.

The volume concludes with a select bibliography on the fire and its aftermath, important for library history; endnotes for the essays; and the usual indexes, including an index of institutions, places, and persons. [hpm/rc]

Die Herzogin-Anna-Amalia-Bibliothek: nach dem Brand in neuem Glanz [The Duchess Anna Amalia Library: In new Splendor after the Fire]. Ed. Walther Grunwald for the Klassik-Stiftung Weimar. Berlin: Meissner, 2007. 182 p. ill. 31 cm. ISBN 978-3-87527-114-0: EUR 39.90 [08-1/2-037]

This guide to a cultural monument was published at the time of the library’s reopening on 24 October 2007 and focuses on the library building and its rich tradition since the second half of the 18th century. As a work of art in its own right, the book provides a lively impression of the library’s past and present.

The bulk of the volume is given to lead architect Walter Grunwald’s detailed description of renovating the building, which focuses on the structural condition of the library before, during, and after the fire. One learns of the very demanding work of renovation, the necessity of developing creative solutions to problems for which there was little precedent, the pressure of time for completion, and differences of opinion among those charged with carrying out the renovation, the incidental description of which lends authenticity to the account. Shorter essays cover the construction history of the library to 1849, a history of the heyday for acquisitions from the time of the library’s founding in the 1760s to the early decades of the 19th century, and the varied collections of art objects held by the library. The section of essays concludes with eight color photographs of the restored library. Each essay is accompanied by a bibliography, and the volume includes lists of illustrations and the names of those who took part in the restoration project. This work leaves nothing to be desired as an expression of the culture of Weimar. [hpm/rc]

Raubgut in Berliner Bibliotheken: Workshop des Regionalverbands Berlin-Brandenburg des Vereins Deutscher Bibliothekare am 12. Juni 2006 [Looted Books in Berlin Libraries: Workshop of the Regional Group for Berlin-Brandenburg of the Association of German Librarians, 12 June 2006]. Michael Dürr and Annette Gerlach for the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin. Berlin: Zentralund Landesbibliothek, 2007. 63 p. ill. 22 cm. ISBN 978-3-925516-32-0: EUR 8 [08-1/2-038]

Presenting the proceedings of this 2006 workshop of Berlin librarians, presumably inspired by the Second Hanover Conference on Nazi loot in libraries (see RREA 12:23, 24, 25, 26, 27), this volume brings together six essays on diverse topics relating to looted books in Berlin libraries. Notable themes include: identifying Nazi loot in the Humboldt University Library (Elke-Barbara Peschke); the activity of the Bergungsstelle für Wissenschaftliche Bibliotheken und Archive [Restitution Office for Research Libraries and Archives] between 1945 and 1946 (Heike Schroll); looted materials in the Zentralund Landesbibliothek [Central and Regional Library] (Annette Gerlach); the restitution of looted volumes in the Staatsbibliothek [State Library] (Martin Hollender); and the collaboration between the State Library and the Reichstauschstelle [Reich Office for the Exchange of Published Materials] (Olaf Hamann). Although the volume provides a good overview of Nazi loot in Berlin libraries, some individual essays are superseded by contributions in more recent studies (see RREA 14:41, 42, 43). [mk/cjm]

NS-Raubgut, Reichstauschstelle und Preußische Staatsbibliothek: Vorträge des Berliner Symposiums am 3. und 4. Mai 2007 [Nazi Loot, the Reich Exchange Office and the Prussian State Library: Proceedings of the Berlin Symposium, 3-4 May 2007]. Ed. Hans Erich Bödeker and Gerd-Josef Bötte. München: Saur, 2008. viii, 175 p. ill. 24 cm. ISBN 978-3-598-11777-0: EUR 38 [08-1/2-039]

The proceedings of a conference organized by the Abteilung Historische Drucke [Department of Early Printed Books] of the Staatsbibliothek [Berlin State Library], this volume unites several important essays on looted books and their restitution in the German-speaking world. Jan-Pieter Barbian examines the influence of the Reichsministerium für Wissenschaft, Erziehung und Volksbildung [Reich Ministry for Science, Education, and Public Instruction] on research libraries during the Nazi era. Martin Friedenberger investigates the role played by the state in legalizing looting after the November Pogrom of 1938. Several contributions explore the activity of the Reichstauschstelle (Cornelia Briel), its connections with the Berlin State Library (Karsten Sydow), and collaboration with other libraries in the German-speaking world (the Austrian National Library—Christina Köstner; Marburg University Library—Bernd Reifenberg; Tübingen University Library—Hans Joachim Lang). Finally, contributions by Heike Pudler and Olaf Hamann examine methods and problems associated with the identification and restitution of Nazi-looted books in German libraries. In sum, this volume represents a substantial contribution to a field of study previously neglected, but now of increasing interest and importance to scholars. [mk/cjm]

NS-Raubgut in Bibliotheken: Suche, Ergebnisse, Perspektiven; drittes Hannoversches Symposium [Nazi Loot in Libraries: Searching, Results, Perspectives; Third Hanover Conference]. Regine Dehnel for the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Bibliothek and Niedersächsische Landesbibliothek. Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2008. 242 p. ill. 25 cm. (Zeitschrift für Bibliothekswesen und Bibliographie: Sonderbände, 94). ISBN 978-3-465-03588-6: EUR 69 [08-1/2-040]

The proceedings of the 2007 Third Hanover Conference on Nazi loot in libraries, this volume aims for a broader thematic scope than its two predecessors; this notwithstanding, emphasis is still placed on looted Jewish book collections. Readers of related works (see RREA 14:40, 41, and 43) will encounter here the familiar theme of Nazi loot in the Preußische Staatsbibliothek and this library’s links with the Reichstauschstelle. Several of the contributions in this volume are case studies of Nazi-looted books in library collections, small and large, in the German-speaking world. Perhaps the most noteworthy essays are those that examine under-researched topics: Werner Schröder’s study of plundered monastery libraries in Germany and Occupied Europe; and Jim Tobias’s history of libraries in the Jewish Displaced Persons Camps. Given the current lively interest in this field, some overlap between this work and related volumes mentioned above is probably inevitable. [mk/cjm]

Bibliotheken in der NS-Zeit: Provenienzforschung und Bibliotheksgeschichte [Libraries During the Nazi Period: Provenance Research and Library History]. Ed. Stefan Alker, Christina Köstner, and Markus Stumpf. Göttingen: V&R Unipress; Vienna Univ. Press, 2008. 349 p. ill. 25 cm. (Publikationen der Universitätsbibliothek Wien). ISBN 978-3-89971-450-0: EUR 37.90 [08-1/2-041]

These proceedings of a conference held in Vienna in 2008 focus on the search for and restitution of Nazi-looted books in the German-speaking territories. An introductory essay examines methodological aspects of provenance research on looted books, and obstacles faced by researchers in this field. The rest of the volume is then divided into four sections. The first is devoted to provenance research, and the identification of Nazilooted books in a representative selection of academic libraries in the German-speaking world. Section Two explores the administration of libraries during National Socialism, in part by committed Nazis. The essays in Section Three focus on libraries in Austria, thereby following in the footsteps of Murray Hall and Christina Köstner’s 2006 study of the Austrian National Library during the Nazi Period (see IFB 06-2-189). Section Four examines aspects of the looting of books in the German-Occupied Territories, notably Poland and the Soviet Union. Although this volume represents an important contribution to library history of the Nazi Period, readers may well find themselves wishing for less overlap with related works. [mk/cjm]

Geraubt: die Bücher der Berliner Juden [Stolen!: Books of the Berlin Jews]. Detlef Bockenkamm. Berlin: Zentral- und Landesbibliothek, 2008. 79 p. ill. 22 cm. ISBN 978-3-925516-36-8: EUR 9 [08-1/2-042]

Based on the author’s Master’s thesis, this work is a study of the state of provenance research on Nazi-looted books in the Berliner Zentral- und Landesbibliothek [Berlin Central and Regional Library], formerly the Berlin Municipal Library.

Berlin had the largest Jewish community in Germany before 1939, and the Nazi book looting here was especially crass and is discussed in detail in the proceedings of the 2006 workshop Raubgut in Berliner Bibliotheken (see RREA 8:40). Next to the Prussian State Library, the then-called Berlin Municipal Library was the recipient of countless plundered Jewish-owned books.

The study covers the period both before and after 1945. Although only samples of books in various classes are given, this volume, by virtue of its systematic methodology, represents a significant contribution to provenance research on looted Jewish books. Almost half of the volume is devoted to illustrations of diverse marks of provenance (bookplates, owners’ signatures, dedications etc.) in looted books in the Central and Regional Library. [mk/cjm]

Livres pillés, lectures surveillées: les bibliothèques françaises sous l’Occupation [Looted Books, Censored Reading: French Libraries under German Occupation]. Martine Poulain. [Paris]: Gallimard, 2008. 587 p. ill. 23 cm. (NRF essais). ISBN 978-2-07-012295-0: EUR 22.50 [08-1/2-044]

As the first monographic study of libraries in France under German Occupation, this represents a substantial contribution to French and German library history. The study draws on a wide range of primary source materials, although a broader coverage of German-language sources may be desirable. As might be expected, the Bibliothèque Nationale (under the directorship of Bernard Faÿ after 1940) occupies a central position in this work. Other chapters examine the situation of French librarians under German Occupation (a story of both resistance and collaboration), and attempts to retrieve looted books after the Allied Invasion of 1944. For a study of German librarians’ roles in the confiscation of French library resources, refer to Sem C. Sutter’s “H.A. Krüss and Gustav Abb as Library Administrators in Occupied Territories,” p. 315-327 in Stefan Alker, ed. Bibliotheken in der NS-Zeit (see RREA 14:50). [mk/cjm]

Die historische Bibliothek des Stadtmuseums Meran = La biblioteca del Museo Civico di Merano [The Historical Library of the City Museum of Merano]. Walter Garber. Italian transl. by Gabriele Muscolino. Brixen: Provinz-Verlag, 2006. 112 p. ill. 25 cm. (Erschließung historischer Bibliotheken in Südtirol, 1). ISBN 978-88-88118-42-0: EUR 16 [08-1/2-045]

Die Pfarrbibliotheken Niederolang und Assling = Le biblioteche parrocchiali di Valdaora di Sotto e di Assling [The Parish Libraries of Valdaora di Sotto and of Assling]. Rainhard Domanegg and Hans Kienzl. Italian transl. by Gabriele Muscolino. Brixen: Provinz-Verlag, 2007. 156 p. ill. 25 cm. (Erschließung historischer Bibliotheken in Südtirol, 2). ISBN 978-88-88118-44-4: EUR 16 [08-1/2-046]

Die Franziskaner-Bibliotheken Kaltern, Innichen, Signat und Klosterlechfeld = Le biblioteche francescane di Caldaro, San Candido, Signat e Klosterlechfeld [The Franciscan Libraries of Caldaro, San Candido, Signat, and Klosterlechfeld]. Manfred Schmidt. Italian transl. by Gabriele Muscolino. Brixen: Provinz-Verlag, 2007. 189 p. ill. 25 cm. (Erschließung historischer Bibliotheken in Südtirol, 3). ISBN 978-88-88118-45-1: EUR 16 [08-1/2-047]

Die Kapuzinerbibliotheken Klausen, Eppan, Schlanders und Müstair = Le biblioteche cappuccine di Chiusa, Appiano, Silandro e Müstair [The Capuchin Libraries of Chiusa, Appiano, Silandro, and Müstair]. Rainhard Domanegg. Italian transl. by Gabriele Muscolino. Brixen: Provinz-Verlag, 2007. 344 p. ill. 25 cm. (Erschließung historischer Bibliotheken in Südtirol, 4). ISBN 978-88-88118-52-9: EUR 22 [08-1/2-048]

Die Probsteibibliothek Bozen = La biblioteca della Prepositura di Bolzano [The Provost Library of the Cathedral of Bolzano]. Rainhard Domanegg and Hans Kienzl. Italian transl. by Gabriele Muscolino. Brixen: Provinz-Verlag, 2008. 193 p. ill. 25 cm. (Erschließung historischer Bibliotheken in Südtirol, 5). ISBN 978-88-88118-58-1: EUR 22 [08-1/2-049]

The project Erschließung historischer Bibliotheken in Südtirol (EHB) [Survey of Historical Libraries in South Tyrol] under the direction of Dr. P. Bruno Klammer (see http://www.ehb.it/139d344.html) aims to make bibliographical information about the historical book collections of South Tyrolean libraries fully accessible on the Internet, and also to produce handbooks describing the history of the libraries, the provenances of their books, and the collections as a whole. These presentations generally offer an evaluation of the collection, discuss some exemplary works, and include, in addition to illustrations of the various Ex libris, a listing of incunables held by the library, the names of librarians who worked there starting from the end of the 19th century, and references to relevant literature. It would be helpful if subsequent volumes would include a personal name index.

The series begins with a volume on the library of the city museum in Merano. Established about 1900 to house a significant collection of materials on the Tyrol donated by medical doctor Franz Innerhofer, its strengths include belles lettres and history, especially that of Merano and its environs, and also works on medicine (10 of them from the 16th century), as well as a collection of works on theosophy and occultism. There is a noticeably small number of Italian-language publications.

The following four volumes discuss libraries with mainly religious holdings, from those of the small parishes of Valdaora di Sotto and Assling (the latter located in East Tyrol in Austria, but since 1964 affiliated with the diocese of Innsbruck) to those of Franciscan and Capuchin orders in various locations, and that of the Bolzano cathedral. Their collections reflect their (sometimes turbulent) histories and the interests of some of the persons associated with them.

These first five volumes of the survey, presented in both German and Italian, direct attention to a library landscape that is little known beyond its borders, and invite historical comparisons and cooperation beyond national and language boundaries. The project’s high standards of quality are evident not only in the published volumes but also in its Internet presence (at http://www.ehb.it). By July 16, 2008, its OPAC contained 411,000 entries for the holdings from about 30 historical libraries in South Tyrol [Ed. note: by February 2011 this number had climbed to 487,000]. Tyroliana items are cataloged in the greatest detail. Also available are a list of printers and publishers active in Innsbruck, Bolzano, Bressanone, Trento, and Rovareto, a general description of the project, and brief information on each of the libraries covered so far. Both the Internet offerings and the library portrayals in book form make clear for users the cultural-political presence of South Tyroleans in Italy. Further volumes have appeared since 2008. [hpm/nb]

Zródła do badań nad zagładą Żydów na okupowanych ziemiach polskich: Przewodnik archiwalno-bibliograficzny [Sources for Research on the Jewish Holocaust in the Occupied Polish Lands: An Archival and Bibliographical Guide]. Alina Skibińska. Warszawa: Centrum Badań nad Zagładą Żydów: Wydawn. Cyklady, 2007. 514 p. 22 cm. ISBN 9788392683100; 9788360279328: zł 37

An RREA Original Review by Anna L. Shparberg (Rice University)

Published by the Center for Jewish Holocaust Studies of the Philosophy and Sociology Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, this volume is co-authored by a group of Holocaust scholars led by noted historian Alina Skibińska, head of the Warsaw branch of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The book’s stated goal is to help researchers of the Holocaust in occupied Poland navigate the multitude of available archival sources. Although there have been publications about various aspects of Holocaust research in Poland, this is the first comprehensive guide to Polish archives, which are little known outside the country.

This impressive work begins with an introduction, followed by a seven-page guide to abbreviations and a list of mailing addresses, URLs, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of the archival institutions. The book approaches the archival information from two different angles: the archives where the materials are kept, and the types of sources that produced them. Section 1 focuses on the archival institutions, with a significant emphasis on those located in Poland. In addition to the numerous institutions that exist under the umbrella of the Head Office of the State Archives, the authors include various other historical institutes and museums (including several Holocaust museums) as well as the Polish Catholic Church. Also represented are major institutions in the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel, and Germany. The decision to limit the coverage of the book to Western archives was one of necessity, since those located in the former Soviet Union (i.e., Ukraine, Belorussia, Lithuania, and Russia) have remained sealed until very recently and even now present unique difficulties for access.

Each entry begins with an overview of the foundation and development of the archive and then goes on to an in-depth presentation of its collection, down to the manuscript group codes wherever available. For this information, the authors generally rely on the descriptions in previously published archival guides. Wherever possible, this guide also discusses the cataloging systems and the ease (or difficulty) of gaining access to the materials. The extensive footnotes contain references to the secondary literature as well as short biographical essays about significant contributors to the archives.

Section 2 presents a plethora of sources arranged according to corporate or personal author. These sources include documents of the German administration and police, the Jewish councils, the aid societies, and the Polish Underground State; the underground archive of the Warsaw ghetto; investigative, judicial, and court documents; prison and camp records; printed sources (including legal publications, telephone books, proclamations, ephemera, and resistance publications); personal documents (memoirs, diaries, etc.); oral histories; memorial books; pictorial and physical objects; and other records. The authors make every effort to highlight the unique value of every group of sources for Holocaust research. As an example, the chapter on the German administration and police begins with a detailed look at the structure of German governance in occupied Poland, which is followed by a 31-page overview of the various types of documents issued by these forces, with cross-references to archives described in section one.

Section 3 is devoted to miscellany. It contains an introduction to Internet resources such as electronic databases, a list of URLs, and a bibliography, which, while selective, is lengthy at 44 pages. The authors made the decision to list the URLs alphabetically by domain name instead of organizing them by category. The six-page URL list begins with the Auschwitz Jewish Center and ends with Żydzi Polscy, a website on the fates of Polish Jews [URL broken at the time of this review]. At the end are indexes of proper and place names.

This guide fills a significant gap in providing information about Polish sources on the Holocaust. Even though it will be particularly useful for those with a firm grasp of Polish, it also describes numerous sources that do not require it, such as the documents issued by the German occupation forces. An eventual republication of this useful tome in German or English translation would ensure a broader scholarly reach for it. As it is, the book is highly recommended for institutions with robust programs in European history, as well as for special libraries, such as those of Holocaust museums.


Next Section
Previous Section
Table of Contents


Comments, suggestions, or questions
Last update: April 2011 [LC]
2010 Casalini libri - VAT no. IT03106600483