AP - Archives, Libraries, and Museums
Dokumenty po istorii i kul’ture evreev v arkhivakh Moskvy: putevoditel’ = Jewish Documentary Sources in Moscow Archives: A Guide. Ed. M.S. Kupovetskii, E.V. Starostin, and Marek Web. Moskva: Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi gumanitarnyi universitet, 1997. 502 p. 23 cm. ISBN 9785728102113
Dokumenty po istorii i kul’ture evreev v arkhivakh Belarusi: putevoditel’ = Jewish Documentary Sources in Belarus Archives: A Guide. Ed. M.S. Kupovetskii, E.M. Savitiskii, and Marek Web. Moskva: Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi gumanitarnyi universitet, 2003. 606 p. 23 cm. ISBN 9785728105671
Dokumenty po istorii i kul’ture evreev v trofeinykh kollektsiiakh Rossiiskogo gosudarstvennogo voennogo arkhiva: putevoditel’ = Jewish Documentary Sources among the Trophy Collections of the Russian State Military Archives: A Guide. Ed. V.N. Kuzelenkov, M.S. Kupovetskii, and David E. Fishman. Moskva: Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi gumanitarnyi universitet, 2005. 210 p. 23 cm. ISBN 9785728105534: $42
Dokumenty po istorii i kul’ture evreev v arkhivakh Kieva: putevoditel’ = Jewish Documentary Sources in Kiev Archives: A Guide. Ed. E.I. Melamed and M.S. Kupovetskii. Kiev: Dukh i litera, 2006. 749 p. 23 cm. ISBN 9789663780337: $68
Dokumenty po istorii i kul’ture evreev v regional’nykh arkhivakh Ukrainy: putevoditel’ Volynskaia, Zhitomirskaia, Rovenskaia, Cherkasskaia oblasti = Jewish Documentary Sources in the Regional Archives of Ukraine: A Guide: Volhynia, Zhitomir, Rovno, Cherkassy Regions. Ed. E.I. Melamed. Moskva: Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi gumanitarnyi universitet; Kiev: Gosudarstvennyi komitet arkhivov Ukrainy, 2009. 469 p. 22 cm. ISBN 9789666517633: $48
Dokumenty po istorii i kul’ture evreev v arkhivakh Sankt-Peterburga: putevoditel’ = Jewish Documentary Sources in Saint Petersburg Archives: A Guide. Ed. A.I. Ivanov, M.S. Kupovetskii, and A.E. Lokshin. Sankt-Peterburg: Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi gumanitarnyi universitet, TSentr bibleistiki i iudaiki: Izdatel’skii dom “Mir.” 23 cm.
Vol. 1. Federal’nye arkhivy. 2011. 640 p. 23 cm. ISBN 9785988460763: $52
An RREA Original Review by Anna L. Shparberg (Rice University)
Jewish people have lived in the territories of the former Russian Empire and Soviet Union for many centuries and have made significant contributions to its history and culture. Nevertheless, serious study of Jewish life in the region has been impeded by the difficulty of accessing and identifying Judaica-related materials in the maze of archival depositories. During the Soviet era, most archives were virtually inaccessible to scholars, while materials related to Jewish topics in particular were further restricted because of being hidden in special secret sections (spetskhrany) of the institutions.
Both the turbulent history of the region and constant ideological pressures have left their mark on the condition of Soviet archives. Numerous relevant documents have been either lost due to the vicissitudes of history or intentionally destroyed. Among forces adversarial to the preservation of materials have been purges of archives during the time of the Great Terror, constant reshuffling of archival collections and their relocations (mainly to Moscow), and massive losses during World War II.
Although access eased dramatically after Perestroika, resource discovery has remained a problem. In Soviet times, references to Jewish materials were omitted from archival guides for political or ideological reasons. The time has come for a new generation of finding aids that are not subject to the same sorts of pressures.
The international project “Documents on Jewish History and Culture from the Archives of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus” was conceived as a response to the demand to fill the massive gap in archival guides to Jewish materials. It has been carried out since 1991 by the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research was also a partner until 2002. So far this ambitious collaboration has resulted in six guides, all of which constitute indispensable reference resources for scholars of Judaica.
The inaugural guide in the series (1997) is dedicated to archival depositories located in Moscow. As the capital of the Soviet Union, it was the final destination for a great number of archival collections. Many of them were relocated there, for example when the capital was transferred from Petrograd to Moscow in 1918 and during wartime evacuations. The guide, which is extremely broad in scope, covers Jewish materials in the central state archives, the former Communist Party archives, and the archival collections of institutions such as the Russian Academy of Sciences, city municipal archives, and archives of libraries and museums.
The subsequent volumes in the series follow a similar structure. Each guide contains an extensive introduction, which outlines the history of the project and provides an overview of the archives described in the book. These introductions are so detailed that they can often serve as historical overviews of Jewish history and culture in a particular region. The introductions, tables of contents, indexes, and inventories of archival depositories are given in English as well as in Russian. The volumes also include the full names and contact information for the listed depositories (including e-mail addresses and URLs where available).
A typical entry begins with an overview of the history of the particular collection and describes its contents in as much detail as possible. Each entry includes the title of the collection and its archival number, the number of storage units and their dates, a historical note on the origins of the collection (or, in the case of personal collections, a biography of its originator), a look at the collection’s structure, and a note on the languages of the materials; among the most common languages are Russian, Ukrainian, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Polish.
The compilers have applied the broadest possible criteria to the selection of material for the guides. All archival collections of Jewish provenance—community, institutional, and organizational records (educational, philanthropic, cultural, political, social, professional, commercial, etc.), as well as personal papers—have been included as a matter of course. Collections of non-Jewish origin have been carefully reviewed and evaluated for inclusion based on the probability of their containing materials relevant to Jewish history and culture.
The hefty inaugural tome in the Ukrainian subseries (2006) provides an extensive introduction to the resources located in the archival depositories of Kiev (including the central state archives of Ukraine and the Kiev region, the security service archives, the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, libraries, research institutes, and museums), while the next one (2009) reviews the archives in the Volhynia, Zhitomir, Rovno, and Cherkassy regions. Several subsequent volumes providing a look into other regional archives of the country are under preparation.
The 2003 volume on Belarusian archives underscores the difficulties met by archivists attempting to describe collections of Jewish interest. As a result of historical forces, in particular the German occupation of Belarus in 1941-44, not more than 40 percent of prewar archival collections have survived. The almost complete lack of finding aids to these archives has made the compilation of this guide particularly challenging. Nevertheless, the compilers were able to identify and describe Jewish contents in many archives, including practically all collections from the state archival institutions, provincial archives, and institutional archives (including museums) as well as the civil registry offices.
The guide to the “trophy collection” part of the Russian State Military Archives (2005) stands apart from the rest of the series to date in that it covers materials that did not originate in the territory of the Russian Empire or the Soviet Union. Instead, it provides a look at the archives of Jewish organizations and individuals from Western and Central Europe that had been plundered by the Nazis and later confiscated by the Soviet Army at the conclusion of World War II. Among the holdings of this archival body are the records of such major international Jewish organizations as the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Alliance israëlite universelle [Universal Jewish Alliance]; records of national and local Jewish communal bodies, for example, the Union of Austrian Jews; documents of Zionist organizations such as the Berlin Zionist Union; and the private papers of many prominent Jewish families and individuals, e.g., the Vienna branch of the Rothschild family and Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneerson. The work of reviewing materials in this archive, with a view toward the potential return of some collections to their countries of origin, has been going on for decades.
The most recent guide (2011) introduces the “St. Petersburg subseries.” It begins with an in-depth look at the federal archives located in the former capital city, such as the Russian State Historical Archive and the Russian State Naval Archive. This subseries will be continued by volumes dedicated to materials on Jewish life and history located in regional archives, as well as to the collections of museums, libraries, research institutes, and public organizations in the city.
Not surprisingly, with an undertaking of such depth and scope, the coverage of material was bound to be uneven. Even though access to the archives has been vastly expanded, the compilers have had to deal with numerous challenges. Not all archives were accessible, and access to them often depended on the good will of the individuals in charge. Many significant collections were not described because of secrecy, such as the archives of the President of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the KGB. In some cases, access was granted only partially, which resulted in a limited description of an archive.
This series is an essential reference resource for any scholars studying Judaica-related topics on the territories of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union and is unreservedly recommended for the history collections of research libraries. Unfortunately, most of the earlier volumes in the series are now out of print and difficult to find.
Bibliothekarisches Grundwissen [Basic Knowledge about Librarianship]. Klaus Gantert and Rupert Hacker. 8th rev. and enlarged ed. München: Saur, 2008. 414 p. ill. 21 cm. ISBN 978-3-598-11771-8: EUR 29.80
For 37 years “The Hacker” has been an institution within the realm of basic German-language library literature. From 1972 to 2000 Rupert Hacker presented his Bibliothekarisches Grundwissen in no fewer than seven editions. For work on this eighth edition he turned to a colleague, Klaus Ganter. Passing a project along to the next generation is always something of a risk, but in this case the switch was successful in every way. The proven formula of the work remains unchanged: it gives a short and comprehensible introduction to the basic concepts, facts, and interrelationships of current librarianship. The content was thoroughly revised, nonetheless, to match the latest state of the profession and to adapt to current needs. With it came an increase in length to 414 pages from 366. The overall structure was maintained, but individual adaptations came into play. The changes reflect important recent developments, particularly the daily use of digital media — mere comparisons of print and electronic media or of conventional and automated work processes are already a thing of the past. Still, the inclusion of traditional catalog formats in the chapter on the indexing of holdings is quite welcome. The most notable change is the broad expansion of the chapter “Means and Methods of Information Retrieval.” This is a logical augmentation, though not all of the examples chosen come from libraries. Not only meta-catalogs, general and specialized bibliographies, and retrieval indexes for journals and essays are covered, but also specialized and expansive digital libraries (e.g., European Digital Library, Google Book Search, etc.), search engines, and Web catalogs. The eighth edition is pleasingly up to date and crammed with easily understandable basic knowledge across a broad spectrum. Despite possible details that one could nit-pick, this newly revised work remains essential, and we wish it many further editions. A unique benefit of a synoptic regard of the various editions is the unfolding of “applied library history.” [hdw/rdh]
Der wissenschaftliche Bibliothekar: Festschrift für Werner Arnold [The Scholarly Librarian: Festschrift for Werner Arnold]. Ed. Detlev Hellfaier. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz in Kommission, 2009. xxv, 517 p. ill. 25 cm. (Wolfenbütteler Schriften zur Geschichte des Buchwesens, 44). ISBN 978-3-447-06100-1: EUR 98
This festschrift celebrates Werner Arnold’s long career in librarianship at the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel. During his 20-year service to the library he influenced its development with his tireless efforts to improve its daily operations and with his many publications on its history as well as on general library, education, and cultural history. He also functioned for more than 30 years as the Secretary of the Wolfenbütteler Arbeitskreis für Bibliotheks, Buch und Mediengeschichte [Wolfenbüttel Working Group for Library, Book, and Media History], competently managing its many conferences.
The volume begins with a 10-page bibliography of Werner Arnold’s publications from 1975 to 2009, and goes on to present 26 essays arranged under seven themes. The first section on bookstore owners, librarians, collectors, and reading focuses on the history of the book trade and the evolution of the libraries of the nobility in early modern Germany. In the second section, six essays on collections and libraries range from the reconstruction of the music collection after the fire at the Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar to preservation initiatives in Lower Saxony, questions and problems concerning ecclesiastical libraries, and medical prints in the Herzog August Library. This is followed in the third section by four essays on the theme of reception, including an article on the participation of the Wolfenbüttel Library at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and one on the stereotypes of Germany in British WWI war propaganda. The fourth section has three essays on manuscripts and codicology, describing individual manuscripts, their provenance, and their use in research. The fifth section contains three essays on the challenges of pursuing research in local sources for early modern regional history. The sixth section presents four essays about reflections on the past and the present that explore the positive and negative effect of the Internet on special collections research, with one essay sporting the catchy title: “The Internet as an Expropriation Machine.”
The volume closes with an exemplary discussion of the provenance and significance of a newly found one-sheet incunabulum from the city library of Trier. The editor, Detlev Hellfaier, did an admirable job of selecting essays that represent a diversity of themes in librarianship to honor the extraordinary career of Werner Arnold in research, teaching, and in the library world at large. [svk/hm]
Geschichte der abendländischen Bibliotheken [History of Libraries in the West]. Uwe Jochum. Darmstadt: Primus-Verlag, 2010. 160 p. ill. 30 cm. ISBN 978- 3-89678-669-2: EUR 39.90
It is much more difficult to survey Western libraries in 160 pages than in 1,600, yet the knowledgeable librarian and library historian Uwe Jochum has courageously made such an effort. Leaving the well-trodden path of standard library histories that tend to begin with the palace library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal in Niniveh, in the first of six chapters Jochum discusses the “Library in the Cave,” pointing out that paintings such as those in the caves of Lascaux or Altamira represented an early attempt to document the environment in which their creators lived. These early “archives” of the human race were followed (in the second chapter) by the “Cosmological Libraries” of the ancient Orient that extended their coverage to gods and humans, heaven and earth, reflecting at different levels the preservation of an intact societal-cosmic order. With the “Imperial Libraries” of Hellenism and the Roman Empire, the undifferentiated complex of archive and library began to unravel. Archives developed into repositories for the administrative papers produced by expanding empires, while libraries became treasuries of those written records that did not deal with the politics of the day, administration, or judicial affairs. “Salvation Libraries” in the Middle Ages, the focus of the fourth chapter, were similar to the cosmological libraries in their transcendental, otherworldly orientation. Serving only exclusive clienteles, they concentrated on preserving treatises that instructed readers how to achieve a state of grace. This period in which libraries protected the light of heavenly revelation gave way to the era of “Utilitarian Libraries,” covered in chapter five: as institutions of the cultural and scientific infrastructure, they preserved the light of reason. They in turn were followed by “Functional Libraries,” often connected with universities. The final chapter is devoted to the end of this long development, today’s “Networked Libraries,” which Jochum fears may lead to ruination, because the media transformations of our time may do more harm than the digital improvement of library services is worth.
There is no question that Uwe Jochum has succeeded in producing a stimulating survey, with copious illustrations, solid annotations, and an excellent bibliography. The connoisseur and specialist may not be completely satisfied, but the work is not addressed to them. Its audience is interested lay persons, who will gain much from the first five chapters. It is unfortunate that Jochum’s teichoscopic apocalyptic vision tarnishes the last chapter of this otherwise excellent work. [svk/nb]
Die jüdische Bibliothek an der Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz 1938-2008: eine Dokumentation [The Jewish Library at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, 1938-2008: A Documentation]. Andreas Lenhardt. Stuttgart: Steiner, 2009. 260 p. ill. 24 cm. (Beiträge zur Geschichte der Johannes-Gutenberg- Universität Mainz. n.F., 8). ISBN 978-3-515-09345-3: EUR 40
Fortunately, a few Jewish library collections, including that of the Jewish Community library in Mainz, did survive the Nazi era intact. The building that housed the library was destroyed during the November 1938 Reichskristallnacht [Night of Broken Glass], but the collection itself was transferred to the City Library of Mainz, where Richard Dertsch (1894-1981), director of the library until 1943, is credited with keeping the collection on site rather than allowing it to go out to Nazi government agencies, which used Jewish writings for "studying the enemy".
Rabbi Ernst Róth (1908-1991), one of the first Jewish scholars to work in post-war Germany, inventoried the collection between 1957 and 1967, highlighting the most important items. The current monograph contains a more detailed description of the types of materials in the collection and provides information on their provenance. The presentation includes many illustrations, such as ex-libris stamps, title pages, and pictures of the synagogue in Mainz. Appendices include a listing of teacher and student libraries, a list of Hebrew books from the Israelite religious community in Mainz, and a comprehensive list of sources and secondary literature. The volume contributes greatly to our knowledge of the history of Jewish books and publishing.
The collection contains 5,550 volumes, of which 3,670 are historical holdings dating from the 16th century onwards, including 2,080 Hebraica. A relatively small number of prints are in Yiddish, as there were few East-European Jews in Mainz. The origin of a number of items was determined with the help of catalogs and owner information in the front matter of the books. The collection contains items from the regional Jewish school, Zionist and anti-Semitic literature, rare manuscripts, prints, and official records dating back to the 16th century. A substantial number of items came from the libraries of Rabbis Samuel Oppenheimer (1630-1703), Herz Scheuer (1753-1822), Marcus Lehmann (1831-1890) and Siegmund Salfeld (1843-1926). These four persons are the subject of bio-bibliographical articles in the 2004 Biographisches Handbuch der Rabbiner (see RREA 10:73).
A comprehensive catalog of all items in the collection is forthcoming. The Jewish Library collection is now on permanent loan to the Department of Protestant Theology at the University of Mainz. [mk/hm]
Die Anfänge der Münchener Hofbibliothek unter Herzog Albrecht V [The Beginings of the Munich Court Library under Duke Albrecht V]. Ed. Alois Schmid. München: Beck, 2009. xi, 193 p. 24 cm. (Zeitschrift für bayerische Landesgeschichte: Beiheft, 37). ISBN 978-3-406-10678-1: EUR 28
The Bavarian State Library in Munich celebrated its 450th anniversary in 2008, with numerous publications and events. The nine conference contributions included in this volume shed light from various perspectives on the prehistory and early development of the library. One group of essays outlines the cultural and political milieu leading to the founding of the library in 1558. Another essay describes the founding events themselves, while several other essays deal with initial acquisitions for the library. A final essay traces the contours of the efforts in Munich by means of a comparison with the Hapsburg court library in Vienna.
These well-documented essays demonstrate that research in the history of libraries can be fruitful for research in cultural history as well. [svk/rc]
“Wie würde ich ohne Bücher leben und arbeiten können?” Privatbibliotheken jüdischer Intellektueller im 20. Jahrhundert [“How Could I Possibly Llive or Work without Books?” Private Llibraries of Jewish Intellectuals]. Ed. Ines Sonder, Karin Bürger, and Ursula Wallmeier. Berlin: Verlag für Berlin-Brandenburg, 2008. 432 p. ill. 23 cm. (Neue Beiträge zur Geistesgeschichte, 8). ISBN 978- 3-86650-069-3: EUR 29.95
The 18 essays in this volume trace the fates of the private libraries of leading Jewish intellectuals persecuted in Nazi Germany. The individual collection descriptions are contextualized by an introductory essay on private libraries as an expression of Jewish identity in early 20th-century Europe and an appendix listing the locations of private libraries of Jewish intellectuals.
Several of the collections described in the essays are held at the Moses Mendelssohn Center of the University of Potsdam. Included are the collections of the Herzl biographer Alex Bein (7,000 vols.), the publisher and critic Walter Boehlich (15,000 vols.), the cultural critic Ludwig Geiger (7,000 vols.), the pedagogue and former teacher at the Adult Education Center in Frankfurt (Freies Jüdisches Lehrhaus) Ernst Simon, and the architect Erich Mendelsohn (178 vols). Others cover the collections of poets Israel Bercovici, Hilde Domin and Karl Wolfskehl; writers Lion Feuchtwanger, Anna Seghers, and Stefan Zweig; philosophers Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin; Jewish Studies scholar Gershom Scholem; scholar of the history of sexuality Magnus Hirschfeld; psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud; journalist Arthur Koestler; and social scientist Jürgen Kuczynski.
It is important to keep in mind that due to persecution, imprisonment, or exile of the owner, as well as the destruction of many buildings during World War II, a particular intellectual’s collection may no longer be complete. Further consideration needs to be given to the fact that exiled intellectuals built new collections abroad. For example, Leon Feuchtwanger had to leave behind his library of books in Germany, as well as one in France, and went on to build another collection of 30,000 titles in the United States.
The essays include details about dedications, underlinings, notes in the margins; pasted-in reviews and contemporary newspaper articles; other items found in the books, such as photos, letters, and objects used as reading signs, including post cards, tickets, shopping lists, calendar sheets, and more, thus adding to our knowledge of the intellectual biographies of the owners. The well-researched descriptions and bibliographic references also contribute greatly to our understanding of the history of the Jewish book. [mb/hm]
Aus der Bibliothek Agathe Lasch: Provenienzforschung an der Universitätsbibliothek der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin [From the Library of Agathe Lasch: Provenance Research at the Humboldt University Library in Berlin]. Ed. Matthias Harbeck and Sonja Kobold. Berlin: Universitätsbibliothek der Humboldt-Universität, 2008. 73 p. ill. 22 cm. (Schriftenreihe der Universitätsbibliothek der Humboldt- Universität zu Berlin, 63). ISSN 0522-9898: available gratis online at http:// edoc.hu-berlin.de/series/schriftenreihe-ub/63/PDF/63.pdf
Agathe Lasch, a pioneering scholar of the Low German language and the first female professor of German at a German university, suffered the fate of many Jews who were unwilling to escape the Nazi persecution while they had the chance. After losing her professorship in Hamburg, she returned to her family home in Berlin with her library of some 4,000 books. Eventually the books were seized by the authorities, with most going to the Reich’s Main Security Office and a small number to the Germanic Institute of the University of Berlin (later renamed Humboldt University of Berlin); many were eventually destroyed.
In recent years, using provenance research, librarians at the Humboldt University have made a systematic effort to find as many of Lasch’s books within their holdings as possible. However, while the library’s accession records list 175 of her books as having been added to the collection, only about 60 have been found and identified as belonging to Agathe Lasch. These are listed and described in Aus der Bibliothek …; other books from the collection belonging to Lasch’s grandniece were donated in 2007 (a few were kept back for sentimental reasons). The rest are presumed missing; however, the university’s branch libraries are yet to be investigated. [mk/gw]
“Hier müssen private Kreise mithelfen ...”: das Engagement des Vereins der Freunde für seine Königliche und Preußische Staatsbibliothek von 1914 bis 1944 [“Private Donors Must Help with This…”: The Support of the Friends of the Library Group for the Royal and Prussian State Library from 1914 to 1944]. Friedhilde Krause and Antonius Jammers. Berlin: Stapp, 2009. 143 p. ill. 24 cm. (Veröffentlichungen der Freunde der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, 4). ISBN 978-3-87776-121-2: EUR 14.80
Throughout history libraries have lacked sufficient funding to meet all their obligations and fulfill their mission. For this reason, friends-of-the-library groups have often formed to help the institution fill the funding void. These friends groups solicit financial support to pay for acquisitions, spearhead special collecting projects, and even donate their private and often specialized collections for the benefit of the library.
One hundred years ago, the Royal Library in Berlin [Königliche Bibliothek zu Berlin], the largest library of the German Reich, was compelled to rely on the support of sponsors and friends. Rudolf von Harnack, library director beginning in 1905, was able to acquire several collections thanks to the library sponsors he recruited. For example, chemist and industrialist Ludwig Darmstaedter donated his collection of materials on the history of science to the library in 1907. The following year Ernst von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy donated a unique personal collection of 30 music titles.
A Friends of the Library Group to support the Royal and Prussian Library was officially established in 1914. The current title narrates the history of this friends group from 1914 to 1944. Ludwig Darmstaedter was the first president of the friends group. Along with others, he was able to recruit bankers, industrialists, book publishers, and even Reich president Friedrich Ebert to the group’s ranks. Color illustrations of representative collections acquired with friends’ help are presented on pages 65 to 92.
Darmstaedter was succeeded by Fritz Milkau, who was succeeded by Hugo Andres Krüss. To gain wider support for the friends group Milkau and Krüss scheduled popular readings and lectures. Eventually, membership in the Friends Group reached 600, but declined with the onset of the Depression.
Many of the group’s members were Jewish, including Hans Fürstenberg and Martin Breslauer, both having served as president of the Group. However, the contributions of Jewish members to the Group’s work counted for nothing after Hitler’s rise to power. The role of President Krüss during this time is especially problematic. Although himself cosmopolitan and educated, he nonetheless followed the Nazi line and repeatedly made concessions to the fascist regime. Moreover, he made no effort to intervene on behalf of Jewish members of the Friends Group. Consequently, many Jewish members of the Group were forced into exile; and many were killed. During World War II, the activities of the Friends Group eventually became impossible, and it disbanded in 1944. Ed. note: A new Friends Group was formed in 1997. The current president is Klaus G. Saur. [mk/jb]
Leseorte: ein Führer zu 125 Bibliotheken zwischen Elbe und Weser [Reading Places: A Guide to 125 Libraries between Elbe and Weser]. Catrin Gold. Stade: Landschaftsverband der Ehemaligen Herzogtümer Bremen und Verden, 2009. 611 p. ill. map. 21. cm. ISBN 978-3-931879-39-6: EUR 12
The author is a librarian at the Regional Association of the Former Duchies of Bremen and Verden, an organization that has published several guides to highlight cultural treasures of the region, for example, the 2002 Lebensläufe zwischen Elbe und Weser: ein biographisches Lexikon (see RREA 8:255).
Of the 125 institutions listed in this guide, 58 are public libraries and 67 are research libraries. The author visited many of them in person and sent a survey to each individual library to collect a consistent set of data about all of them. The libraries are arranged by city, and the cities are arranged alphabetically. Each entry includes color photos of the library, of the key service points, and of choice materials held in the library; the photos are accompanied by descriptions of the buildings. Practical information includes the street address, the hours when the library is open to the public, the conditions of use, the types of events offered both for the general public and for children, and the distinctive scope of services and collections. The various types of information are visually separated in boxes, which work well for an article with a two-page layout, but are not as helpful in an article that spans several pages. The author did extensive research, which is reflected in the footnotes and bibliography; it would have been desirable to have articles about the history of a particular library included in the entry for that library rather than have them listed in a combined bibliography at the end of the guide. The back matter also includes a useful geographic index, a list of libraries by type, a list of special collections, a glossary of terms, and a map to the region.
The guide’s special merit is the presentation of an astonishing number of research libraries. These libraries have historical collections and are included, albeit with much less detail, in some standard guides like the 2003 Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Deutschland, Österreich und Europa [Handbook of Historical Collections in Germany, Austria, and Europe—see also http://220.127.116.11/fabian?Home]. The introduction to the guide mentions the possibility of an online edition: such an edition would be of great service for the academic community as well as the community of local historians and booklovers. [sh/hm]
Versuch einer Bibliographie zum Luxemburger Archiv- und Bibliothekswesen: Berichtszeitraum 1778-Februar 2009 [Preliminary Bibliography of Archival and Library Practices in Luxembourg: Reporting Period 1778-February 2009]. Comp. Bernard Linster. Luxemburg: Nationalbibliothek, 2009. 329 leaves. 30 cm. Semester internship project, Köln, Fachhochschule: http://www.albad.lu/ downloads/bibliographie.17782009.linster.b.pdf
The compiler, misleadingly labeled as editor on the title page, presents a bibliography of books and essays on the archival and library landscape of Luxembourg. First assembled as part of an internship semester at the Luxembourg National Library, the bibliography strives for comprehensiveness. The total of 3,596 systematically organized and numbered entries may seem at first to be astonishingly high, given the low profile of the topic in other countries, but one reason for that is the large number of newspaper articles. Two ongoing general bibliographies—the Bibliographie courante de la littérature luxembourgeoise and the national bibliography of the grand duchy, Bibliographie luxembourgeoise—supplied the bulk of the material. The table of contents shows a division into 12 broad categories, the last of which is “Unclassifiable.” The alphabeticalby- author system could have been changed in section 8.2 (bio-bibliographies), where an alphabetical listing by the individuals being treated would make more sense. The author index (p. 284-296) includes personal names, abbreviations, and corporations. The keyword index (p. 297-329) is strong in acronyms, though the full forms are only partially indicated. There is no question that this bibliography is a true find for its topic. It awakens the wish for more selectivity, though. The bibliography in paper form is available in only a very few copies: note the URL above for the less user-friendly PDF file via the Internet. [sh/rdh]
Librorum latinorum Bibliothecae Vaticanae index a Nicolao de Maioranis compositus et Fausto Sabeo collatus anno MDXXXIII [The Index to the Latin Books of the Vatican Library Compiled by Niccolò Maiorano and Collated by Fausto Sabeo in the Year 1533]. Ed. Assunta Di Sante and Antonio Manfredi. Città del Vaticano: Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, 2009. lxx, 456 p. 26 cm. (Studi e testi, 457; Studi e documenti sulla formazione della Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, 7). ISBN 9788821008573: EUR 65
An RREA Original Review by Thomas M. Izbicki (Rutgers University)
Beginning in 1902, scholars at the Vatican Library have published inventories compiled at various stages of the library’s early history. This volume covers the Latin section of the main Vatican collections as they were at a particular moment in time. It is the edition of part of a large manuscript inventory compiled in 1533, shortly after the 1527 Sack of Rome. (The Greek section was published in 1998.) Fausto Sabeo and Niccolò Maiorano undertook this labor, at least in part, to deal with the results of the sack. Their use of guide words given at the ends of first pages makes it much easier to identify the manuscripts listed in old inventories in order to find their current shelf marks. The same information helps in the identification of volumes added to the library before 1533 that had also been listed in earlier inventories.
The original inventory is found in manuscript Vat. Lat. 3951. There are two parts: fol. 1r-128v, the original inventory (B), and fol. 129r-305v, a set of rough drafts (A). Each was compiled in more than one hand, and the two versions were bound together as late as the 18th century. The editors have published a version of B collated against A, noting the variants. The order of the volume is that of the library in the 16th century. Table 1 gives an overview of the library against the item numbers in part B, while Table 2 recombines the material according to the library’s rooms and their furnishings (benches, armoires, etc.). Other tables provide further detail by room and furnishings.
The body of the text is the annotated edition of part B, collated against part A. The current shelf marks appear in parentheses where they can be verified, listing the guide word at the bottom of the first page of each manuscript. Volumes that cannot be identified are comparatively few. Occasionally, the notes correct the record for a volume. It should be noted that there are a few incunabula included alongside the manuscripts, which the catalog describes with variants of the word impressus [printed]. All items have a number in square brackets to which all indexing refers.
Archivologie: Theorien des Archivs in Wissenschaft, Medien und Künsten [“Archivology”: Theories of the Archive in Scholarship, the Media, and the Arts]. Ed. Knut Ebeling and Stephan Günzel. Berlin: Kulturverlag Kadmos, 2009. 272 p. 23 cm. (Kaleidogramme, 30). ISBN 978-3-86599-028-0: EUR 19.90
This is a reader on the theory of the archive. The essays range from writings by philosophers and critics (Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Michel de Certeau, Paul Ricoeur, Boris Groys, Aleida Assmann, and Ulrich Raulff), to pieces by archivists and practitioners (the editors Knut Ebeling and Stephan Günzel, along with Cornelia Vismann, Wolfgang Ernst, Bernhard Fritscher, Benjamin Buchloh und Monika Rieger). Most of the essays were published previously; some are original to this volume.
The 14 essays are arranged into four groups. Literally translated, the headings read: The Archaeology of the Archive; Theories of the Archive; Media (i.e., non-print aspects) of the Archive; and Aesthetics of the Archive. The diverse aspects of archives and archival resources described in these essays can evoke a number of intellectual questions, theoretical concepts, and cultural-studies topics such as historiography, cultural memory, art collecting, museum studies, and information technology.
This work is a welcome contribution to cultural-studies debates on the archive as a phenomenon and intellectual concept. It is particularly useful as an assigned reading for seminars and lecture courses. [tk/ga]
Lexikon der verbotenen Archäologie: mysteriöse Relikte von A bis Z [Dictionary of Forbidden Archeology: Mysterious Relics from A to Z]. Luc Bürgin. Rottenburg: Kopp, 2009. 293 p. ill. 23 cm. ISBN 978-3-942016-14-8: EUR 19.95
Questions about truth in the narration of the past and doubts about it are as old as history itself. There is always another view of things, and of course there are unclarified riddles and secrets that are supposed to have been concealed from the public. Luc Bürgin, editor of the magazine Mysteries, is a master of questions that have no answers or controversial answers. In this book the most absurd questions are asked, and the incredible mysterious relics of prehistory are listed in alphabetical order. Following the dictionary and an epilogue, in which the author discusses his view of the secrets of lost cultures, there is a list of sources and an index.
The richly illustrated book presents in a sensational manner artifacts that supposedly have been kept secret by archeologists because they do not fit the prevailing opinions. Everything is here that comes up in classic works by Erich von Däniken from the same publishing house: objects that supposedly can’t be manufactured using modern methods, cosmic messages that can only be seen from the air, the curse of Tutankhamen, the secret chambers in the Pyramid of Cheops, coded messages from the gods, dinosaur figures, the Ark of the Covenant, and many others. Bürgin is able to set the most banal things in a questionable light and develop conspiracy theories about established archeologists. Of course there are gaps in archeological knowledge. What history can be explained without gaps and from all perspectives? Instead of proving his theories, he is demonstrating the desire for sensations and unsolved riddles in contemporary culture. This has nothing to do with archeology as a critical science. [mk/gh]
Der Kölner Museumsführer: faszinierende, große und kleine, weltberühmte und versteckte Museen in Köln [The Cologne Museum Guide: Fascinating, Large and Small, Famous and Hidden Museums in Cologne]. Susanne Rauprich. Köln: Emons, 2010. 287 p. ill. 22 cm. ISBN 978-3-89705-693-0: EUR 20.50
As the title suggests this work is a guide to museums of all kinds in Cologne. Twentythree museums are presented chronologically in the order of their founding, from the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum (1827) to the Wine Museum (2009). The entries are very detailed. The entry for the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, for example, gives information on its founder, its history to the present, and main areas of collection focus: the Cologne School of painting, various medieval paintings, the painters of the Dutch Golden Age, and 19th-century paintings. Also included are discussions of selected individual paintings in the collection by important artists. The work is rather sparsely illustrated, but the articles are very informative and are supplemented by “info-boxes” with information on additional aspects of each museum’s collection. The article on the Schokolademuseum [Chocolate Museum], for instance, gives detailed information on the history, production and marketing of chocolate, and has an “info-box” on the discovery and cultivation of the cocoa plant. In the entry for the Kölner Festungsmuseum [Cologne Fortification Museum] one learns about the development of Cologne as a fortress city as exemplified by a restored section of the defensive ring originally built by the Prussians in the 19th century. An appendix includes an index of named artists, architects, and collectors, and a list of addresses and opening times. [sh/jc]
Museumsführer Schleswig-Holstein. [Guide to Museums in Schleswig-Holstein]. Ed. Sven Bracke and Benjamin Mortzfeld. Neumünster: Wachholtz, 2010. 175 p. ill. 20 cm. ISBN 978-3-529-02768-0: EUR 12.80
In contrast to the 2002 edition, titled Museen in Schleswig-Holstein, the number of institutions included in the current edition of this guide has been reduced from about 300 to 142 although the selection criteria are not explained. The completely different arrangement into three parts is not practical: the first section lists 126 museums; the second section lists the other 16 collections similar to museums (including the Schleswig-Holstein State Archives). The third section then lists the addresses, names of directors, opening hours, e-mail and homepage addresses in order by place so that one has to page back and forth. The descriptions of the museums are now more detailed and are given one page each, regardless of the importance of the collection. A small map shows only the towns where the museums are located, with no indication of the type of museum. The index of museum names has been omitted. The major reduction in the number of institutions is not in the interest of users, who will mostly be tourists and may not be able to look at the otherwise very helpful homepage of a guide to museums in Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg (http://www.museen-sh.de/ml/) to find the nearest museum. [sh/gh]
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Last update: January 2013 [LC]
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