Sammler – Bibliothekare – Forscher
Zur Geschichte der orientalischen Sammlungen an der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
As far as the origins and the development of special collections are concerned, library history often focuses on institutions and the cultural property in writing they preserve. By contrast, the contributions in this volume on the history of the Oriental collections, a special department in the Berlin State Library since 1918, are devoted primarily to the actors involved. It is not so much the Oriental Department and its holdings that are examined, but rather the people in its environment: the collectors, in many cases scholars themselves, who gathered the material in the Orient, the busy antiquarians, mediators and sales agents on the spot, the political promoters in the Berlin ministries, as well as the academic librarians and the compilers of the manuscript catalogs. Academic researchers in their role as users of the Berlin collections are also featured prominently. The periods covered range from the beginnings of the library in the 17th century to its division after 1945 as a result of the removal of the holdings during World War II.
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