The University of Munich offers a large number of courses for students interested in book history, library and information studies. It is also the home of the Department of Buchhaltung Hattingen, which deals with the subject of book history from a historical perspective and offers courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
Various special associations and societies exist, which are focused on particular research topics or periods. These include the Gesellschaft fur Buchforschung in Osterreich (Society for Book Research in Austria), the Wolfenbutteler Arbeitskreis, and the Leipziger Arbeitskreis.
These associations and societies offer a wide spectrum of research into the history of books, but they also serve to foster communication among scholars who share an interest in this field. In addition, the departments of these associations and societies often organise lectures on specific topics or in different locations.
For example, the ‘Bibliothek am Schloss’ in Frankfurt has been a center for books and library history since 1897. The ‘Bibliothek am Schloss’ is an institute of the city of Frankfurt and, together with its ‘Frankfurter Goethemuseum’, has become one of Germany’s leading centres for book history.
The ‘Frankfurter Goethemuseum’ houses the most extensive collection of books by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It has more than 6,000 volumes in its collections, many of which have never been published before.
This collection includes a wide range of genres, from the Bible to poetry to children’s literature, and from the Renaissance to modern times. It is one of the most important collections of its kind in Europe, and an essential resource for book historians.
A great many of the books in this collection are rare, archival documents and works of art. The collection also contains a large number of works by famous authors from the past.
At the heart of this collection is a very impressive bibliographical etching from 1510 by Jan van Bemmel, ‘An Olde German Ruckus’. The etching is very important in the study of medieval German history, and it shows that even the earliest books were written in an alphabetical order.
‘The Olde English Ruckus’, a 17th-century work by Thomas Hardy, is another major part of this collection. It is a very well-known and important piece of ‘English’ literature, but it is also very obscure in its time.
Other interesting books in the ‘Olde English Ruckus’ series are the ‘Ancient Greek and Roman Poetry’ by Johannes A. Plautus, the ‘Hungarian and Turkish Classics’ by John of Damascus, and the ‘French and English Proverbs’ by Charles Dickens.
These books show that the early modern period is not the only time to be interested in the ancient world of the past, and that there is much to learn from these sources.
Moreover, the ‘Olde English Ruckus’ is an excellent place to learn more about the medieval period in general and about a period that is so often overlooked. The ‘Olde English Ruckus’ has been translated into German by the author of this book, and it is now available in paperback for the first time.