Bereichsbibliothek Theologie/Theological Library and Jüdische Bibliothek/Jewish Library at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz/Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU Mainz), Germany
Free Access to Physicial and Virtual Sources
These libraries belong are offering free access to physical and virtual sources under the guidance of experts in the framework of ReIReS.
The Johannes Gutenberg-University, Bereichsbibliothek Theologie/Theological Library is one of the largest theological research libraries in Germany (catholic and protestant): it holds currently 227.300 volumes and increases by 2000 volumes every year. The library holds 349 journals (print and e-pub). It is peculiar in character since it was founded only after World War II, when the University of Mainz was refounded by the French authorities. The library was built up systematically by buying libraries of deceased scholars or by accepting gifts (the most curious among these was the personal library of Martin Bormann, which contained also 50 theological works. The Bormann library of ca. 1500 volumes is now being reconstituted in the central university library).
Also old and rare books could be acquired, the Rara count 3.033 volumes today.
Of exceptional importance is the Jewish Library, within the Protestant Faculty, of ca. 5.500 volumes, which contains the remains of the libraries of the liberal and orthodox Jewish communities at Mainz.
It was saved during World War II. The books were hidden in a coal cellar and survived in rather good condition. The collection of almost 5,500 volumes, among them rare Hebraica and manuscripts, is one of the very few libraries saved from the persecutions in Germany. In 1946, the books were brought to the newly founded university of Mainz. Most interesting is the reconstruction of the ownership of some of the books. Some of the books came from the private libraries of Rabbis and preachers of the Mainz community; most famous are Marcus Lehmann (1831-1890) and Siegmund Salfeld (1843-1926).
Further research topics are Dedications, previous owner’s notes, user traces, Christian censorship, book bindings and equipment, bookseller’s notes (bookstore Magenza).
Fields of Research (Non-obligatory Suggestions)
Dedications, previous owner’s notes, user traces, Christian censorship, book bindings and layout, bookseller’s notes (bookstore Magenza).
Lehnardt, Andreas: Die Jüdische Bibliothek an der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz 1938–2008. Eine Dokumentation (Beiträge zur Geschichte der Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz N.F. 8), Stuttgart 2009.
Lehnardt, Andreas: Hebräische Handschriften- und Buchproduktion in Mainz, in: Pelizaeus, Ludolf (ed.), Innere Räume – äußere Zäune: jüdischer Alltag im Rheingebiet im Spätmittelalter und in der frühen Neuzeit, Mainzer Geschichtsblätter. Sonderheft, Mainz 2010, p. 49–74.
Lehnardt, Andreas: Das Memorbuch der Israelitischen Religionsgesellschaft zu Mainz: Aus dem Hebräischen übersetzt, eingeleitet und erschlossen von Andreas Lehnardt, Wiesbaden 2013.
Lehnardt, Andreas/Olszowy-Schlanger, Judith: Books within books: New discoveries in old book bindings (European Genizah Texts and Studies, vol. 2), (Studies in Jewish Hinstory and Culture 42), Leiden, Boston 2013.
Lehnardt, Andreas: The Old Jewish Library in Mainz, in: Proceedings of the 49th Annual Conference of the Association of Jewish Libaries (Las Vegas, NV – June 22–25, 2014): http://databases.jewishlibraries.org/sites/default/files/proceedings/proceedings2014/LehnardtText2014.pdf
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Alexandra Nusser M. A.
Image: Jewish Library Mainz, Photo: Nadja Brom“