Prof. Dr. Eva Schlotheuber, Kathrin Kessen
Dr. Ute Olliges-Wieczorek
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
As a state library, ULB Düsseldorf is responsible (together with the university libraries in Bonn and Münster) for preserving the written cultural heritage of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The federal state’s Ministry of Culture and Science allocated special funding from 2020 to 2022 to help safeguard the written cultural heritage. ULB Düsseldorf will extensively restore its valuable manuscripts, incunabula and old prints. A total of 6,400 glass plate negatives and 550 photographic slides containing medical history images and views of Düsseldorf Medical Academy from the first half of the 20th century have already been digitalised (holdings 8/12 and 8/3, University Archives). Among others, the glass plate negatives are from the estates of Professor Ernst Derra (1901–1979) and Professor Hans Reinhard Schmidt-Elmendorf (1889–1967). In addition to countless clinical images and anatomical photographs, they document the Düsseldorf municipal clinics, hygiene, maternity advice centre, nutritional issues, paediatric medicine and statistics from the 1930s and 1940s. There are also glass plate negatives from the estates of Karl Ludwig Schmitz and Dr Erich Hippke (who was the chief medical officer for the German Air Force) as well as the collection of Prof. Dr Gerhard Rose, which includes material on the Nuremberg doctors’ trials.
A programme to preserve an extensive collection of historical maps from the 17th to 19th centuries, genealogical tables, picture sheets and portraits will also run in 2021. The maps are being relocated and protected with new covers to prevent against damage. Extensive preservation work is also being carried out on the Günther Collection. The collection of Christian Ludwig Günther (1795–1858), who was a doctor for the poor, comprises 907 medical works from the 17th to 19th centuries, along with 24 anthologies containing 621 medical dissertations.