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Historical libraries

The ULB’s holdings include a number of historical libraries previously held by private or institutional owners. The libraries of the humanists Gisbert Longolius and Johannes Cincinnius are the oldest.

A brief overview of the background, content, indexing and availability of each historical library is provided below.

Background

The Longolius library is the private library of Lower Rhine humanist Gisbert Longolius (born Gijsbert van Langerack, *1507 in Utrecht, † 30.05.1543 in Cologne). Longolius was the personal physician to the Archbishop of Cologne, Hermann von Wied, and the first professor of Greek at the University of Cologne. The portion of his library that has been preserved includes 123 titles. Its main focus is on humanist and philological works on the one hand and medical works on the other hand (including 12 works by Galen of Pergamon). A number of natural history titles refer to the friendship between Longolius and William Turner (1520–1568), who is known as “the father of English botany”. The present value of this humanist library, whose former owner (a close personal friend of the German theologian Philip Melanchthon) was one of the most important educational theorists of the 16th century, is of course enhanced by the numerous handwritten notations made by Gisbert Longolius himself.

Content

123 Titel

Indexing and usage

The titles in this collection are listed in a monograph entitled ‘Der Kölner Professor Gisbert Longolius – Leibarzt Erzbischof Hermanns von Wiede – und die Reste seiner Bibliothek in der Universitätsbibliothek Düsseldorf’ and have partly been indexed in detail. All titles are included in the ULB catalogue, but do not have a uniform call number. The titles only available in our library can be accessed in the Digital Collections.
The originals can be viewed in the Special Reading Room.

Background

The Cincinnius Library belonged to the Westphalian-Lower Rhine humanist Johannes Cincinnius (born Johannes Kruyshaer, *1480 in Lippstadt, † 09.03.1555 in Werden). Cincinnius was the librarian and archivist of the Rhineland Benedictine Abbey and served under three abbots as a secular cleric while never becoming a member of the monastery himself. He bequeathed his private library to St. Ludger’s Abbey in his will, with the sections preserved in Düsseldorf including more than 200 volumes (not including the Longolius Library). The large number of scientific and medical titles reflects the former owner’s personal interests. The Cincinnius Library as a whole is one of the most valuable material relics of Werden’s intellectual history.

Content

More than 200 titles

Indexing and usage

All titles are included in the ULB catalogue, but do not have a uniform call number. The titles only available in our library can be accessed in the Digital Collections.
The originals can be viewed in the Special Reading Room.

Background

The former library of Düsseldorf-Bilk Observatory primarily comprises the private library of its founder, Düsseldorf mathematician and astronomer Johann Friedrich Benzenberg (1777–1846). The collection has been in the holdings of the former State and City Library of Düsseldorf as a deposit since 1907 and as property since 1923. As a universal library of scholars, the Benzenberg collection not only contains general reference works, but also works of fiction, theology, philosophy, state and legal history as well as an extensive collection of pamphlets on constitutional and economic issues. The focus is on scientific literature and particularly on astronomy, physics and geodesy.

Content

Almost 1,500 titles, of which around 20 percent were published before 1800

Indexing and usage

The entire collection can be searched and requested in the ULB catalogue. Works by and about Johann Friedrich Benzenberg are available in the Digital Collections.

Call number: BENZ...

Titles published up to 1850 can be consulted in the Special Reading Room; titles published from 1851 are available on the second floor of the Central Library.

Background

The catholic parish of St. Martin in Düsseldorf-Bilk left the Binterim Library to ULB as a deposit. The theologian and church historian Anton Joseph Binterim (*1779 in Düsseldorf, † 1855 in Bilk), who was a pastor there from 1805 until his death, compiled a valuable private library. It includes valuable manuscripts as well as prints from the 15th to 19th centuries. Countless ephemera (miscellaneous items and older dissertations), which are often very rare, have been bound together in around 220 convolutes.

The Binterim Library specialises in theological and historical works. Given that Binterim was a prominent church politician (Hermesianism dispute and Cologne interdenominational marriage dispute) and politician (he was elected to the Prussian Parliament in 1848), it also contains a remarkable number of pamphlets that are of significant value as resources (often, only a few copies have survived).

Within the subject of church history, the collection has two focuses: the first is numerous writings about the history of the Franciscan Order (in 1796, Binterim entered the Franciscan Order, to which he had always felt connected. In 1803, he essentially became a secular cleric against his will due to the state abolition of monasteries). The second focus of the collection is the history of the archbishopric of Cologne.

Content

Approx. 4,100 works in around 3,200 volumes

Indexing and usage

There is a handwritten catalogue from 1870, supplemented with a later typewritten index volume that was created for indexing the miscellaneous items. Some of the prints can be searched for and requested in the ULB catalogue. A brief inventory of the manuscripts is available, with the following article (in German) containing further information about a number of them:

Heinz Finger: Die Binterimbibliothek und ihr Begründer. In: Bücherschätze der rheinischen Kulturgeschichte. Aus der Arbeit mit den historischen Sondersammlungen der Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Düsseldorf 1979 bis 1999. Edited by Heinz Finger. Düsseldorf: Droste, 1999. (Studia humanora). p. 287–368; on the manuscripts, especially p. 326–337.

Call number: BINT...

The originals can be viewed in the Special Reading Room.

Inhalt

Die Bibliothek des Deutschkundlichen Instituts, die von der Stadt Düsseldorf „für die Lehrkräfte der höheren Lehranstalten der Stadt“ eingerichtet war, wurde 1936 durch die Schulverwaltung zunächst als Depositum und nach Auflösung des Instituts 1939 als Geschenk an die Landes- und Stadtbibliothek gegeben. Es handelte sich in erster Linie um pädagogische Werke und bildet insofern ein Pendant zu der „Volksschullehrerbibliothek“ (siehe unten)

Umfang

1389 Bände

Erschließung und Benutzung

Die Titel sind im Suchportal recherchier- und bestellbar.

Signatur: DKI…

Titel bis zum Erscheinungsjahr 1850 sind im Sonderlesesaal benutzbar, Titel ab dem Erscheinungsjahr 1851 im Lesegeschoss O2.

Background

The library, which contains medical literature from all disciplines, originates from donations from the Düsseldorf medical community and among others from the ophthalmologist Dr Albert Clemens Mooren (1828–1899). Transferred in 1938, the library originally included around 5,600 volumes, most of which were unfortunately destroyed or damaged during the Second World War. Of the remaining library contents, around 160 titles are from the period prior to 1900.

Content

Originally around 5,600 volumes, most of which were unfortunately destroyed or damaged during the Second World War.

Indexing and usage

Resources can be searched and requested in the ULB catalogue.

Call number: AEVER...

Titles published up to 1850 can be consulted in the Special Reading Room; titles published from 1851 are available in the reading room on the second floor of the Central Library.

Background

The society’s extensive library on state and regional history, which now forms part of the ULB’s collection, was established in 1880 and has been expanded over the past 120 years through donations and above all through exchanges with numerous domestic and international scientific institutions, associations and societies.

Content

Approx. 2,100 monographs and approx. 300 journals

Indexing and usage

Resources can be searched and requested in the ULB catalogue.

Call number: DGV...

Titles published up to 1850 can be consulted in the Special Reading Room; titles published from 1851 are available in the reading room on the second floor of the Central Library.

Background

In 1923, Düsseldorf Gymnastics and Sports Club (Düsseldorfer Turn- und Sportverein) handed its club library over to Düsseldorf State and City Library as a deposit. It was continuously supplemented with new acquisitions. In 1970, the collection was taken over by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and added to the university library, where it has since been kept as a deposit. In 1990 it was supplemented with additional books.

The collection includes commemorative publications of this and other sports clubs, particularly from Düsseldorf and the surrounding areas, as well as reference works about gymnastics and athletics from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Content

Following war losses, this library now comprises 449 volumes.

Indexing and usage

Resources can be searched and requested in the ULB catalogue.

Call number: DTV…

Titles published up to 1850 can be consulted in the Special Reading Room; titles published from 1851 are available in the reading room on the second floor of the Central Library.

Background

The library of Düsseldorf’s Evangelical community was established on 10 June 1643 through a resolution of the Bergish provincial synod. The collection, which was expanded in the 17th and 18th centuries with donations and endowments, and in the 19th century also with acquisitions, was systematically catalogued in around 1860. It was housed in one of the buildings near Neander Church.

The holdings were transferred to Düsseldorf State and City Library as a deposit with an agreement reached between the Evangelical community and the city of Düsseldorf dated 27 January 1933. It primarily contains the works of church fathers and reformers as well as Evangelical theology of the 17th and 18th centuries, the latter with a focus on Reformed Protestantism (books by Luther, Melanchthon, Calvin, Bucer; Confessio Augustana).

 

The collection is organised by century and language:
Century Language
 
  • 16th century: 156 titles
  • 17th century: 250 titles
  • 18th century: 723 titles
  • 19th century: 590 titles
 
 
  • German: 1,053 titles
  • Latin: 597 titles
  • English: 24 titles
  • French: 19 titles
  • Dutch: 16 titles
  • Greek: 6 titles
  • Other languages: 4 titles
 

Content

1,719 titles in around 2,600 volumes

Indexing and usage

Resources can be searched and requested in the ULB catalogue.

Call number: EVG...

Titles published up to 1850 can be consulted in the Special Reading Room; titles published from 1851 are available in the reading room on the second floor of the Central Library.

 

Background

The Göring Archive forms part of the private collection of the genealogist and book collector Peter Göring (1852–1927) and includes genealogical as well as historical and geographical works, many of which are of regional relevance. Göring’s children gifted the archive to Düsseldorf’s State and City Library in June 1928.

Content

Following war losses, it now contains 111 volumes.

Indexing and usage

Resources can be searched and requested in the ULB catalogue.

Call number: ARCHIVGOER…

Titles published up to 1850 can be consulted in the Special Reading Room; titles published from 1851 are available in the reading room on the second floor of the Central Library.

Background

The collection of medical literature gifted to ULB in 1892 by the Günther family from Düsseldorf most likely came from the Düsseldorf physician for the poor, Christian Ludwig Günther (1795-1858), who was the son of Duisburg physician Daniel Erhard Günther. The collection contains 907 works from the 17th to 19th centuries. In addition, there are also 24 anthologies containing 621 medical dissertations in Latin from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Content

1528 titles

Indexing and usage

Resources can be searched and requested in the ULB catalogue.

Call number: G...

Titles published up to 1850 can be consulted in the Special Reading Room; titles published from 1851 are available in the reading room on the second floor of the Central Library.

Background

The library of retired cavalry captain, private scholar and order historian Jacob Hermens (1831–1880) came to ULB in 1873/74 and has been shelved together. The 275 works about the history of the religious orders, knightly orders, fraternities, and medals form the collection’s focus and also make up its particular value. The remainder of the collection reflects the book collection of an educated collector from the first half of the 19th century and contains works about history as well as German and European literature.

Content

Following war losses, the collection now contains 462 works with around 1,050 volumes.

Indexing and usage

Resources can be searched and requested in the ULB catalogue.

Call number: H...

The originals can be viewed in the Special Reading Room.

Background

In 1933, the Hetjens Museum (German Ceramic Museum) transferred the portion of its library not related to art history to the ULB. The library is named after the museum’s founder, Düsseldorf-born Laurenz Heinrich Hetjens (1830–1906). Publications about history and geography dominate, making up around 45 percent of the collection, while publications about science and technology make up about 22 percent of the collection. A series of early works on photographic technology are particularly worthy of note.

Background

Approx. 360 titles

Indexing and usage

Resources can be searched and requested in the ULB catalogue.

Call number: HETJ...

Titles published up to 1850 can be consulted in the Special Reading Room; titles published from 1851 are available in the reading room on the second floor of the Central Library.

Background

In 1908, parts of the library of Düsseldorf’s history museum (Historisches Museum Düsseldorf) were relinquished and, with the exception of a number of reassignments, the collection has been kept together. In line with its origins, the collection primarily comprises literature on Düsseldorf’s local history as well as the history of the Lower Rhine-Bergish region, and includes numerous occasional publications and other rare ephemera.

Content

928 monographs and journals in around 1,400 volumes and brochures

Indexing and usage

Resources can be searched and requested in the ULB catalogue. Works that are free from copyright published up until 1900 are available in the Digital Collections.

Call number: HM...

Titles published up to 1850 can be consulted in the Special Reading Room; titles published from 1851 are available in the reading room on the second floor of the Central Library.

Background

The library of the Düsseldorf chapter of the German Colonial Society (Kolonialgesellschaft) was established in 1911 and immediately set up as a deposit within Düsseldorf State and City Library. The society acquired older (from 1857) and contemporary colonial scientific literature. The library was not expanded any further after 1919.

Content

73 titles

Indexing and usage

Resources can be searched and requested in the ULB catalogue.

Call number: KOLB…

Background

Düsseldorf Art Academy (Kunstakademie) was already closely associated with the Royal State Library in its early years. Indeed, between 1822 and 1879, the two institutions even shared a building (the former picture gallery next to Düsseldorf Palace). This led to exchanges between the book collections. In 1932, the academy’s older art history book collections were transferred to Düsseldorf State and City Library as a deposit.

Content

572 Volumes

Indexing and usage

Resources can be searched in the ULB catalogue and requested for use in the Special Reading Room.

Call number: KA…

Background

The Düsseldorf society established in 1884 donated its library to Düsseldorf State and City Library in 1906 when the library moved to Friedrichsplatz (today Grabbeplatz) and later supplemented it with additional natural science works and particularly journals. On 23 April 1944, the collection was severely damaged and buried during an air raid.

Content

Previously 1,302 volumes, but decimated by war losses.

Indexing and usage

Resources can be searched and requested in the ULB catalogue.

Call number: NV…

Titles published up to 1850 can be consulted in the Special Reading Room; titles published from 1851 are available on the second floor of the Central Library.

Background

The Medical Academy, which was the precursor to HHU, purchased the pharmaceutical history library of the Düsseldorf pharmacist Dr Helmut Vester in 1961. The monograph collection contains titles from all areas of pharmaceutical history, including antidotaries, dispensatories, pharmacopoeias, and herbaria as well as chemical and alchemical writings. A comprehensive collection of pharmacopoeias from almost all German regions and numerous European countries as well as a large collection of herb and plant books from the 16th to 19th centuries (more than 200 titles) are particularly worthy of note. Around 180 titles are from the 16th century, around 400 from the 17th century, around 850 from the 18th century and around 1,200 from the 19th century.

Content

Approx. 15,000 volumes, of which approx. 7,000 volumes of journals kept up until 1960 along with approx. 8,450 monograph volumes from the 16th to 20th centuries.

Indexing and usage

The German Research Foundation (DFG) funded the digitalisation of the Vester Library. Resources can be searched and requested in the ULB catalogue.
Call number: DV....
Titles published up to 1850 can be consulted in the Special Reading Room; titles published from 1851 are available in the reading room on the second floor of the Central Library.

Background

In 1912, the library for primary school teachers (Volksschullehrerbibliothek) managed by the school administration was moved to Düsseldorf State and City Library to improve accessibility. Compensation was paid for expenses. Initially, the library focused on educational works for the training and further education of teachers in particular. As such, it forms a counterpart to the library of the Deutschkundliches Institut – see above. The education authorities continued to add to the inventory and actively used it at its new location. National Socialist educational writings were also acquired from 1933. Relocation of the collection in 1944 for storage purposes meant that the collection survived the Second World War unscathed.

Content

4450 Volumes

Indexing and usage

Resources can be searched and requested in the ULB catalogue.

Call number: VLB…

Titles published up to 1850 can be consulted in the Special Reading Room; titles published from 1851 are available in the reading room on the second floor of the Central Library.

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