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In the 250 years that have passed since Charles Theodore, the Elector of Bavaria, founded a public reading room in Düsseldorf, the 700 volumes initially available have now grown to 2.5 million – not including the Digital Collections. Instead of handwritten inventories, the collections are now listed in an electronic search portal and the services go far beyond the mere provision of handwritten and printed books. Our anniversary exhibition traces the library’s evolution, from its beginnings through to the present day.
Who were the women who wrote and illustrated the four extraordinary and beautiful choir books in Paradiese nunnery near Soest in the 14th/15th centuries, which are now kept in the ULB? How come they were still able to speak Latin so well, despite it generally being considered to be in decline by this time? And did they really cultivate an independent liturgical culture for which they composed sequences themselves?
The exhibition curated by history and art history students under the auspices of the Chair of Medieval History at HHU and the ULB is exploring these questions along with countless others. It enables a wider public unique access to the precious manuscripts at any time and in any place.