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EMCE Talk by Martin Haltrich: „It‘s the collection, rather stupid.“ Strategies to handle old libraries in digital age

We cordially invite you to the next talk from the lecture series “Early Music in Central Europe: Local Elements –Transregional Connections – International Research”, Martin Haltrich from Bibliothek Stift Klosterneuburg will speak about how the library manages its heterogeneous collections in the digital age. (The abstract of the talk and speaker bio is given below.)

The talk will take place on Wednesday October 6th at 5 PM CEST.

In order to attend, please register here until October 5th: https://forms.gle/DRDj9AJZt9yNHMKN6
We are very much looking forward to your participation!


„It‘s the collection, rather stupid.“ Strategies to handle old libraries in digital age
Martin Haltrich
Bibliothek Stift Klosterneuburg

With more than 270,000 volumes, the Klosterneuburg Abbey Library is the largest active monastic library in Austria. The core of the collection is the medieval library with its 1256 manuscripts, most of which were produced in the scriptorium of the monastery, as well as 860 incunabula. During the last nine centuries the library has grown in a more or less structured way: ambitious provosts acquired books selectively, highly educated canons ceded their private books to the library and the monastic schools provided comprehensive text material. Especially since the late 18th century, more and more personal collections have been taken over. Thus, the library carries numerous special collections such as historical maps, libretti, icons of saints, model trains, photographs, or cookery books.

The lecture will present working models, strategies and (digital)projects with practical experiences from handling the collections. The challenge lies in the heterogeneity of the materials and objects that have to be stored in 14 different historical rooms. By extension, it is about conservation, cataloguing and restoration, which also includes processing the content of the sources. Through contemporary processing it could be possible to convey both the library itself and the cultural history of the abbey in a reasonable way. In the Abbey Library of Klosterneuburg, a system has been established to ensure a broader competence for the further preservation of this old and unique collection on the basis of digitisation, research and mediation.

Martin Haltrich studied German Studies and History at the University of Vienna. His doctoral thesis dealt with late-medieval writing and practices of administration in the Chartusian monastery of Gaming (Lower Austria). He was member of the research staff at the Commission of palaeography and codicology of medieval manuscripts at the Austrian Academy of Science in Vienna and librarian and archivist at the monasteries of Melk and Zwettl. At present he is head of the library and music archive in Klosterneuburg Abbey.