The Baltic Battle of Books

Formation and Relocation of European Libraries in the Confessional Age (c. 1500–c. 1650) and Their Afterlife


This book is about the creation, relocation, and reconstruction of libraries between the late Middle Ages and the Age of Confessionalization, that is, the era of religious division and struggle in Northern Europe following the Reformation and Counter-Reformation in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. At the time, different creeds clashed with each other, but it was also a period in which the political and intellectual geography of Europe was redrawn. Centuries-old political, economic, and cultural networks fell apart and were replaced with new ones. Books and libraries were at the centre of these cultural, political, and religious transformations, frequently seized as war booties and appropriated by their new owners in distant locations.
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Jonas Nordin, PhD, is Professor of Book and Library History at Lund University. His research is mainly focused on book culture and intellectual history in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Gustavs Strenga, PhD, is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Greifswald and a Senior Researcher at the National Library of Latvia. The history of medieval Livonia, memory studies, remembrance of medieval heroes, ethnicity in the Middle Ages, gift giving as a historical phenomenon, and book history are his main academic interests.

Peter Sjökvist, PhD, is Associate Professor of Latin at Uppsala University and Rare Books Librarian at Uppsala University Library. His research interests are early modern occasional poetry, dissertation culture, and literary spoils of war.
Series Editors
Andrew Pettegree, University of St Andrews
Arthur der Weduwen, University of St Andrews

Editorial Board

Ann Blair, Harvard University
Falk Eisermann, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Shanti Graheli, University of Glasgow
Earle Havens, Johns Hopkins University
Ian Maclean, All Souls College, Oxford
Alicia Montoya, Radboud University
Angela Nuovo, University of Milan
Helen Smith, University of York
Mark Towsey, University of Liverpool
Malcolm Walsby, University of Lyon - École nationale supérieure des sciences de l'information et des bibliothèques (enssib)
“One of the most influential early modern book history series currently available.”
Alexander S. Wilkinson, University College Dublin. In: SHARP News, Vol. 23, No. 4 (Autumn 2014), p. 10.

“One of the most outstanding series in the field of European book history.”
Mart van Duijn, Leiden University Libraries. In: Quaerendo, Vol. 44, No. 3 (2014).
Jonas Nordin, Peter Sjökvist and Gustavs Strenga

List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

A Battle of Books through Five Centuries
Jonas Nordin, Peter Sjökvist and Gustavs Strenga

Part 1: Creating Libraries

1 Fifteenth-Century Manuscripts
 The Liturgical and Musical Testimonies from the Cistercian Nunnery in Riga
Laine Tabora

2 Gradual Formation and Dramatic Transformation
 Mendicant and Cistercian Book Collections in Late Medieval and Post-reformation Riga
Andris Levāns and Gustavs Strenga

3 The Printing of Missals and Breviaries as Ecclesiastical Authority in the Late-Medieval Baltic Region
 A Battle between Printers or between Bishops?
Mattias Lundberg

4 A Game of Cities
 Driving Forces in Early Modern Scandinavian Book History
Wolfgang Undorf

5 English and Scottish Jesuits and Print Culture of the Sixteenth-Century Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Hanna Mazheika

6 Pre-suppression Jesuit Libraries
 Patterns of Collection and Use in Northern, Central, and Eastern Europe
Kathleen M. Comerford

Part 2: Relocating Libraries

7 Building a Nation through Books
 From Military to Cultural Armament in Seventeenth-Century Sweden
Jonas Nordin

8 War Booty of Books from Olomouc
 Catholic Libraries in Lutheran Sweden
Lenka Veselá

9 Useful Literary Spoils of War from Riga at Uppsala University Library
Peter Sjökvist

10 Battles of Books in Denmark from the Reformation to the Great Northern War
Anders Toftgaard

11 ‘An Ornament for the Church and the Gymnasium’
 The War Booty in Strängnäs Cathedral and Its Relation to the School
Elin Andersson

Part 3: Reconstructing Libraries

12 The Fragment of the Personal Library of Johannes Poliander in the National Library of Poland
Fryderyk Rozen

13 The Fate of the Riga Jesuit College Library (1583–1621)
 Aspects of Research into a Historic and Unique Book Collection in the Digital Age
Laura Kreigere-Liepiņa

14 Dissonance and Consonance in the Early Modern Battle of Books
 A Personal Reading
Janis Kreslins

Readers interested in late medieval book collections, Jesuit libraries, libraries as war booties, and reconstruction of historical collections in the twenty-first century. The book is intended for scholars working in the field of book history, but will also appeal to those interested in church history, the early modern history of Northern Europe, Jesuit studies, the history of early modern Sweden, the Counter-Reformation, and the history of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth.
Keywords: Northern European history, medieval libraries, Jesuit Order, Jesuit libraries, Confessional wars, Gustavus Adolphus, Piers Plowman, early modern Sweden, Baltic States, Poland, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, war booty, looted books.
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