From the Ashes

Identifying, Documenting, and Rebuilding the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek’s Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft Collections

In: Daphnis
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  • 1 Vereinigte Staaten
  • 2 Vereinigte Staaten

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In 2004, fire struck the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek (HAAB) in Weimar. The fire particularly affected its seventeenth-century collections, among them rich holdings of works associated with the Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft, the foremost seventeenth-century German cultural society. This article investigates the impact of the blaze, looking back over the decade that has elapsed since the event. Among the questions investigated are: what are the numbers of lost, damaged, and surviving volumes? What are the effects on the scholarly research community? How successful has the HAAB been in replacing lost Society editions? What roles have the HAAB’s duplicates and restoration efforts played in the editions’ continued accessibility? How has, in sum, the significance of the library’s Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft holdings been altered due to the damage inflicted by an early twenty-first century disaster?