Humanist library in Schlettstadt

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Humanist library

The humanist library (French Bibliothèque humaniste ) in Schlettstadt is one of the most important cultural treasures of Alsace . A saying goes: Alsace has three great treasures: the Strasbourg Cathedral , the Isenheim Altarpiece in Colmar and the humanist library in Schlettstadt.

There are actually two humanist libraries: the library of the humanist school and the private library of the famous scholar Beatus Rhenanus .

Library of the humanist school

Main library reading room
Library of Beatus Rhenanus with a bust of Johannes Mentelin
The oldest book in the library: a Merovingian manuscript from the 7th century

In 1441, the city council of Schlettstadt appointed Ludwig Dringenberg, a native of Westphalia, to head the local Latin school . The appointment turned out to be a stroke of luck. Dringenberg showed himself to be a talented and committed educator who was open to the intellectual currents of the time. Under his leadership, the first school on the Upper Rhine was built in Schlettstadt , where humanistic thinking was cultivated. His successors Craft Hofman (1477–1501), Hieronymus Gebwiler (1501–1509) and Hans Sapidus (1510–1525) knew how to increase the school's reputation even further. The school thus formed the training center for a whole generation of Alsatian humanists. The school also had a library, which grew steadily in size thanks to foundations and donations (including by Jakob Wimpheling , who came from Schlettstadt ).

Library of Beatus Rhenanus

Beatus Rhenanus bequeathed his entire private library to his hometown, Schlettstadt. When he died in 1547, the library contained around 670 leather-bound volumes that Rhenanus had collected at his places of study and work in Strasbourg , Basel , Paris and Schlettstadt. Even then, the library was invaluable, as books and manuscripts were only produced in limited numbers and were extremely expensive. The library of Beatus Rhenanus is the only major humanist library that has been preserved practically in its entirety. Other large libraries such as those of Erasmus of Rotterdam or Johannes Reuchlin were dispersed after the death of their owners.

The library of Beatus Rhenanus was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011 .

In 2015, the American researcher James Hirstein found a copy of Martin Luther's Von der Freiheit eines Christenmenschen from 1520 in the library of Beatus Rhenanus, with Luther's own handwritten notes and changes for the second edition, which was published in Basel in 1521 .

Schlettstadt humanists

The Alsatian humanists closely associated with the expansion of the library included:

The library today

Since 1889, both libraries have been housed under one roof in a former market hall near the Gothic church of St. George (Saint-Georges). The library is a public museum; the books are available to researchers. The collection includes 550 incunabula , 460 medieval and modern manuscripts , 2200 printed works from the 16th, 1600 printed works from the 17th and 2600 printed works from the 18th century. In addition, sacred works of art from the Upper Rhine from the 15th and 16th centuries are exhibited in the rooms.

In 2012/13 the library was part of the bilingual three-country exhibition on "Upper Rhine Humanism", here under the title Between Basel and Schlettstadt. Humanism in the 16th century.

Web links

Commons : Humanist library in Schlettstadt  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Beatus Rhenanus Library. In: Memory of the World - Register. UNESCO , 2011, accessed July 5, 2013 .
  2. ^ Work by Martin Luther discovered in a library in Alsace , Kleine Zeitung of May 21, 2015, accessed on May 21, 2015
  3. Numbers and dates on the library website ( Memento of the original from July 20, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. this part until the end of April 2013. Accompanying program. Website ( Memento of the original from July 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

Coordinates: 48 ° 15 '37.4 "  N , 7 ° 27' 18.1"  E