Joachim Kirchner

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Joachim Hans Kirchner (born August 22, 1890 in Berlin , † November 22, 1978 in Gauting ) was a German librarian and journal historian.


Family and education

The Evangelical baptized Joachim Kirchner, son of the privy councilor , classical philologist and epigraphist Johannes Kirchner as well as his wife Helene-born student, passed his Abitur in 1908 at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Gymnasium in Berlin. Kirchner then studied German and Greek philology , philosophy , Protestant religion and art history at the universities of Berlin , Heidelberg , Munich and Greifswald . In 1913 he was promoted to Dr. phil. PhD.

Joachim Kirchner married Erna, nee Wiedenfeld, in 1922. The son Hans-Martin came from this marriage. He died in Gauting in the late autumn of 1978 at the age of 88.

Professional background

After Joachim Kirchner had done military service with interruptions during the First World War , in 1920 he took over a position as library councilor at the Prussian State Library in Berlin. In 1928 he changed to the position of director of the Rothschild library in Frankfurt am Main . This library owed its existence (and two buildings acquired by the Rothschild family in 1905) to a foundation of the Rothschild family that was taken over by the city in the same year . At the same time , Kirchner completed his habilitation in 1929 at the University of Frankfurt am Main as a private lecturer in the subjects of library science and journal studies.

Kirchner, who joined the NSDAP in February 1933 and was also a member of the SA , was appointed in April 1933 by Friedrich Krebs , the provisional successor to the mayor of Frankfurt Ludwig Landmann , who had been expelled from office , as the person responsible for cleaning up the city's pupils, teachers and teachers Public libraries of undesirable literature declared as harmful. At the Librarian's Day in Darmstadt, Kirchner appeared in SA uniform and justified the book burning as “necessary destruction work”.

In addition, Kirchner operated the aryanization of the institution entrusted to him, which was renamed in December 1933 to "Library for modern languages ​​and music (Freiherrlich Carl von Rothschild library)". The addition to brackets was dropped two years later, references to the Rothschild family in the building and in the self-portrayal of the library were completely erased. In a municipal library guide from 1936, for example, only the “two large, spacious patrician houses” and, in general, a “family foundation” were mentioned.

In 1938 Kirchner was promoted to associate professor and the following year to extraordinary professor. In 1940 he moved to Munich , where he was appointed head of the university library.

After the end of the war Joachim Kirchner was dismissed from his offices due to political stress and was not reinstated. He lived as a pensioner in Munich .

Joachim Kirchner is considered a pioneer in the history of the German magazine industry. His work forms the basis for the scientific study of the journal in the German-speaking area.


as an author
  • Herr Konrad der Schenk von Landeck, an epigone of minstrels. Inaugural dissertation , printed by J. Abel, Greifswald 1912.
  • Descriptive index of the miniatures and the initial decorations in the Phillipps manuscripts. JJ Weber, Leipzig 1926.
  • with Ernst Crous : The Gothic Fonts. Klinkhardt & Biermann, Leipzig 1928.
  • The basics of German magazines with a complete bibliography of German magazines up to the year 1790. 2 volumes, KW Hiersemann, Leipzig 1928–1931.
  • New ways of purchasing books and improving interlibrary loan . In: Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen , vol. 48, 1931, pp. 421–429.
  • German handwriting practice: a textbook for students of German philology. CH Beck, Munich 1950; Reprint (declared as the 2nd edition) ibid 1967.
  • Library science, book and library science. 2nd, unchanged edition, Winter, Heidelberg 1953.
  • The German magazine system: its history and its problems. Volume 1: From the Beginnings to the Age of Romanticism, 2nd revised and expanded edition, O. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1958.
  • with Hans-Martin Kirchner: The German magazine system, its history and its problems. Volume 2, From the Congress of Vienna to the end of the 19th century. 2nd revised and expanded edition, O. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1962.
  • Scriptura Gothica Libraria a Saeculo XII Usque Ad Finem Medii Aevi. Oldenbourg, Munich 1966, ISBN 3-486-41651-0 .
  • Scriptura Latina Libraria a Saeculo Primo Usque Ad Finem Medii Aevi. 2nd edition, Oldenbourg, Munich 1970, ISBN 3-486-43032-7 .
as editor
  • Silhouettes from the Varnhagen von Ense estate . Based on the originals in the Prussian State Library. People's Association of Book Friends, Wegweiser-Verlag, Berlin 1925
  • with Karl Löffler : Lexicon of the entire book industry. 3 volumes, KW Hiersemann, Leipzig 1935–1937.
  • Bibliography of the journals of the German-speaking area up to 1900. Volume 1 ff., A. Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1969 ff.


  • From the antiquarian bookshop: magazine for antiquarians and book collectors, Verlag der Buchhandler-Vereinigung GmbH, Frankfurt am Main, 1978, p. 485.
  • Ladislaus Buzás: History of the University Library Munich, Harrassowitz in Komm., Riechert, Wiesbaden, 1972, ISBN 3-920153-15-4 , pp. 183 and 317.
  • August Ludwig Degener, Walter Habel: Who is who? The German Who's Who, Volume 16. Arani, Berlin 1970, ISBN 3-7605-2007-3 , pp. 625 and 626.
  • Sven Kuttner: The librarian, the university and the past: Joachim Kirchner and the Munich University Library. In: Sven Kuttner, Bernd Reifenberg (ed.): The library memory. Aspects of the culture of remembrance of brown times in the German library system. Marburg 2004 (= writings of the Marburg University Library. Volume 119), pp. 84–96.
  • Tobias Eberwein, Daniel Müller (ed.): Journalism and the public. A profession and its social mission. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften / GWV Fachverlage, Wiesbaden 2010, ISBN 3-531-15759-0 , p. 496.
  • Hans Gerd Happel: The scientific library system under National Socialism with special consideration of the university libraries. Dissertation, University of Cologne. Saur, Munich 1989.
  • Christina Holtz-Bacha, Arnulf Kutsch (Ed.): Key Works for Communication Studies, Westdeutscher Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2013, p. 224.
  • Ernst Klee : The cultural lexicon for the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-10-039326-5 , p. 278.
  • Werner Schuder (Ed.): Kürschner's Deutscher Gelehrten-Kalender , Volume 1, 10th Edition, W. de Gruyter, Berlin, 1966, p. 1166.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Quoted from Sven Kuttner: Braune Erblast. Experiences with stolen Jewish book possession in the library of the Historicum at the University Library in Munich. In: AKMB-news. Vol. 11 (2005), No. 2, p. 13 ( digitized version )
  2. Quoted after 125 years of the Rothschild library , text on the website of the Frankfurt University Library JC Senckenberg ( web resource )
  3. ^ Ernst Klee: The culture lexicon for the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2007, p. 278.