Konrad Haebler

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Konrad Haebler (born October 29, 1857 in Dresden ; † December 13, 1946 in Wehlen ) was a German librarian , binding researcher , book scholar and specialist in incunabula and early typography .


He studied linguistics at the University of Leipzig and received his doctorate there in 1882. From 1879 he was a research assistant at the royal public library in Dresden. There he made a name for himself as an excellent expert on Spanish history and literature. He himself wrote in 1943 about the origin of his affinity for Spain , that in the last years of his high school days he had met a young lady named Carmen Dolores, who had inspired his imagination to the greatest extent possible. He made several trips to the Iberian Peninsula, including in 1889 in the wake of the future King Friedrich August III. which he used for extensive source studies. In the course of his preoccupation with the economic history of Spain in the 16th century, he began to be more interested in the history of printing .

From 1898 he was responsible for cataloging the incunabula in Dresden, comparing the printing types used to determine the exact number of prints . From 1904 to 1920 he was chairman of the commission for the complete catalog of incandescent prints . From 1905 he published the type repertory of the Wiegendrucke , which is still important today.

“Haebler recorded and described all types of printing known at the time. Haebler's methodological innovation was a classification of types according to the form of the majuscule M, for which he was able to put together an overview table with 101 different forms during his work for the type repertory [...]. The second classification feature was the determination of the cone height of the types, which goes back to the English bibliographers Henry Bradshaw and Robert Proctor , measured on 20 lines each. The specification of the M-shape and the height of the cone is still the most widespread and proven classification scheme for types of printing from the incunable period. By determining the type according to the Proctor-Haebler method, it is possible to determine the place of printing, its printer or the approximate date of publication for incunabula without an imprint by comparing the types with those in localized or signed and dated prints. "

From 1907 he worked at the Royal Library in Berlin , where he became head of the manuscript department in 1914. After his retirement in 1921 he devoted himself to further the carrying scientific research, among other things, book covers the Renaissance . He is considered one of the founders of binding research .

The collaboration with Ilse Schunke began around 1923 . Together they researched and published on roll and plate stamps of the XVI. Century , a basic work of binding research. From 1925 his permanent residence was again Dresden. He advised the Dresden banker Victor von Klemperer (1876–1943) on the expansion of his incunabulum collection and the creation of three collection catalogs.

Publications (selection)

  • The economic prosperity of Spain in the 16th century and its decline (1888)
  • The Mayan literature and the Mayan apparatus in Dresden . In: Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen , Vol. 12 (1895), pp. 537-575 ( online ).
  • The early printers of Spain and Portugal (1897)
  • The pilgrimage book of Hermannus Künig von Vach and the pilgrimages of the Germans to Santiago de Compostela. Strasbourg 1899
  • Type repertory of the Wiegendrucke , 1905–1924 in five volumes
  • History of Spain under the Habsburgs (1907)
  • German bibliophiles of the 16th century. The princes of Anhalt, their books and their book covers . Leipzig 1923 ( Internet Archive ).
  • 15th Century German Book Printers Abroad (1924)
  • Handbook of incunabula (1925)
  • Roller and plate stamp of the XVI. Century . With the participation of Ilse Schunke. Vol. 1.2. Leipzig 1928–29 (collection of library studies; 41).


  • Dresden Librarians , ed. by Martina Schattkowsky , Konstantin Hermann and Roman Rabe, Leipzig, Leipziger Univ.-Verl., 2014 (Saxon Biography), ISBN 978-3-86583-908-4 , p. 107.
  • Katrin Nitzschke: Science and Library. Scholarly Librarians in the History of the SLUB. In: Scientific journal of the Technical University of Dresden . 55, 1/2, 2006, pp. 61-62.
  • Hans LülfingHaebler, Konrad. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 7, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1966, ISBN 3-428-00188-5 , p. 422 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Wieland Schmidt, Erich von Rath: The writings of Konrad Haebler . Commission for the complete catalog of the Wiegendrucke, Berlin 1937.
  • Ilse Schunke (Hrsg.): Contributions to roll and plate binding in the 16th century. Dedicated to Konrad Haebler on the occasion of his 80th birthday on October 29, 1937 , Leipzig 1937.
  • Thomas Haffner: Konrad Haebler and the development from the local to the international incunable catalog . In: Achim Bonte / Juliane Rehnolt (eds.): Cooperative information infrastructures as an opportunity and a challenge. Festschrift for Thomas Bürger on his 65th birthday, Berlin: de Gruyter 2019, ISBN 978-3-11-058493-6 , pp. 338–354 ( online ).

Web links

Wikisource: Konrad Haebler  - sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Cf. Manfred Mühlner: Enthusiastic love for the first products of book art - Victor von Klemperer's collection of incunables , in: Dresdner Hefte, 15th year, Heft 49, 1/97, pp. 55–60, p. 56.
  2. Manfred Mühlner: Enthusiastic love , pp. 57–59.