Cataloguing of the rare books of the former University Library of Helmstedt remaining in the Juleum Helmstedt

Vignette in zahlreichen Drucken der Helmstedter Sammlung,
verwendet zwischen 1592 bis ca. 1750,
vermutlich von dem Drucker und Formschneider
Jacob Lucius d. Ä.(um 1530-1597) geschnitten.

Joint Project by the Herzog August Library as Competence Centre for Rare Books with the District Council of Helmstedt

The University Library of Helmstedt was founded in 1576 and had a chequered history. In 1613 the Wolfenbüttel collection started by Julius of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1528-1589), the founder of the Academia Julia, arrived in Helmstedt. Over the following centuries, the collection of rare books and manuscripts belonging to the University Library was continuously augmented by professors’ estates and by acquisitions and donations. After the University was closed in 1810, large parts of the collection were returned to the Ducal Library in Wolfenbüttel (Helmstedt Collection in the Herzog August Bibliothek).

The remaining holdings – which are still located in the Juleum building in Helmstedt - include 35.000 volumes, with 13.000 items from the 16th and 18th century. The former Helmstedt University Library comprises a broad spectrum such as theology, history, jurisprudence, works edited by professors of the University as well as a significant number of rare Protestant Reformation imprints and works related to Martin Luther. The holdings located in Helmstedt and the former Helmstedt library as a whole provide an excellent reflection of the intellectual life and the development of one of the most important Protestant universities in Northern Germany.

Up to now, use of the holdings remaining in Helmstedt has been hampered by the fact that they were only catalogued locally and information about them was not available on the web or in regional and national databases. One of the aims of the project is to catalogue the holdings located in Helmstedt online in the union catalogue (GBV) in order to allow a reconstruction of the holdings that once made up the complete collection of the former University Library. Therefore, a separate OPAC has been created.

The project is part of the main research area at the HAB on the history of the University of Helmstedt. Further projects on this topic are:

OPAC of the collections in the Juleum:



Funding: Stiftung Braunschweigischer Kulturbesitz, Landkreis Helmstedt
Duration: November 2011 – December 2016 (still in progress)
Contact: Katja Hannighofer
Phone: +49(0)5331-808-304, Fax -173