Private historical collections of books provide information about the owner’s scope of knowledge and spheres of interest, as well as their networks of relationships and associations. The source material for reconstructing libraries is wide-ranging; in addition to lists of books (inventories of bequests, auction catalogues, etc.), there are provenance characteristics that make it possible to identify the ownership and history of a book.

For the purposes of this project, a piece of open-source (Creative Commons) software called LibReTo (Library Reconstruction Tool) was developed at HAB which uses data collections to generate static web pages complete with lists and diagrams. The aim is to equip researchers with a user-friendly tool for reconstructing historical collections. The tool is used for Marbach-Weimar-Wolfenbüttel Research Association (MWW) projects such as Intellectual Networks and Knowledge of the World. The results are published in the Reconstructing Historical Libraries portal.


Funding: Budget
Duration: Ongoing
Project participants: Prof. Ulrike Gleixner (project group), Dr Hartmut Beyer (project group)