August Hermann Francke founded the library of the Francke Foundations as a public institution during the late seventeenth century. Within a few years, especially through donations consisting of closed private libraries, through exchange and through the own publishing house products of the Orphanage’s Bookshop the holdings increased to circa 18,000 volumes. The library could thus, considering its size, be compared to contemporary university collections. At present its original holdings comprise circa 90,000 books in all fields of knowledge, above all however on Church history and the history of education during the early modern period. From 1728 on, the books have been housed in purposely-built premises, which today are considered the earliest surviving, freestanding, secular library in Germany (House 22 in the Linden Courtyard). The library hall, with its original eighteenth-century furniture, is called scenery library. The reason for this is that, for the first time in German-speaking countries, the book cases were arranged in the manner of a theatre set. In this way a library space was created reflecting its practical use as opposed to the then conventional hall libraries. The construction of the library was innovative and marked an important turning point as to the internal organisation of the collections in the institutions established by August Hermann Francke. Francke thus spatially separated the Cabinet of Art and Natural History from the library, which originally had been created side by side under the alcove of the Orphanage and, as with the contemporary princely Kunstkammer, were strongly dependent upon and connected to one another. The separation of the two collections pointed towards the modern age, in which the Cabinet of Art and Natural History was to develop into a museum and the book collection into a library for public use. Nowadays, after the renovation during the late 1990s, the Kulissenbibliothek again presents itself in its impressive configuration dating from 1746.
Every book tells a story
Source: Brigitte Klosterberg, Die Bibliothek der Franckeschen Stiftungen. Picture book, published by the Foundatiosn Publishing House.
In order to present the library’s treasures to the general public, alternating cabinet exhibitions take place in the former Reading Room adjacent to the Historic Library from 2000 on. The staff members of the August Hermann Francke Study Centre – Archive and Library will gladly provide additional information.
Information about the event
|Facility:||Study Centre August Hermann Francke - Library and Archive | To the facility|
|Date:||Tuesday to Sunday and Holidays: 10.00 – 17.00|
|Location:||House 23-24 (Franckeplatz 1, Haus 24, 06110 Halle (Saale)) | im interaktiven Lageplan anzeigen|
|Kinds of event:|
|Costs:||6/ 4 Euros, under 18 years of age free of charge|