Navigation – Plan du site
Lectures

Art – Research – Library: Shaping Maps of Knowledge

Art – recherche – bibliothèque : modeler le paysage de la connaissance
Jan Simane
p. 203-210

Résumés

À la fin du xixe siècle, au moment où l’histoire de l’art devient une discipline universitaire à part entière, les premières bibliothèques d’art destinées à l’éducation et à la recherche voient le jour. Cet article s’intéresse aux bibliothèques qui ne sont rattachées ni à un musée, ni à une université, et montre les convergences et divergences entre méthodes de recherche et conception des bibliothèques. La période qui va de 1900 à la Grande Guerre est particulièrement riche en querelles autour des principes d’organisation des bibliothèques, des systèmes de classement des ouvrages et de la catégorisation des textes sur l’art. À la même époque, Aby Warburg conçoit sa bibliothèque personnelle à partir du principe – très peu conventionnel – qu’il existe un lien étroit entre classement des ouvrages et acquisition du savoir. Au cours de ces décennies (et contrairement à ce qui se passera ensuite), l’histoire de l’art et les bibliothèques d’art sont à peu près soumises à une même dynamique d’invention de concepts. En conclusion, l’article s’interroge sur d’éventuelles corrélations entre les anciens modèles d’organisation du savoir et les technologies numériques actuelles.

Haut de page

Texte intégral

  • 1 Heinrich Dilly, Kunstgeschichte als Institution. Studien zur Geschichte einer Disziplin, Frankfurt (...)
  • 2 Franz Kugler, Handbuch der Kunstgeschichte, Stuttgart, 1842.
  • 3 Carl Schnaase, Geschichte der Künste bei den Alten (1843), Düsseldorf, 1866.
  • 4 See Wilhelm Waetzoldt, Deutsche Kunsthistoriker, Leipzig, 1924, vol. 2, p. 70-92 and p. 143-172. He (...)
  • 5 Vom Brocke, 1999, cited n. 1, p. 204-213.
  • 6 The quality of libraries in art-history institutes apparently played an eminent role in the reputat (...)
  • 7 See Joachim Krueger, “Zu den Beziehungen zwischen der Universitätsbibliothek und den Institutsbibli (...)
  • 8 Krueger, 1967, cited n. 7, p. 513-530.

1Among the humanities, art history is one of the youngest academic disciplines. Its establishment in the university education system started in Germany around the mid-nineteenth century, and by the 1870s, when the first chairs were instituted at universities such as Leipzig, Berlin and Vienna, it was finally acknowledged as a fully-fledged discipline.1 Although the historical perspective of art, artists, styles, and artistic developments had a long tradition, dating back to the Early Modern period, art history was not considered a “science” before scholars such as Franz Kugler2 and Carl Schnaase3 started to underlay their art-historical studies with discipline-specific methodological and theoretical principles. Their intention was on the one hand to equate art history with the natural sciences by applying more stringent research methods, and on the other to concede an epistemic quality to art history by exploring it as an integral part of general or “world” history.4 The first university institutes dedicated to the new discipline were founded against the backdrop of its academic consolidation. This was the case with the appointment of Anton Springer as the first full professor of art history at the University of Strasbourg in 1872.5 The affiliation with the university system compulsorily required the institutes to serve as both research and education vehicles. In terms of equipping the institutes with libraries, this relationship does not seem to have been balanced.6 Only a few institutes’ libraries fulfilled the requirements of discipline-oriented research, while most of them served rather as modest collections of educational books.7 Despite the uncontested upsurge of art history as an academic discipline and the embedding of related research in university institutes, an analogous emergence of an adequate institutionalized library typos was not seen in these early years. On the contrary, university library representatives did not consider it necessary to support the development of research-oriented specialized libraries in competition – not least financial – with central university libraries.8

  • 9 Ich [ging] nach Strassburg, […] weil die dortigen Bücherschätze, sowohl in den Seminaren wie in de (...)
  • 10 Salvatore Settis, “Warburg Continuatus. Descrizione di una biblioteca,” in Quaderni storici, 58, 19 (...)
  • 11 After Warburg’s death in 1929 Fritz Saxl became director of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek (...)
  • 12 As a member of the Ortsausschuss (local committee), Warburg was closely involved in the Institute’s (...)
  • 13 Aufruf zur Gründung eines kunstgeschichtlichen Institutes,” in Kunstchronik, 5, 1893-1894, no. 13, (...)

2Universities differed remarkably in the quality of their libraries. For the young Aby Warburg the apparently reader-friendly system of the well-equipped libraries at the University of Strasbourg was decisive when he chose it as the place to pursue his studies on artistic culture in the age of humanism.9 According to Warburg’s student and collaborator Fritz Saxl, it was the particular accumulation of several institutes with libraries in the same building in Strasbourg that embodied the idea of a comprehensive, multidisciplinary library for cultural studies, later emerging from Warburg’s private book collection.10 Without doubt, Warburg is the most prominent scholar who repeatedly emphasized the interrelatedness of research and libraries, the latter in terms of the quality of the collections and infrastructure, and who developed not only revolutionary methods for investigating cultural history but also an innovative concept for a related research library. His own library, as Saxl explained in 1930, aided research on one central topic, namely the afterlife of antiquity, interrogated with methodological traditions from different disciplines. The book and image collection thereby “represented” this topic in the form of title selection and spatial collocation.11 Warburg’s library, however, can hardly be labeled an art library despite the fact that art and art history play a prominent role in the book collection. Moreover, the concept of the library was shaped through an interesting personal alliance with the birth of the first art-historical research libraries. One of Warburg’s most important experiences in this context was presumably the foundation of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence, coinciding with his Florentine sojourns in 1893-1895 and 1897-1904.12 Although the Kunsthistorisches Institut today ranks among the leading research institutes for art history worldwide, it was founded predominantly as a research library combined with an image collection according to the standards of that time. Following the “call for the foundation of an art history institute,” signed by around thirty leading scholars from universities and museums in European countries in 1893, the new institute was meant to support the work of scientists and give guidance to students of art history by providing a book and image collection in appropriate and comfortable spaces.13 All this was planned to occur in the “most distinguished place for art-historical studies” where such an institution was missing: Florence. In the style of already existing German Stationen for historical and archeological studies in Rome, the new Institute and its library were thus to support research in situ and provide a home to recent studies exclusively on Italian, and in particular Florentine, art. How was this very early – if not first – research library for art history organized?

  • 14 The intention, however, was to support a multidisciplinary approach also considering the transmissi (...)
  • 15 In 1879, Warburg assigned his primogenital right to follow his father as leader of the Warburg Bank (...)
  • 16 Pasquale Augusto Bigazzi’s Manuale di Bibliografia Fiorentina (1893) played an important role. On t (...)
  • 17 Das Kunsthistorische Institut…, 1925, cited n. 16, p. 15-16. Hubert, 1997, cited n. 12, p. 116.
  • 18 See Georg Leyh, “Der Bibliothekar und sein Beruf,” in Georg Leyh (ed.), Handbuch der Bibliothekswis (...)
  • 19 See Schäfer, 2003, cited n. 10, p. 102-131. Wilhelm Waetzoldt was a fellow at the Kunsthistorisches (...)
  • 20 See Deutsches Historisches Institut Rom (Istituto Storico Germanico): 1888-1988, Rome [1988], p. 44

3Akin to Warburg’s innovative concept of dedi­cating his library to one topic, the founding of the Kunsthistorisches Institut was no less innovative in focusing on the artistic history of one location.14 Furthermore, it was the first independent art library for research with no functional link to a superordinate institution such as a university or a museum, built and designed ex novo with no reference model. Such circumstances might suggest that the library was founded and developed in an uncommon spirit of freedom and creativity. However, the development of this early example of an art library was predominantly determined by the very modest finance and allocation conditions and less so by methodological concepts. Unlike Aby Warburg, whose family background allowed him to invest considerable sums of money in his private library, the custodians of the young institute relied to a great extent on donations and inheritances when they started to compile a book and image collection for art-historical studies in Florence.15 Nevertheless, the acquisitions made in the first twenty years reveal the pursuit of a discernable plan. Complementing extensive studies in Florentine archives, carried out by scholars working at the institute, particular attention was paid to antiquarian acquisitions of sourcebooks. Not surprisingly, the topography of Florence, museum and collection catalogues, and monographs on Italian artists also played an important role. Moreover, reference books and a few journals were gradually added. In short, the acquisition policy was to collect as much literature as possible on predominantly Florentine art, history and culture, with a focus on the Early Modern period, and thus to become the “physical” counterpart to an “abstract” and merely referential overview of existing literature in a corresponding bibliography.16 Connoisseurship and expert knowledge were the most significant parameters. All library work – acquisition, cataloguing, and collocation – was in the hands of the first director, Heinrich Brockhaus (assisted by fellows and a “curator” from 1901), who performed these duties without any professional background in librarianship.17 This seems to have been a widespread phenomenon in the faculty libraries of German universities and was the subject of controversial discussions on the professionalization of librarianship in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.18 Also Aby Warburg’s assistants, who helped him to organize his library from 1904 onwards, included scholars (Paul Hübner, Wilhelm Waetzoldt) and competent practitioners, but not professional librarians.19 There are, however, some counterexamples, such as the library of the German Institute of History in Rome (founded in 1888) where, as early as 1902, a trained librarian began compiling a suitable catalogue, while acquisition remained in the hands of the institute’s director.20 In Florence, there was initially no similar division of expertise and thus, as the collection increased, the lack of professionalism in genuine library fields – cataloguing work and the systematic ordering of the bookshelves – became a serious problem.

  • 21 Documents in the archive of the Institute show that one of the harshest critics was Christian Hülse (...)
  • 22 See Heinrich Brockhaus, “Führer durch die Bibliothek und die Abbildungs-Sammlung des Kunsthistorisc (...)
  • 23 Christian Hülsen, “Vorschläge betreffend die Bibliothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts,” Typescrip (...)
  • 24 Offizieller Bericht über die Verhandlungen des VIII. Inter­nationalen Kunsthistorischen Kongresses (...)
  • 25 Offizieller Bericht über die Verhandlungen des IX. Inter­nationalen Kunsthistorischen Kongresses in (...)
  • 26 The twenty four-class system has survived, with slight modifications, until today. It was presented (...)
  • 27 Curt H. Weigelt, “Bericht über den Stand der Arbeiten am alphabetischen Katalog, erstattet vom Erst (...)
  • 28 As a well-funded foundation, the Bibliotheca Hertziana was set up under much more comfortable condi (...)
  • 29 Schmitz, 2010, cited n. 28, p. 13.
  • 30 See Hermann Goldbrunner, “Von der Casa Tarpea zur Via Aurelia Antica: Zur Geschichte der Bibliothek (...)
  • 31 Georg Leyh, “Das Dogma von der systematischen Aufstellung,” in Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen, 6 (...)
  • 32 Georg Leyh, “Weiteres von den italienischen Staatsbibliotheken, besonders über ihre Aufstellung,” i (...)
  • 33 Leyh, 1913, cited n. 31, p. 127, n. 25.

4Brockhaus’ first classification of the library’s holdings was later highly criticized as it did not follow canonical examples, nor was it particularly sophisticated.21 In view of the manageable number of volumes in the years around 1900, and thanks to the strong focus on Italian (and in particular Florentine) art history, a simple hierarchical schema of four main classes (arts, people, places and topics) – albeit unbalanced in terms of the quantity of the related literature – seemed sufficient.22 However, as early as 1912, this system was criticized as “inexpedient”.23 Was this a consequence of the discussions on “theoretical and practical requirements for classification in the arts” started at the Eighth International Congress for Art History in 1907? It was not library matters but the demand for bibliographies of recent publications in annual reports that provoked reflection on appropriate subject classification, though this predominantly concerned books. In other words, an internationally accepted standard for “ordering art literature” according to the logic of the discipline was the goal of the work of a commission of which Aby Warburg was a member.24 Two years later, at the Ninth Congress in Munich, the result – the Rahmen-Systematik der Kunstwissenschaften – was presented and discussed: it was a non-hierarchical, multi-topic classification that could in theory be adapted for shelf ordering in libraries too.25 Brockhaus attended the first congress in 1907 but not the more important second one in 1909. His follower, Hans von der Gabelenz, however, attended this, and under his guidance the new shelf classification was introduced in 1912. The counter-model to Brockhaus’ system, developed by Christian Hülsen, now consisted of twenty four classes without subclasses in order to enhance the clarity of the arrangement and to facilitate the maintenance of the collection.26 The second part of Hülsen’s reform was the creation of a hitherto missing shelf catalogue. The significance of these two elements – proper shelf classification and adequate catalogues – which are indispensable complements to the book collection in a research library, was apparently recognized and an attempt to implement them was made still despite the lack of more profound expertise in librarianship. However, World War I and the consequent sequestration of the Institute’s holdings in the years from 1915 to 1922 prevented the completion of all these plans. Later, in 1929, the director’s assistant, Curt Heinrich Weigelt, who was responsible for the library from 1923, unequivocally revealed the desolate situation of the library, and in particular the serious shortcomings of the catalogues which necessitated an entirely new compilation of an alphabetical catalogue, initiated in 1924.27 Thus, the first decades of the development of a genuine art library for advanced studies can be summarized as a cumbersome struggle to achieve both the appropriate spatial concepts and the tools that would provide effortless access to the book collection. In this respect the initial phase of the most similar library, the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome, which opened in 1913, was run in a more orderly and decisive fashion.28 For the new library in Rome, which, unlike the one in Florence, started with a notable collection of around five thousand volumes, the first director, Ernst Steinmann – who, incidentally, attended the Congress of 1909 and presumably followed the classification discourse – designed a shelf order whose concept essentially corresponded to the reformed Florentine model of 1912, though with a stronger focus on Rome, echoing the focus on Florence of the Kunsthistorisches Institut’s library.29 In both cases, a non-hierarchical system of superordinate subject classes (Florence 24, Rome 20) was developed, divisible into four topic groups: topography (including literature on artists), genres (architecture, painting, etc.), neighboring disciplines, and comprehensive literature (journals, bibliographies, etc.). These apparently obvious and expedient solutions were anything but self-evident. They considerably differed from concurrent models pursued for instance in the United States. Furthermore, the contemporaneous discussion on the dogma of the systematic shelf-order initiated by Georg Leyh, who was a librarian at the aforementioned German (in his time Royal Prussian) Institute of History in Rome in the years 1908 to 1910, casts interesting light on such considerations.30 Leyh, who later became an outstanding figure in German library science, published a polemical paper against the advocates of systematic shelf ordering in German (university) libraries shortly after his Roman sojourn.31 He was much more in favor of the “systemless” arrangement he described as characteristic of Italian libraries, not least in the sense of a counter-model to the German dogma.32 Instead of translating the idea of a strict system of knowledge into a correspondingly inflexible shelf order, the modern library should be organized in the form of a pragmatic arrangement of topical groups and invest much more in the maintenance of good subject catalogues. In his view, the systematic arrangement of books was a theoretical approach that has never been implemented consequentially and thus contradicted readers’ requirements.33 In other words, for scientific work the shelf order of literature was negligible whereas the availability of catalogues and bibliographies was regarded as essential.

  • 34 Although we do not have any corresponding documents, it is conceivable that both Hülsen and Steinma (...)
  • 35 Fritz Saxl, “Die Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg in Hamburg” (1930), in Aby M. Warburg, (...)
  • 36 Tilman von Stockhausen, Die Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg: Architektur, Einrichtung un (...)
  • 37 For an extensive explanation of the system, see Schäfer, 2003, cited n. 10, p. 220-234; Fritz Saxl, (...)

5Leyh had rather bigger German university libraries and the daily challenge of providing adequate services in mind when he polemicized against systematic shelf ordering, less specific requirements of discipline-oriented research libraries. However, the spatial organization of the German art and history libraries in Florence and Rome was, to a certain extent, developed following his approach: A pragmatic definition of topical groups for rough orientation and accurately maintained catalogues as key tools for navigation are the crucial components of his message.34 Aby Warburg, on the contrary, was far from such considerations when he shaped the concept of his kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek. This library originated from Warburg’s individual viewpoint and unconventional methods of exploring cultural history, and is thus hardly classifiable according to categories of librarianship. The central topic of this library, the afterlife of antiquity, has been defined as a problem whereby both the collection and the organization of the library provide support and guidance in “circling around” this problem.35 In the years following 1904, when Warburg finally decided to found a kulturhistorische Station in Hamburg, his library apparently conveyed a chaotic impression, but with the turn of 1920, seeking to become a research institute for a wider public, the library incorporated a more distinct and comprehensible structure.36 Saxl and the library assistant, Gertrude Bing, designed the system of the “movable” book in order to accommodate specific but changing groupings of books according to the dynamic emergence of research questions. Furthermore, with three colored stripes on the spines, each volume was assigned to specific areas of knowledge and methodological categories on a meta-level, independent from their current allocation.37 Although Saxl also started work on a systematic catalogue, the highly unconventional shelf concept remained the outstanding navigation tool and element of inspiration. Thus, in Warburg’s library, the traditional principle of systematic shelf ordering was completely reversed. The aim was not to assign any one book to a distinct place in a fixed system or to subject navigation to the system’s logic, but rather to display the multi-dimensional interrelations of the book’s contents in a dynamic knowledge space. Instead of ordering knowledge according to an abstract class system, the Warburg library enabled the creation of individual and accidental orders related to specific problems. The goal was not the localization of already known titles but the discovery of unknown titles and unexpected neighbourhood.

  • 38 Adolfo Venturi, L’Italia e l’arte straniera: Atti del X Congresso Internazionale di Storia dell’Art (...)
  • 39 Settis, 1985, cited n. 10, p. 32, emphasized, following Saxl, the dichotomy of the “topography” of (...)
  • 40 For example: Berlin (Royal Prussian Museums, founded in 1885), New York (Watson Library of the Metr (...)
  • 41 Settis, 1985, cited n. 10, p. 24.
  • 42 Saxl, (1943/1944) 1992, cited n. 37, p. 336.
  • 43 Klaus Ceynowa, “Digitale Wissenswelten – Herausfor­derungen für die Bibliothek der Zukunft,” in Zei (...)
  • 44 David Weinberger, Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder, New York, 200 (...)
  • 45 Weinberger, 2007, cited n. 44, p. 57.

6Warburg’s Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek is both exceptional and unique in library history, but it is also characteristic of the climate in the years preceding the disaster of World War I. On the one hand, art history was still struggling for acknowledgment as a discipline sui generis, as emphasized for instance by Adolfo Venturi in 1912, while on the other, a lively discourse on proper art history methods was given due consideration in the context of Wölfflin’s Kunstgeschichtliche Grundbegriffe, published in 1915.38 Warburg’s library, des­pite not being a ‘simple’ art library, has been conceived as a manifesto of a distinct method – or rather of personal research interest and curiosity – and has thus remained an individual case.39 In contrast, the oldest public research art libraries in Florence and Rome aimed to provide, as comprehensively as possible, literature on Italian art, history, and culture with regional focuses. Their collections did not revolve around specific problems but rather prepared the ground for manifold studies on (Italian) art. In this respect, they can certainly be ranked more alongside bigger museum and architectural libraries in Europe and the United States founded in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.40 As a result of the initial orderless and conflicting decades of shaping both art history and art libraries, a sort of pragmatic standard (at least in Germany) has been established for the latter, based on good collections and, to a certain extent, good catalogues and convenient shelf systems. Leyh’s practice-oriented considerations and Warburg’s intellectual approach are antitheses in the early history of the modern research library. In terms of shelf order, the counterpoints are the separation and decontextualization of individual topics in the first model, and integration as well as the combination of single forms and traditions of knowledge in the second. It is obvious that the first model was adapted by most, if not all, followers over time. However, Warburg’s intention to correlate knowledge from different disciplines according to problems in cultural history by ordering his library in a flexible and ostensibly associative manner conflicted, in fact, with the very principles of a library. In his time, he was only able to manifest his “itinerarium mentis”41 in the form of a specific shelf order and with physical books, with the consequence that visitors perceived his library as puzzling.42 In the present day we have seen how digital technology allows the limits of physical media to be overcome and how dominant the processing of data instead of complex units has become, in particular as regards scientific publications. Could Warburg’s combinatorics of literary sources from different subject areas thus be performed far more easily with the modern electronic data system or is the “physical” library experience essential when following Warburg’s line of thought? The endless connectivity and manifold contextualization of data will – as predicted – not only supersede traditional libraries but also dissolve the paradigm of the finalized, non-modifiable scientific publication; “knowledge streams” will replace “knowledge items”.43 Shelf order and library systematics will thus become obsolete. In a further step, everything will be miscellaneous, as David Weinberger has described, emphasizing the advantages and the power of the new digital disorder.44 Looking back to the epochal changes around 1800 (the abandonment of a coherent order of world knowledge) and 1900 (the establishment of new specific disciplines), each of which had far-reaching consequences for libraries, the miscibility and disorder of knowledge could be the next revolution for the next century. Weinberger closes his description of the “old” library world based – as an example for others – on the Dewey Decimal Classification, concluding that under such circumstances the “library’s geography of knowledge can have [only] one shape but no other.” Thus, it is based on “the law of physical geography”, “not [on] a law of knowledge.”45 Aby Warburg would probably agree. Similar to his concept of the library, Weinberger’s plea for the miscibility of knowledge aims to overcome traditional classifications in libraries, to “unfix” knowledge from abstract, inflexible ordering systems. However, it is well known that both the Warburg library and the mentioned art libraries, after one hundred years of existence and twenty years after the digital turn, still exist and are more or less unchanged in terms of spatial structure and shelf order. Essential innovations and alterations occur and are still occurring in the field of catalogues – complementing collections and shelf order in research libraries –, which were initially rather disregarded in most of the cases mentioned. Free access to, and navigation among, bookshelves were aspects that fundamentally distinguished special subject libraries from universal libraries. In view of the current size of discipline-oriented research libraries and their integration into comprehensive functional networks, emphasis is being placed on other fields. Access and navigation have dramatically changed in respect of dimension and quality. This is a paradigm shift as well as a challenge. In any case, the goal to support research work in the best possible manner has not changed, and the same applies to requirements and expectations on quality and expertise.

Haut de page

Notes

1 Heinrich Dilly, Kunstgeschichte als Institution. Studien zur Geschichte einer Disziplin, Frankfurt 1979, p. 173 et seq. Bernhard vom Brocke, “Wege aus der Krise: Universitäts-Seminar, Akademie-Kommission oder Forschungsinstitut? Institutionalisierungsbestrebungen in den Geistes- und Naturwissenschaften und in der Kunstgeschichte vor und nach 1900,” in Max Seidel (ed.), Storia dell’arte e politica culturale intorno al 1900. La fondazione dell’Istituto Germanico di Storia dell’Arte di Firenze, Venice, 1999, p. 201.

2 Franz Kugler, Handbuch der Kunstgeschichte, Stuttgart, 1842.

3 Carl Schnaase, Geschichte der Künste bei den Alten (1843), Düsseldorf, 1866.

4 See Wilhelm Waetzoldt, Deutsche Kunsthistoriker, Leipzig, 1924, vol. 2, p. 70-92 and p. 143-172. Henrik Karge, “Franz Kugler und Carl Schnaase – zwei Projekte zur Etablierung der ‘Allgemeinen Kunstgeschichte’,” in Michel Espagne, Bénédicte Savoy, Céline Trautmann-Waller (eds.), Franz Theodor Kugler: Deutscher Kunsthistoriker und Berliner Dichter, symposium acts (Berlin, Branden­burgischer Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2008), Berlin, 2010, p. 83-104; and “Stil und Epoche. Karl Schnaases dialektisches Modell der Kunstgeschichte,” in Sabine Frommel, Antonio Brucculeri (eds.), L’idée du style dans l’historiographie artistique : variantes nationales et transmissions, symposium acts (Cortona, 2007), Rome, 2012, p. 35-48.

5 Vom Brocke, 1999, cited n. 1, p. 204-213.

6 The quality of libraries in art-history institutes apparently played an eminent role in the reputation of an institute, as we can deduce from Paul Clemen’s proud words about the uniqueness of the art library at the University of Bonn, founded after 1911. Vom Brocke, 1999, cited n. 1, p. 205.

7 See Joachim Krueger, “Zu den Beziehungen zwischen der Universitätsbibliothek und den Institutsbibliotheken zur Zeit Althoffs,” in Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen, 81, 9, 1967, p. 516.

8 Krueger, 1967, cited n. 7, p. 513-530.

9 Ich [ging] nach Strassburg, […] weil die dortigen Bücherschätze, sowohl in den Seminaren wie in der grossen Staatsbibliothek in liberalster Weise den Studenten zur Verfügung standen.” “Vom Arsenal zum Laboratorium,” in Aby Warburg, Werke in Einem Band, Martin Treml et al. (eds.), Berlin, 2010, p. 686.

10 Salvatore Settis, “Warburg Continuatus. Descrizione di una biblioteca,” in Quaderni storici, 58, 1985, p. 11-12; Hans-Michael Schäfer, Die Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg: Geschichte und Persönlichkeiten der Bibliothek Warburg mit Berücksichtigung der Bibliothekslandschaft und der Stadtsituation der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts, Berlin, 2003, p. 90.

11 After Warburg’s death in 1929 Fritz Saxl became director of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg, organized in the meantime as a research institute. Heinrich Dilly, “Sokrates in Hamburg: Aby Warburg und seine Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek,” in Horst Bredekamp, Michael Diers (eds.), Aby Warburg: Akten des internationalen Symposions Hamburg 1990, symposium acts (Seminar der Universität Hamburg, 1990), Weinheim, 1991, p. 137.

12 As a member of the Ortsausschuss (local committee), Warburg was closely involved in the Institute’s administration in the years following 1897. Later, he became a member of the board of the Verein zur Erhaltung des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, presided by Wilhelm von Bode. See Hans W. Hubert, Das Kunsthistorische Institut in Florenz: Von der Gründung bis zum hundertjährigen Jubiläum (1897-1997), Florence, 1997, p. 14. See also Ulrich Raulff, “Von der Privatbibliothek des Gelehrten zum Forschungsinstitut, Aby Warburg, Ernst Cassirer und die neue Kulturwissenschaft,” in Geschichte und Gesellschaft, 23, 1997, p. 34-35.

13 Aufruf zur Gründung eines kunstgeschichtlichen Institutes,” in Kunstchronik, 5, 1893-1894, no. 13, p. 202-203. For the history of the Kunsthistorisches Institut, see Hubert, 1997, cited n. 12; also Arnold Esch, “L’esordio degli istituti di ricerca tedeschi in Italia: I primi passi verso l’istituzionalizzazione della ricerca nel campo delle scienze umanistiche all’estero 1870-1914,” in Max Seidel (ed.), Storia dell’arte e politica culturale intorno al 1900: La fondazione dell’Istituto Germanico di Storia dell’Arte di Firenze, Venice, 1999, p. 229-232.

14 The intention, however, was to support a multidisciplinary approach also considering the transmission of Italian art to other nations. See Franz Xaver Kraus’ memorandum “Über die Gründung eines Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz” from 1899, quoted in Hubert, 1997, cited n. 12, p. 22.

15 In 1879, Warburg assigned his primogenital right to follow his father as leader of the Warburg Bank to his brother Max on the condition that his brother would buy him all the books he ever needed. See Perdita Rösch, Aby Warburg, Paderborn, 2010, p. 15. Bernd Röck, Der junge Aby Warburg, Munich, 1997, p. 30-31. For the collection building at the library of the Kunsthistorisches Institut see Ingeborg Bähr, “Zum Aufbau eines Arbeitsapparates für die Italienforschung: der Erwerb von Büchern und Abbildungen in der Frühzeit des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz,” in Seidel, 1999, cited n. 1, p. 359-365.

16 Pasquale Augusto Bigazzi’s Manuale di Bibliografia Fiorentina (1893) played an important role. On the one hand, the library succeeded in acquiring a good part of Bigazzi’s book collection, which he had accumulated for his bibliography. On the other, the institute planned to supplement and update Bigazzi’s bibliography, based on its own topographical collection. See Das Kunsthistorische Institut in Florenz: 1888-1897-1925, Wilhelm von Bode zum achtzigsten Geburtstage am 10. Dezember 1925, Leipzig, 1925, p. 20.

17 Das Kunsthistorische Institut…, 1925, cited n. 16, p. 15-16. Hubert, 1997, cited n. 12, p. 116.

18 See Georg Leyh, “Der Bibliothekar und sein Beruf,” in Georg Leyh (ed.), Handbuch der Bibliothekswissenschaft, Wiesbaden, 1961, vol. 2, p. 12-15. The demand for a comprehensively educated librarian at university libraries was contradictory to discipline-specific expertise, required in particular in special libraries.

19 See Schäfer, 2003, cited n. 10, p. 102-131. Wilhelm Waetzoldt was a fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence where he supported Brockhaus in managing the library before moving to Hamburg and starting to work for Warburg in 1909.

20 See Deutsches Historisches Institut Rom (Istituto Storico Germanico): 1888-1988, Rome [1988], p. 44.

21 Documents in the archive of the Institute show that one of the harshest critics was Christian Hülsen, a member of the Ortsausschuss (local committee) of the Verein zur Förderung des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, who was commissioned in 1912 to reorder the whole library by developing a new classification and a concept for an expedient catalogue. It was not possible to achieve both tasks before Brockhaus resigned from the directorship and his follower, Hans von der Gabelentz, was appointed. See Hubert, 1997, cited n. 12, p. 30.

22 See Heinrich Brockhaus, “Führer durch die Bibliothek und die Abbildungs-Sammlung des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz,” in Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, 5, 1910, p. 187-209.

23 Christian Hülsen, “Vorschläge betreffend die Bibliothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts,” Typescript, August 1912, Archive of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz. All these considerations are to be seen in context with the Insitute’s move from Brockhaus’ apartment, the first provisory placement from 1897 to 1912, to hired and substantially roomier spaces in the Palazzo Guadagni in the Piazza S. Spirito.

24 Offizieller Bericht über die Verhandlungen des VIII. Inter­nationalen Kunsthistorischen Kongresses in Darmstadt, 23.-26. September 1907, reprint Nendeln/Liechtensten, 1978, p. 81-82.

25 Offizieller Bericht über die Verhandlungen des IX. Inter­nationalen Kunsthistorischen Kongresses in München, 16. bis 21. September 1909, reprint Nendeln/Liechtensten, 1978, p. 79-98.

26 The twenty four-class system has survived, with slight modifications, until today. It was presented to the public in the annual report for the years 1913/1914.

27 Curt H. Weigelt, “Bericht über den Stand der Arbeiten am alphabetischen Katalog, erstattet vom Ersten Assistenten des Instituts,” October 19, 1929, Archive of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz.

28 As a well-funded foundation, the Bibliotheca Hertziana was set up under much more comfortable conditions in terms of finances, location, and institutional support. For the library see Michael Schmitz, Die Bibliotheksabteilung der Bibliotheca Hertziana – Ihre Entwicklung von der Gründung bis heute, Berlin, 2010, online, http://edoc.hu-berlin.de/series/berliner-handreichungen/2010-273/PDF/273.pdf (viewed October 11, 2016).

29 Schmitz, 2010, cited n. 28, p. 13.

30 See Hermann Goldbrunner, “Von der Casa Tarpea zur Via Aurelia Antica: Zur Geschichte der Bibliothek des Deutschen Historischen Instituts in Rom,” in Elze Reinhard, Arnold Esch (eds.), Das Deutsche Historische Institut in Rom, 1888-1988, Tübingen, 1990, p. 52.

31 Georg Leyh, “Das Dogma von der systematischen Aufstellung,” in Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen, 6, 1912, p. 241-259, and 3, 1913, p. 97-136.

32 Georg Leyh, “Weiteres von den italienischen Staatsbibliotheken, besonders über ihre Aufstellung,” in Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen, 7/8, 1911, p. 289-317, here p. 303. Goldbrunner, 1990, cited n. 30, p. 53-54.

33 Leyh, 1913, cited n. 31, p. 127, n. 25.

34 Although we do not have any corresponding documents, it is conceivable that both Hülsen and Steinmann, who were responsible for the library organization in Florence and Rome respectively, met Leyh during his years in Rome. Christian Hülsen was Second Secretary at the German Archeological Institute in Rome from 1887 to 1909. Ernst Steinmann spent longer periods in Rome in the years before he became the first director of the Bibliotheca Hertziana in 1913. However, Steinmann’s relationship with Leyh’s mentor, the director of the History Institute, Paul Kehr, was problematic. See Horst Blanck, “Hülsen Christian,” in Der Neue Pauly, suppl. vol. 6, Stuttgart, 2012, p. 598; Sybille Ebert-Schifferer, “Ernst Steinmann (1866-1934),” in Sybille Ebert-Schifferer (ed.), 100 Jahre Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte: Die Geschichte des Instituts, Munich, 2013, p. 46-49.

35 Fritz Saxl, “Die Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg in Hamburg” (1930), in Aby M. Warburg, Ausgewählte Schriften und Würdigungen, Dieter Wuttke (ed.), Baden-Baden, 1992, p. 331-334; Dieter Wuttke, “Aby Warburg und seine Bibliothek,” in Arcadia, 1, 1966, p. 326-327.

36 Tilman von Stockhausen, Die Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg: Architektur, Einrichtung und Organisation, Hamburg, 1992, p. 75-76; Schäfer, 2003, cited n. 10, p. 98. See also Settis, 1985, cited n. 10, p. 21.

37 For an extensive explanation of the system, see Schäfer, 2003, cited n. 10, p. 220-234; Fritz Saxl, “Die Geschichte der Bibliothek Aby Warburgs (1866-1944)” (1943/1944), in Aby M. Warburg, Ausgewählte Schriften und Würdigungen, Dieter Wuttke (ed.), Baden-Baden, 1992, p. 340-341.

38 Adolfo Venturi, L’Italia e l’arte straniera: Atti del X Congresso Internazionale di Storia dell’Arte in Roma, Rome, 1922, p. 14; Dilly, 1979, cited n. 1, p. 25-26.

39 Settis, 1985, cited n. 10, p. 32, emphasized, following Saxl, the dichotomy of the “topography” of Warburg’s library and his writings.

40 For example: Berlin (Royal Prussian Museums, founded in 1885), New York (Watson Library of the Metropolitan Museum, founded in 1880), and Cambridge (Fogg Art Museum Library, later Harvard Fine Arts Library, founded in 1895), Royal Institute of British Architects in London (founded in 1834), or the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library in New York (founded in 1890).

41 Settis, 1985, cited n. 10, p. 24.

42 Saxl, (1943/1944) 1992, cited n. 37, p. 336.

43 Klaus Ceynowa, “Digitale Wissenswelten – Herausfor­derungen für die Bibliothek der Zukunft,” in Zeitschrift für Bibliothekswesen und Bibliographie, 61, 2014, p. 236.

44 David Weinberger, Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder, New York, 2007. See also Nina Lager Vestberg, “Ordering, Searching, Finding,” in Journal of Visual Culture, 12, 3, 2013, p. 472-489. Lager Vestberg puts Weinberger’s three-class model of order in parallel with the photographic collection of the Warburg Library and the Conway Library at the Courtauld Institute, both in London. She emphasizes the advantages of the analogue order in archives, which helps to contextualize knowledge whereas the main power of digital archives consists in searching for and locating of information.

45 Weinberger, 2007, cited n. 44, p. 57.

Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Jan Simane, « Art – Research – Library: Shaping Maps of Knowledge », Perspective, 2 | 2016, 203-210.

Référence électronique

Jan Simane, « Art – Research – Library: Shaping Maps of Knowledge », Perspective [En ligne], 2 | 2016, mis en ligne le 30 juin 2017, consulté le 24 novembre 2017. URL : http://perspective.revues.org/6978 ; DOI : 10.4000/perspective.6978

Haut de page

Auteur

Jan Simane

Director of the Library, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut
Simane@khi.fi.it

Haut de page
  • Logo INHA
  • Logo CNRS
  • Revues.org