I am glad to announce that the European Commission has given one of its annual prestigious “Europa Nostra” awards – the only one going to Germany this year (cf http://www.europanostra.org/laureates-2014) – to the Friends’ Organisation (Förderverein) of the Church Library of St Mary’s in Barth (NE Germany), for which I am serving as a member of the Advisory Board.
The library, located in the small town of Barth near the Baltic Sea and first mentioned in 1398, is one of the oldest parish libraries in Germany, certainly the oldest still existing in the exact same place where it was founded more than 600 years ago. Among its holdings are a dozen or so medieval manuscripts, ca 130 incunabula, and thousands of rare books, most of which have yet to be properly catalogued and will also require enormous conservation efforts. The gothic room where the books are kept was restored in the past couple of years with extraordinary support from the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung, Essen, and was reopened in March, 2013.
The statement of the jury (in English) can be found here: http://www.europanostra.org/awards/127, with link to the Friends website at http://www.barthbibliothek.de, photos and a short film. For further information (the library can be visited “on demand”), please contact the Förderverein at http://www.barthbibliothek.de/kontakt.html. General information about St Mary’s church (in German) at http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/St.-Marien-Kirche_(Barth).
Thanks, have a good weekend,
Dr. Falk Eisermann (Exlibris-L)