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28 March 2003

"Siebenbürgen Institute" Associated to the University of Heidelberg

The Siebenbürgen Institute is devoted to the study of history and culture of this region (Transylvania) and its neighbours — Both sides stand to profit from the association

Today, the Siebenbürgen Institute in Gundelsheim on the Neckar was officially associated to the Department of Eastern European History of the University of Heidelberg. The intensive cooperation that has long existed with various Faculties has thus now been placed in an institutional framework.

The Siebenbürgen Institute is devoted to the study of the history and culture of the region (Transylvania) on the borders between Eastern Central Europe and South-East Europe and to its neighbours, notably (former) Hungary and modern Romania. A special field of research is the history of the Transylvanian Saxons in their historical and pluri-ethnic context. The Institute has been established in stages since 1955. Its library, the largest academic collection of its kind on the subject outside Siebenbürgen itself, has over 65,000 volumes and has been integrated as "Transylvanian Research Centre" into the Heidelberg library system since the 1970s via the University Library. Notably over the last decade, the links with various chairs and institutes at the University have been intensified, with the main focus on the Department of Eastern European History.

Both sides stand to profit from the association in a variety of ways, the Department of European History through the use of the extensive library and archive holdings and the additional teaching offerings for South-East Europe from Institute members, as well as the use of Institute contacts and Institute infrastructure in attracting external funding, the Siebenbürgen Institute above all through the long-term integration into the academic mainstream and the availability of academic counsel on its own work. This work consists in documentation and above all the conduct of research projects, the editing of publications and the organisation of conferences.

Alongside the chair of Eastern European history, Professor Dr. Heinz-Dietrich Löwe, as academic director of the Institute, the other eight members of the first Academic Advisory Council appointed by the University are Prof. Dr. Joachim von Puttkamer (University of Jena) as chairman and (from the University of Heidelberg) Professors Christoph Markschies (Protestant theology), Klaus Mattheier (German studies) and Volker Sellin (history), plus (from elsewhere) Dr. Christoph Machat (Rhenish Cultural Heritage Office), Prof. Dr. Paul Niedermaier (Romanian Academy and University of Hermannstadt), Dr. Ulrich A. Wien (University of Koblenz-Landau) and Dr. Christa Zach (Institute of German Culture and the History of South-East Europe, Munich).

The Siebenbürgen Institute at the University of Heidelberg is sustained by the Siebenbürgen-Saxon Cultural Council, which provides the administrative council and receives its institutional financing from the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg, complementing this with external funding from the Federal government and numerous foundations. The local academic directorship of the Siebenbürgen Institute lies with Dr. Harald Roth.

Please address any inquiries to
Prof. Dr. Heinz-Dietrich Löwe

Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317

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Updated: 02.04.2003


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