Bibliotheca Palatina – Digitally Reconstructed Treasury of Books

Press Release No. 233/2012
17 October 2012
Virtual reconstruction of the once most famous library north of the Alps

One of the most valuable collections of manuscripts from the Middle Ages and Early Modern Age – the Bibliotheca Palatina – will be virtually reunited. With the completion of the German-language manuscripts, the Heidelberg University Library is now digitising the Latin codices of the former Library of the Palatinate, which since 1623 have been housed within the walls of the Vatican Library – the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana in Rome. The origins of the Bibliotheca Palatina date back to the year 1386, when Heidelberg University was founded. In the wake of the Thirty Year’s War, the 17th century’s most significant library in the Holy Roman Empire was divided mainly over two locations: Heidelberg and the Vatican. In 2001 the Heidelberg University Library had already begun using modern digital technologies to make the initial volumes of this outstanding collection available to the public on the Internet. Since then the library has been working on the virtual reconstruction of this unique treasury of books within multiple projects to digitise portions of the collection. Work on the Latin manuscripts in the Vatican Library could finally begin in January of 2012. With this step, the Vatican and Heidelberg University and its University Library embarked on a cooperation that will extend over several years. The scholarly significant project is being funded largely by the Manfred Lautenschläger Foundation.

Representatives from the participating institutions and the project’s sponsor will discuss the work in a press conference on 26 October 2012.

The press conference will be held on:
Friday, 26 October 2012, 11 am
Heidelberg University Library, Plöck 107-109
Manuscript Reading Room (ground floor, east wing)

Speakers include:
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel, Rector of Heidelberg University
Monsignore Cesare Pasini, Prefect of the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome
Dr. Adalbert Roth, Director of Printed Books Department, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome
Dr. h.c. Manfred Lautenschläger, Honorary Senator of Heidelberg University, Manfred Lautenschläger Foundation
Dr. Veit Probst, Director of Heidelberg University Library

To register for the press conference:
To participate in the press conference, we request that media
representatives register by 24 October 2012 with
Dr. Sabine Gehrlein, Heidelberg University Library
Phone: +49 6221 54-2581,

Communications and Marketing
Press Office
Phone: +49 6221 542311

Editor: Email
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