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Bahnriss?! Papier | Kultur

A virtual exhibition of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek curated by the German Museum of Books and Writing of the German National Library

Joint press release of the German National Library and the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek

Press release:  19.4.2017

The virtual "Bahnriss ?! Papier | Kultur" exhibition is set to go online on 23 April 2017 to coincide with World Book Day. The exhibition, conceived and put together by the German Museum of Books and Writing of the German National Library in Leipzig in cooperation with the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek, is based on a temporary exhibition which was shown in Leipzig in 2016. This Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek exhibition turns the academic treatment of this surprisingly contemporary historical topic into a permanent display.
If "Bahnriss!" (web break) is called out in the machine room of a paper mill, it is clear what has happened – there has been a technical failure and the paper machine needs to be restarted. However, at the beginning of the 21st century, the paper web is still tearing – albeit in a completely different context: the close link between paper and culture which shaped our civilisation for centuries is being challenged in the form of modern and faster media in the age of apps. The use of paper and its importance to society are being overthrown in a seismic functional change.

The "Bahnriss ?! Papier | Kultur" exhibition takes a close look (in 17 sections) at the changing history of this everyday material. It covers everything from rudimentary pre-industrial paper-making through to water marks and the disused newsprint factories of the present day. It does not, however, manifest the resonant melancholy of the cultural pessimists who bemoan the decline of culture.
The show is thus a further addition to the wide range of topics covered in the virtual exhibitions of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek. The Brothers Grimm, the memory of dance, the Dresden Maya-code, the history of the city of Karlsruhe or early 20th century expeditions: the virtual exhibitions of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek reveal the diversity of topics represented by the more than 21 million objects currently available.

Exhibits such as works of art or everyday objects from museums, files and papers from archives, or written documents - be they printed books or manuscripts - as well as historical audio recordings of musical pieces or animal sounds are made available by more than 300 data partners. Together these cover a broad spectrum of the cultural heritage.
To create the virtual "Bahnriss?! Papier | Kultur" exhibition, the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek and the German National Library could draw upon years of trust-based and productive cooperation which is now bearing fruit e.g. in the digital presentation of exhibitions.


German Museum of Books and Writing of the German National Library in Leipzig

The book has shaped our culture and civilisation like no other medium. For centuries our knowledge about the world and its peoples has been stored, handed down and updated in books. The task of the German Museum of Books and Writing (Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum) is to collect, exhibit and process evidence of book and media history. Founded in 1884 as the Deutsches Buchgewerbemuseum (German Book Trade Museum), it was integrated in the Deutsche Bücherei in 1950 following the loss of its building and some of its stock in World War 2. It is the oldest book culture museum in the world, and also one of the most important with regard to the scope and quality of its collection.

Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek

The Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek interlinks the digital holdings of the German cultural and knowledge institutions to make them centrally accessible. It provides free access to digitised museum objects, books, music, monuments, films, documents and many other cultural treasures to everyone via the Internet. The Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek acts as a network, linking and presenting the digital assets of its partners, thereby contributing to the democratisation of knowledge and resources.

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Schriftbanner mit Deutscher Nationalbibliothek Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main