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Preservation: Historical and genealogical charts usable again

Press release:  6.2.2018

After being thoroughly cleaned, the historical and genealogical charts held by the German National Library are once again available for use. The charts were preserved as part of a special one million euro programme funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Grütters.

Consisting of roughly 12,000 media units, the collection is the largest of its kind in the German-speaking countries. The newly cleaned holdings consist primarily of charts for classroom use. They were designed as consumable materials and reflect the political thinking of the time of their creation. They cover general subjects but also vocational and military topics. All the charts had to be treated individually to protect them from direct damage caused by dirt, and secondary damage caused e.g. by insects or mould.

The programme, which was launched last year by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Grütters, supports selected projects aimed at preserving the written cultural heritage. The projects were selected on the basis of recommendations issued by the Coordination Office for Preservation of the Written Cultural Heritage (Koordinierungsstelle für die Erhaltung des schriftlichen Kulturguts, KEK). The unique collection of the German National Library originates from the period 1912 to 1987 and is held at the Leipzig site of the Library.

Background

For over a century now the German National Library has been collecting, documenting, archiving and making publicly available all written and sound recording publications issued in Germany, or in German, since 1913. It provides its comprehensive range of services at its twin sites in Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main, but also in digital form to a global circle of users. In addition, the German National Library also houses valuable and extensive special collections in the German Exile Archive 1933-1945 and the German Museum of Books and Writing.

As a member of the Alliance for Preservation of the Written Cultural Heritage (Allianz Schriftliches Kulturgut Erhalten), the German National Library is pursuing the goals of protecting the endangered originals of Germany’s rich cultural and scientific heritage, and of anchoring this heritage in the public awareness as a national task. In order to preserve the media publications in the long-term and make them available to the general public, the German National Library practises preventive conservation. This includes systematically analysing the objects, ensuring their optimum storage, safeguarding information and taking appropriate measures for the conservation of media publications.

Further information

Press release of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media:
https://www.bundesregierung.de/Content/DE/Pressemitteilungen/BPA/2017/07/2017-07-28-bkm-schriftliches-kulturerbe.html

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Schriftbanner mit Deutscher Nationalbibliothek Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main