A great distinction for Dr. Claudia Fabian – and for the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: Award of the Karl Preusker Medal 2017

The umbrella organisation of the German library associations, Bibliothek & Information Deutschland (BID) e. V., awards the Karl Preusker Medal 2017 to the Executive Library Director Dr. Claudia Fabian, Head of the Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. The Germany-wide organisation recognizes Dr. Fabian's outstanding merits in the cataloguing, research and visualisation of the written cultural heritage from the middle ages up to the most recent past.

The jury stresses in its explanatory statement that Claudia Fabian does not only pursue the scholarly cataloguing and research of the written cultural heritage preserved by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and its appropriate and topical conveyance and integration in national and international library contexts. She also raises the public's awareness of this heritage by excellently devised exhibitions. Some outstanding examples from recent years are the exhibitions "Magnificent Manuscripts" (2012/ 13) and "Worlds of images – Illumination and book illustration between the Middle Ages and the modern era" (2016/ 17).

Dr. Claudia Fabian will receive the Karl Preusker Medal at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek on 29 September 2017. The laudatory speech will be held by Prof. Dr. Werner Suerbaum, professor emeritus for Latin philology at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich.

Among the persons awarded with the medal so far there are for example the former German Federal President Horst Köhler, Ranga Yogeshwar and Paul Raabe.

Source and further information about the Karl Preusker Medal and this year's laureate on the website:
Bibliothek & Information Deutschland > Aktuelles | 25. Juli 2017

Berlin Digital Humanities Award 2015 – Second place for the project "1914-1918 online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War"

The Interdisciplinary Research Network Digital Humanities in Berlin (if|DH|b) has presented the Berlin Digital Humanities Award for the first time. The award goes to outstanding and innovative DH projects in the Berlin area.

The jury evaluated the innovative character, consistent usage of standards and normative data, as well as special efforts to ensure sustainable accessibility of the project results.

The winner of the second prize remunerated with EUR 600 is the project "1914-1918 online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War" by Oliver Janz (Freie Universität Berlin), Nicolas Apostolopoulos (Freie Universität Berlin) and Klaus Ceynowa (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek).

The jury explains: "The project has set new standards. Its large and still increasing volume notwithstanding, the online encyclopedia is clearly laid out, inviting users to stay and explore. 1914-1918 online thus manages to appeal to a broad public also beyond academic circles."

Source and complete press release: BBAW/PM-12/2015 | 16 June 2015
1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War
Interdisciplinary Research Network Digital Humanities in Berlin (if|DH|b)

1st prize in the "Public Brain Award 2013" competition for the app "Bavaria in historical maps"

"An excellent and unique combination of state-of-the-art technology and historical map material. Its operation is very easy and intuitive. The maps showing Bavaria in multiple temporal dimensions are an incentive to have fun learning more about the history of Bavaria. Congratulations!" These were the words of Bavarian State Secretary of Finance Johannes Hintersberger when he awarded the 1st prize of the "Public Brain Award 2013" competition to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek for the app "Bavaria in historical maps". On the occasion of the awards ceremony at the BMW-Welt in Munich, he told the producers of the app to keep up the good work.

The competition "Apps for Bavaria" is a project of Vodafone GmbH, under the auspices of the Free State of Bavaria. It fosters the conception and development of apps. In this competition, a prize is awarded by a jury to the best mobile applications (briefly: apps) relating to Bavaria which were developed by the participants. The "Public Brain Award", said Hintersberger, stands for the enormous potential that can be set free by publicly accessible knowledge: "There should be no limits to ingenuity in future-proof development trends and tangible added value. We need new approaches to improve the visibility and accessibility of public apps, so that they can be used by a broader public. This supports the expansion and acceptance of e-government."

Source: Press release of the Bavarian State Government | 24 October 2013
Further information about the app

Award "AZ Star of the Year 2012" in the category "exhibition" goes to "Magnificent Manuscripts"

With 72 outstanding manuscripts from the collections of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and three excellent exhibits from the State Library of Bamberg, the Kunsthalle of the Hypo Culture Foundation presented a broad overview of the earliest and most valuable specimens of German book illumination, from the Carolingian to the Ottonian art, up to the Romanesque period. These 75 codices form part of the greatest cultural and artistic accomplishments of their epochs. The splendid volumes of the Ottonian period constitute the absolutely unique, central collection group in the extensive manuscript collection of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Due to their particular fragility and their great value, these works practically never leave the library's vaults. This exhibition has offered the unique opportunity to discover over 1000 years old, superb documents of our cultural heritage in the original.

"Actually, you should hold your breath all the time – the books that are allowed to be exposed to the light for a few weeks are that precious. The Kunsthalle of the Hypo Culture Foundation has turned into a medieval treasure vault: 72 manuscripts of the time between 780 and 1180 light the semi-darkness: Gospel books, evangeliaries and prayer books, with virtuoso illuminations, adorned with gold and purple. Normally, the fragile adorned volumes are kept in the vaults of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and the Bamberg State Library. To have such a large selection of such quality gathered in one place is a sensation – made possible by the excellent cooperation of two different institutions and the curators Roger Diederen (Hypo Kunsthalle) and Claudia Fabian and Béatrice Hernad (BSB)."

Source: Website of the Abendzeitung newspaper

The award "AZ Star of the Year 2012" in the category "exhibition" went to "Magnificent Manuscripts".

E-government award for the online portal "Bayern.Recht"

The online service "Bayern.Recht" operated under the stewardship of the Bavarian State Chancellery was awarded the "Bayerischer E-Government-Löwe 2012", ranking third, on 21 November 2012. An important part of this central law portal of the Free State of Bavaria is the "Verkündungsplattform Bayern" (announcement platform Bavaria), which is updated and maintained with the substantial support of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

The Bavarian e-government competition held for the third time this year was themed: "A head start for the economy, communities and administration through e-government". A jury consisting of high-ranking representatives from the fields of business, scholarship and administration selected three innovative and promising solutions from the submissions by the state and community authorities.

The award, which was presented by the IT appointee of the Bavarian State Government, State Secretary of Finance Franz Josef Pschierer, honoured among other things the contribution by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek to setting up and operating the "Verkündungsplattform Bayern".

The "Verkündungsplattform Bayern", launched on 22 January 2009 in the Bavarian State Chancellery, was designed under the auspices of the Bavarian State Chancellery and implemented by the Department Acquisition, Collection Development and Cataloguing 2 of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek starting in 2008. The Center for Electronic Publishing is in charge of producing the digital official bulletins in the PDF/ A format, while the Munich Digitization Center organizes the provision, cataloguing and long-time archiving of the official bulletins and of the Bayerisches Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt (Bavarian law and ordinance gazette).

The award shows that modern and efficient libraries can also bring their comprehensive competencies in the field of digitization and electronic publishing to bear, helping to modernize administration and to improve the efficiency of operation of citizen-friendly information services.

Database Bayern.Recht
Announcement platform Bavaria

Public Brain Award 2012 – Special prize for the app "Ludwig II"

New future-proof applications for Bavaria! As patron of the competition "Apps for Bavaria", the IT officer of the Bavarian State Government, State Secretary of Finance Franz Josef Pschierer, awarded the "Public Brain Award 2012" for new application programmes in the field of e-government relating to Bavaria.

"Let's harness ingenuity for future-proof development trends and tangible added value! The 'Public Brain Award' stands for the enormous potential that can be set free by publicly accessible knowledge. Of course, the connection to Bavaria has been particularly important to us here. For this reason, the competition 'Apps for Bavaria' was created in cooperation with Vodafone", Pschierer emphasised.

The app "King Ludwig II", developed by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek for smart phones, was awarded a special prize. Its multimedia design enables the user to "walk in the footsteps" of the fairytale king and to download photos, ring tones and events about the "Kini".

Source: Bavarian State Ministry of Finances, press release no. 210 | 16. October 2012
Further information about the app

Federal Minister of the Interior Hans-Peter Friedrich lauds union catalogue B3Kat at the CeBit 2012

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, the Bavarian Library Association and the Cooperative Library Association of Berlin-Brandenburg have been awarded the second prize in the category "data" of the first German programming competition "Apps for Germany" for their catalogue "B3Kat", which was published in the Linked Open Data format. The prizes were awarded by the Federal Minister of the Interior, Hans-Peter Friedrich, at the CeBit fair in Hanover on 6 March 2012.

The competition "Apps for Germany" is a joint project of administrative institutions and the web community, supporting Open Data projects in Germany. In the competition, a jury awards prizes to the best internet applications or mobile applications (briefly: apps) developed by the participants on the basis of openly accessible data of public authorities (Open Data) .

"Shared knowledge is multiplied knowledge", Daniel Friedrich, representative of the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, explained the advantage of open data, adding: "We have appreciated the participation of the library associations of Bavaria, Berlin and Brandenburg in particular... It shows that Land or institutional boundaries do not constitute an obstacle for Open Data when the focus is on the benefit for the citizens."

The competition "Apps for Germany" is an initiative of Government 2.0 Netzwerk Deutschland, Opendata Network and the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany.

Federal Cross of Merit 2011 awarded to Dr. Rolf Griebel

Rolf Griebel is awarded the honour for his services to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. "Under your leadership, the top position held by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek among Germany's academic libraries has been strengthened consistently. You have developed the library into a modern and user-oriented service center with a widely acknowledged reputation as international research library", said State Minister Heubisch in his laudatory speech for Rolf Griebel. In the laudatory speech, the important role of the library in national and European digitization projects was emphasised among other things.

Born in Ansbach on 15 September 1949, Griebel studied history, German philology and social sciences and initially worked at the university libraries of Bamberg and Erlangen-Nuremberg. In 1994, Griebel moved to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, taking the office of Deputy Director General of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in 2000. He was appointed Director General in 2004. Dr. Rolf Griebel was appointed member of numerous specialist bodies on a national and international level.

The Federal Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany is awarded for political, economic, social and intellectual accomplishments and all special services to the Federal Republic of Germany, also in the field of culture and scholarship, for example.

Manuscript of the Song of the Nibelungs of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek entered in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2009

The Song of the Nibelungs is regarded as an outstanding example of European epic poetry. It is based on earlier oral traditions and was written down by an unknown poet at the court of Wolfger von Erla, the bishop of Passau, around or shortly after the year 1200.

In two parts, first the story of Siegfried's death and then that of the demise of the Burgundians is narrated. The strophic poetry consisting of 39 "Aventiuren" forms an important part of German-language literature of the decades before the year 1200, the so-called classic time of the Middle High German language.

The work is a cultural monument of the highest quality.

"The entry of the Song of the Nibelungs in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register underlines the world renown of the manuscript collection held by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Since 2004, this has been the third time that outstanding cultural monuments forming part of the collections of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek have received this highest honour from UNESCO", said Dr. Rolf Griebel, [2009] Director General of the library.

The manuscript of the Song of the Nibelungs of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Cgm 34) can be viewed in its entirety on the Internet, consisting of 135 images:
The Song of the Nibelungs and the lament (main manuscript A). S. l., before 1280  (Cgm 34)

German UNESCO Commission: The Song of the Nibelungs

"Information for Excellence" – Bayerische Staatsbibliothek appointed library of the year 2008

From the press release:

The title "Library of the Year" by the German Library Association and the ZEIT Foundation Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius is awarded for the ninth time this year. In 2008, the title goes to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich. The library is awarded the only national library title, endowed with EUR 30,000.

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich is honoured as the "Library of the Year 2008", since it provides innovative services in all areas, spanning its multiple functions as an international research library with regional and archiving tasks, and as part of the "Virtual National Library", remaining focused on the benefit of the library user at the same time. By developing digital, Internet-based services for research, teaching, studies and education and integrating classical library services into new, web-based working environments, the library is facing up successfully to the challenges of the modern knowledge society 450 years after its foundation.

This year, the jury selected the winner from eleven excellent libraries of highly diverse sizes and fields of activity, which had been short-listed by the Land associations and sections of the German Library Association on the basis of their outstanding performance.

Complete press release  (in German)

Federal Cross of Merit 2007 awarded to Dr. Hermann Leskien

In a ceremony that took place in Munich on 4 October 2007, Dr. Hermann Leskien, Director General of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek from 1999 to 2004, has been awarded the Federal Cross of Merit First Class. Dr. Thomas Goppel, the Bavarian Minister of Sciences, Research and the Arts, presented the Federal Cross of Merit awarded by Federal President Horst Köhler to Dr. Leskien.

Leskien had been appointed Director General of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in the year 1992. A fundamental expansion of his activities and responsibilities was caused by the integration of the functions of the Directorate General of the Bavarian State Libraries in 1999. During his time in office, Leskien initiated the comprehensive re-orientation of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, which, under his auspices, developed into a modern, innovative service provider for scholarship and research, teaching and studies alike. He consistently set great value by harnessing the potential of information technology not only for the automation of library processes, but also for optimizing the user services.

The great respect he commands in professional circles is mirrored among other things by the fact that he was appointed chairman of the library committee of the German Research Foundation and of the advisory council of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. The honour of the Cross of Merit crowns the successful career and decades-long unwavering commitment of Hermann Leskien to librarianship in Bavaria and Germany.

Source: Bibliotheksforum Bayern 2 (2008) 1  (PDF, 56 KB)

Corvinus manuscripts entered in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2005

The library of Mathias Corvinus originally comprised over 2,000 volumes – mostly splendidly adorned manuscripts crafted in Italy. Accommodated in the palace of Buda, the second-largest Renaissance library following the Vaticana was spread all over the world by the Turks after the death of the king in the year 1490 and the conquest of Buda in 1541.

Today, 232 Corvinus preserved manuscripts can be found in 49 libraries in 16 countries. The works of the Bibliotheca Corviniana share the characteristics of the splendid illuminations of the manuscripts with drawings of the coat of arms of the king, the leather bindings adorned with gold and the bindings of velvet and silk.

Five of the eight Corvinus manuscripts of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek still have their original bindings. They came to Munich through the purchase of the book collection of Johann Jakob Fugger for the court library in 1571, through donation to Duke Albrecht V or in the course of the mediatisation at the beginning of the 19th century.

"The entry into the UNESCO Memory of the World Register once again acknowledges the significance of the manuscript collection of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. The entry into the register does not only emphasise the value of the manuscripts, but for us also constitutes an incentive and covenant to preserve the 'Corvinen' as part of the cultural heritage of mankind. The original Bibliotheca Corviniana may have been torn apart, but as part of the Memory of the World programme it comes back to life in the virtual world, so to speak", said Dr. Klaus Ceynowa, [2005] Deputy Director General of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

Munich Corvinus collection – Manuscripts in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register  (in the Digital Collections)
German UNESCO Commission: Renaissance library of King Mathias Corvinus

Illuminated manuscripts from the monastery island Reichenau entered in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2003

The "Memory of the World" (Gedächtnis der Menschheit) programme was launched by UNESCO in 1992. Its purpose is to make documents of great historical and cultural importance accessible worldwide, to preserve their memory and to protect them against destruction.

The register of world documentary heritage currently comprises 348 documents from all over the world. Included since the end of 2003 are the ten illuminated manuscripts from the monastery on the island of Reichenau in Lake Constance. The manuscripts are outstanding specimens of Ottonian book illustration in Germany. They have been selected as examples of the development of the monastic scriptorium, and of artistic innovation in book decoration. They are distinctive for the iconographic themes in their miniatures, and for the way in which they relate to the religious, political and cultural history of their time. The manuscripts are thus representative of the entire group of surviving manuscripts with Ottonian illumination from the Reichenau.

In the 10th and 11th centuries, the Benedictine Abbey of Reichenau housed an artists’ workshop, which was probably the largest and most influential in Europe. During its main period of activity, between c. 970 and 1010/ 20, a series of mainly liturgical manuscripts with precious decoration was produced there, commissioned by the most prominent members of contemporary society – bishops of the empire, kings and emperors.

Amongst the most precious books donated by Emperor Henry II to the Cathedral at Bamberg were probably the three manuscripts from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

The "Gospel book of Otto III" – with its precious binding and sumptuous decoration – was commissioned by the Emperor. In addition to the double-page miniature showing the provinces rendering homage to the enthroned Emperor, it contains a chronological cycle of illustrations of the life of Christ (29 full-page miniatures on a gold background). The depictions of the four evangelists as visionaries are regarded as the artistic high point of Reichenau painting.
Gospel book of Otto III  (Clm 4453)  (fully available in digital form)

The "Gospel book from the Cathedral of Bamberg" is exceptional because of its unusual iconography, e.g. the image of Christ in the tree of life surrounded by symbols of the evangelists and the rivers of paradise. In the canon tables, the signs of the zodiac appear – an unusual combination that does not occur anywhere else in Reichenau painting.
Gospel book from the Cathedral of Bamberg  (Clm 4454)  (individual images available in digital form)

The "Book of pericopes of Henry II" contains an illuminated dedication showing the coronation of Henry and his wife Kunigunde by Christ, as well as a cycle of 23 miniatures from the New Testament. The monumental, expressive figures are especially prominent in the double-page illustrations.
Book of pericopes of Henry II  (Clm 4452)  (individual images available in digital form)

German UNESCO Commission: The Reichenau manuscripts