Virtual exhibitions

Wanderlust – A journey around the world in city maps

© BSB/ Mapp. I,49 g
© BSB/ Mapp. I,49 g

The Swiss Cäcilie von Rodt (1855 – 1929), who descended from a patrician family from Bern, sold her parents' estate after their death. Inspired by the adventure stories of her youth – written by authors such as James F. Cooper and Jules Verne – she started travelling henceforth. After a number of first tours in the Mediterranean, she went on her first journey around the world on her own in May 1901, circling the globe once completely from east to west.

 

She recorded her experience in writing and published a 715 pages strong, richly illustrated report in 1903. Thirsty for knowledge, she addresses the history of every country she travelled, attentively compares the different perceptions of women in the cultures encountered, states observations on the behaviour of the colonial powers' representatives and tells enthusiastically about her joy of travelling, enjoyable travel groups, buzzing big cities and overwhelming impressions of nature.

 

Inspired by the travel route taken by Cäcilie von Rodt, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek shows a selection of contemporary city maps and photographs of her travel destinations in a virtual exhibition.

 

Virtual exhibition

Wanderlust – A journey around the world in city maps

Many a tune – tablature manuscripts at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (1540 – 1620)

Bavarian National Museum: Lute with inscription, ornaments and inlaid rosette | © Bavarian National Museum
Bavarian National Museum: Lute with inscription, ornaments and inlaid rosette | © Bavarian National Museum

The documentation of music in writing underwent continuous change in the course of Europe's history. Factors such as further developments of composition, the establishment of new music forms and genres or innovations in the construction of instruments always also had implications for the practice of notation. In the course of the centuries, the notation was adapted to the current conditions repeatedly and honed to best match the respective requirements.

 

This is visible particularly clearly in the transition period from the late middle ages to the early modern era. During this time, various specialised notation forms for instrumental music – the tablatures – were established in addition to the mensural notation for vocal music. Tablatures thus became an integral part in the canon of written music tradition in the course of the 16th century in particular. It is owed to the Bavarian dukes' enthusiasm for collecting that the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek currently preserves not only the monumental Renaissance choir books, but in addition around 70 further music manuscripts of this epoch, in the form of tablatures and part books. The manuscripts can be viewed in their entirety in the digital collections of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek free of charge.

 

The virtual exhibition shows a cross section of the holdings, offering an overview of the history, function and use of the tablatures. At the end of the tour, we present an additional video recording showing extracts of the workshop concert "To sing many a tune or to play the organ and the lute" – music from Renaissance manuscripts of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, and a film which was shot in the course of the preparations for the workshop concert.

 

Virtual exhibition
Many a tune – tablature manuscripts at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

Images, images, images – the photographic archives of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

Images, images, images | © BSB/ Image Archive
Images, images, images | © BSB/ Image Archive

The presentation "Images, images, images" was arranged on the occasion of the annual conference of the image archives of the Land media centers and of the public sector, which took place from 26 to 28 April 2017 at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. It shows a small selection from the various photographic archives of the library.

 

For the most part, they contain photographs, but also representations in original-graphic techniques such as xylographs, copper engravings and lithographies form part of this collection, which comprises over two million images today. It includes portraits, views of buildings, locations and landscapes, photographs of historical events and on ethnography. The focus is on Bavaria, but individual parts of the collection also reach clearly beyond. This is applicable particularly to photographs from the time of the Weimar Republic, the 3rd Reich, the Second World War and the post-war period.

 

The main attention is always on the documentary character of the images.

 

Virtual exhibition
Images, images, images – The photographic archives of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

Books to the web – The cooperation project of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek with Google for the digitization of its copyright-free library holdings (2007 – 2017)

Books to the web 2007 – 2017: virtual exhibition on the cooperation project of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek with Google for the digitization of its copyright-free library holdings | © BSB
Books to the web 2007 – 2017: virtual exhibition on the cooperation project of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek with Google for the digitization of its copyright-free library holdings | © BSB

On 6 March 2007 the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich, the then Bavarian Minister of Sciences Dr. Thomas Goppel and Google announced that the library was going to join Google's book search project. In cooperation with the Internet corporation, the copyright-free holdings of the library, focusing on works from the 17th to the end of the 19th century, were to be digitized – an important milestone in the digitization strategy of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

 

After developing and establishing a complex work flow, the digitization work finally started at the beginning of 2008. Over one million copyright-free books found their way to the web in this manner. In 2014, the main part of the work had been accomplished – the volumes were available to everybody, around the clock and regardless of location.

Today, ten years later, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek offers over two million volumes online, thus holding the largest digital data stock of all German libraries. The project has been expanded in the meantime, also including holdings of the state libraries in Regensburg, Passau and Augsburg, which are subordinated organisationally to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

 

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the cooperation, a virtual exhibition gives a small and varied – if certainly not representative – insight into the holdings digitized by Google. We hope you enjoy exploring and discovering the world of old books.

 

Virtual exhibition

Books to the web

Showcase – Artists' books from the collection of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

Exhibition poster | © BSB
Exhibition poster | © BSB

Titled SHOWCASE, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek presents selected exhibits from its collection of artists' books, which has been expanded systematically since 1915, encompasses a large variety of topics and has today reached a top rank on an international level. SHOWCASE indicates the presentation of the books in glass cases that is characteristic of an exhibition in this library. The title likewise implies that these contemporary works of art are collected for the purpose of showing and browsing them, hence the part "show", but also within the meaning of a "case", exemplarily, in line with the targeted expansion of a collection that is special for an academic universal library.

 

SHOWCASE pursues the goal to effectively bring to bear the dynamism and multi-faceted expressiveness of these books, which are consciously chosen by artists as their form of expression. It illustrates the differences between the artists' approaches to using the medium of the book and the differences between their appearance, design, material and value. Books produced at low cost and as a mass product can be artists' books just like pricey books of a bibliophile appearance. With their ideas and new solutions, the artists also pursue further goals in addition to aesthetic value. They address society in a new language and with new forms of presentation, also pursuing political goals. Their urge to change is also expressed in the subculture of comics and zines.

 

Over 70 exhibits were presented in three exhibition rooms. The virtual review gives an impression of the exhibition and the exhibits presented in the showcases.

 

Virtual review
Showcase – Artists' books from the collection of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

"You, my dear Rossini! I will mention first" – Rossini's conquest of Munich in 1816

Gioachino Rossini, 1819. Steel engraving on the basis of a drawing by Louis Dupré (after 1820) | © Collection Reto Müller
Gioachino Rossini, 1819. Steel engraving on the basis of a drawing by Louis Dupré (after 1820) | © Collection Reto Müller

On 18 June 1816, Gioachino Rossini's opera buffa "L'italiana in Algeri" was performed at the Munich court theatre. A memorable event, since this was not only the first time that an opera by Rossini was staged in Munich, but the first time in overall Germany! On stage, the opera was performed by the Italian troupe of the impresario Antonio Cera, a close friend of the young Rossini. Rossini's music took Munich by storm.

 

After the guest performance had been extended again and again up to the late autumn of 1816, "Tancredi" and "L'inganno felice" had been premiered as well only a few days after "L'italiana in Algeri" and "Ciro in Babilonia" had been staged in October in addition, the guest performances of Cera's troupe were institutionalised in Munich. Within a period of only eight years, between 1816 and 1824, the Italian opera ensemble presented 17 different operas by Rossini.

 

As of 1821, also the German ensemble of the court opera could no longer ignore the enthusiasm for Rossini. Now, there were additional performances of Rossini operas in the German language at the National Theatre.

 

The virtual exhibition shows sources of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and a number of loans, all of which relate to the four Rossini operas staged in the year 1816: Performance materials (handwritten scores and voices), libretti, theatre handouts and reviews. Moreover, the unbelievable success of Rossini's operas in Munich is evidenced also by the adaptations of popular opera pieces for a large number of different instrumentations: The Munich music publishing house Falter published a broad range of individual editions of the most popular arias and duets from the Munich Rossini performances for music making in the private home, and the Munich court musicians Wilhelm Legrand, Peter Streck and Johann Baptist Widder adapted numerous pieces for wind-instrument dominated "Harmonie" music.

 

Virtual exhibition
"You, my dear Rossini! I will mention first" – Rossini's conquest of Munich in 1816

Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof – Founder of the constructed language "Esperanto"

Zamenhof seated at his desk | © BSB/ Plansprachensammlung Haupenthal
Zamenhof seated at his desk | © BSB/ Plansprachensammlung Haupenthal

One hundred years ago, Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof died in Warsaw. The Jewish ophthalmologist is the inventor of the constructed language "Esperanto". Throughout his life, he strived to further international understanding and peace by means of a neutral language.

 

Zamenhof led an eventful life: Born on 15 December 1859 in Białystok, situated on Polish territory today, the son of a Jewish family witnessed already at an early age the conflict of the various population groups, which, due to different languages and the resulting communication difficulties, did not live together peacefully. Motivated by the desire to put an end to these misunderstandings, he developed a consciously constructed language already during his years at school and later on, while studying medicine. He published the language in 1887, which became widely known quickly under the pseudonym Dr. Esperanto that he was using.

 

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek holds a rich collection of literature about and in the language Esperanto and about further constructed languages. The extensive collection of materials on constructed languages given to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek by the couple Haupenthal years ago merits special mention in this context.

 

The virtual exhibition "Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof" now offers further insight into the life and work of Zamenhof.

 

Virtual exhibition

Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof – Founder of the constructed language "Esperanto"

Martin Luther and the early Reformation in Bavaria – Supporters, adversaries, sympathisers

Martin Luther and the early Reformation in Bavaria. Poster on the virtual exhibition | © BSB/ bavarikon
Martin Luther and the early Reformation in Bavaria. Poster on the virtual exhibition | © BSB/ bavarikon

Titled "Martin Luther and the early Reformation in Bavaria. Supporters, adversaries, sympathisers", the cultural portal bavarikon presents its first virtual exhibition in 2017, the year of the Reformation's anniversary. The exhibition is unique, not only with respect to its volume, but also the approach taken: Twenty-one cultural institutions take part in the virtual exhibition showing 123 high-carat exhibits. bavarikon thus depicts a fascinating image of the Reformation in Bavaria, at the same time enabling viewers to experience the reform movements and the counter-movements on a regional level in Old Bavaria, Franconia and Swabia.

 

The virtual exhibition on Martin Luther is a joint project of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, the Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte (Centre of Bavarian History) and the Bavarian state archives. Under their leadership, 123 precious exhibits from all over Bavaria were brought together, uniting them for an exhibition for the first time. What is special: All exhibits are presented in an outstanding digital quality. The printed works and manuscripts shown as part of the exhibition can further be browsed from the first to the last page. This means that visitors of the virtual exhibition can have a close look at documents which are otherwise kept in archives or protected by glass cabinets.

 

Among the exhibits to be viewed there are i.a. 26 original autographs by Luther, hand-coloured Luther Bibles, the most important Reformation writings, the portraits of Luther by Lucas Cranach the Elder, the Hedwig glass owned by Luther or the Regensburg Reformation altar. An impressive 3D presentation permits viewers to explore Luther's room in the fortress of Coburg, which has remained an important memorial site of the history of the Reformation.

 

Further information in the press release of 15 March 2017
Press release  (in German)  (PDF, 113 KB)

 

Virtual exhibition
Martin Luther and the early Reformation in Bavaria

Worlds of images – Illumination and book illustration between the Middle Ages and the modern era

"Worlds of images – Ethereal and worldly" virtual presentation on Google Arts & Culture | © BSB
"Worlds of images – Ethereal and worldly" virtual presentation on Google Arts & Culture | © BSB

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek will henceforth present its big annual exhibitions on Google Arts & Culture, an Internet art and culture portal, and in the form of an app. The digital versions offer entirely new options to everybody interested in the exhibition. No matter whether you use them as an audio guide for visiting the exhibition, preparing your visit or for looking back on some particular items of the exhibition: The presentation on Google Arts & Culture now offers an appealing design and easy navigation free of charge.

 

The parts two "Ethereal and worldly" and three "Off to new pastures" of the three-part exhibition series "Worlds of images – Illumination and book illustration between the Middle Ages and the modern era" can already be viewed on Google Arts & Culture as virtual exhibitions.

 

Dr. Klaus Ceynowa, Director General: "The expansion of our extensive and highly frequented annual exhibitions to the virtual space maximises their visibility, ultimately on a global scale. As one of the first German cultural institutions to do so, we appreciate cooperating with Google Arts & Culture for this purpose."

 

Virtual exhibition
Worlds of images – Illumination and book illustration between the Middle Ages and the modern era

Pleasing to the eye and the ear – The choir books of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

Heinrich Isaac (around 1450 – 1517), four-part setting of the Credo. Munich (court music ensemble), around 1525 | © BSB/ Mus.ms. 53
Heinrich Isaac (around 1450 – 1517), four-part setting of the Credo. Munich (court music ensemble), around 1525 | © BSB/ Mus.ms. 53

Encompassing around 170 manuscripts, the holdings of choir books of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek represent a collection of world renown. The majority of the works is from the 16th and 17th centuries, characterized predominantly by the repertory of the Munich court music directors and court composers of the epoch. Ludwig Senfl and Orlando di Lasso are two of the most widely known names.

 

However, the choir books also contain copies of works of a multiplicity of further Renaissance composers, such as Josquin Des Prez, Cipriano de Rore or Heinrich Isaac, who did not work for the Wittelsbach dynasty, but whose art was still highly appreciated at the Munich court. A further part of the collection is constituted by valuable fragments of multi-part music, dating back as far as to the Notre-Dame epoch (12th and 13th centuries). A number of specimens of the collection were produced as late as in the mid-18th century, at the same time also marking an end point of the era of this particular type of manuscript.

 

The exhibition shows a cross section of the holdings, offering an overview of the history, function and use of the choir books. At the end of the tour, we additionally present a selection of films about the choir books of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

 

Virtual exhibition
Pleasing to the eye and the ear – The choir books of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

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