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German Studies

Carolina-Duke Program in German Studies // Resource Guide for Duke and UNC libraries

Welcome to German Studies

This guide is an introduction to the rich library resources environment for German Studies at Duke University Libraries.

The libraries at Duke and UNC support the Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in German Studies, a program that combines the resources of two great universities in a curriculum that joins disciplinary rigor with interdisciplinary flexibility to create an internationally acclaimed center of excellence for graduate training, research, teaching, and scholarly exchange. Duke and UNC are part of the Triangle Research Libraries Network. The goals of the TRLN Cooperative Collection Development Program are to enhance the collections of member libraries and provide better service to users by sharing access to specialized and expensive resources that do not need to be duplicated on individual campuses. 

Introductions to Research

Jürgen Seefeldt und Ludger Syré. Portale zu Vergangenheit und Zukunft - Bibliotheken in Deutschland. Im Auftrag von Bibliothek und Information Deutschland e.V. (BID) herausgegeben. Mit einem vorwort von Claudia Lux. 4. überarb. Aufl. Hildesheim: Olms Verlag, 2011. 

Collection Description (Germanic Languages)

Collecting research materials from and about Europe in all European languages has long been a high priority at both Duke University Libraries and at the University Library at UNC Chapel Hill. The European collections support vibrant programs in all disciplines, including business and economics, cultural and visual studies, history of science and medicine, history, literary study, music, philosophy, political science, public policy, and religion. In addition to supporting individual academic departments, the European Collections are also part of the life of two European Studies Centers (UNC is a Title VI Center), two Medieval and Renaissance Centers, the National Humanities Center, and two other TRLN (Triangle Research Libraries Network) institutions: North Carolina Central University (an HBCU), and North Carolina State University.

The European Studies resources in the Humanities and Social Sciences provide a rich context for German Studies research. The Duke and UNC Libraries subscribe to thousands of periodicals, annuals, and irregular series from and about Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, France, Italy, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. In addition, the libraries hold many complete runs of historic serial titles. The collections include films and videos from and about Europe, and several large microform sets covering European topics, especially on Great Britain and Germany, as well as large biographical archives and US government archival collections on European countries. New collection development efforts important for European Studies include Linguistics, Film and Visual Studies, Jewish Studies, Islamic Studies, Minority Literatures in Europe, and expanded coverage of contemporary authors, especially for France, Germany, and Italy. The Duke Libraries are a depository for documents published by the European Union, and Duke and UNC Libraries collect government documents and statistics from individual European countries, as well as publications by many international organizations (ILO, OECD, and more).

Duke and UNC Libraries have well-funded approval plans for humanities collections in general, and for European as well as Medieval Studies in particular. Over the past three years the UNC library has received substantial Mellon funding to enhance the already strong collections in the History of Medicine, British History, and Medieval Women. Duke Libraries have benefited from a special Duke Provost fund used to acquire historic electronic journal back files and digital libraries of primary documents.

The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library ( houses unique resources of importance to European Studies.

Manuscripts: The library owns a fair number of collections dealing with diplomatic and military history of Great Britain and the Empire, dating from the late 19th century. Furthermore, it holds the papers of two Viennese Economists: Oskar Morgenstern and Karl Menger.

The Jantz Collection: The collection consists of some 3,500 titles in German Baroque literature, complemented by over 7,000 titles reflecting Dr. Harold Jantz's other scholarly interests, namely German Americana of all periods, English-German literary relations, the Age of Goethe, Rosicruciana and Occulta.

Nazi Period: The collection consists of some 1550 rare monographs, official NSDAP documents, journals, propaganda and pictures published in Germany during the Third Reich. In addition, the library owns a set of 2,858 technical and scientific reports detailing German research during that time period.

Viennese Collection: Printed materials relating the social and political history of Vienna, as well as its art and architecture. This collection complements the private library of the late Viennese musicologist Alexander Weinmann (1901-1987), which is held in the Music Library. This latter collection consists of some 8,000 pieces from his private research collection. Emphases are music publishing in Vienna from the late 18th century through the 19th century and Viennese musical life in the 19th century. There is a large component of sheet music, including a number of first editions. Supplementing the Weinmann Collection is the Peter Riethus Collection consisting of some 1,200 books and scores from the estate of Peter Riethus of Vienna. This collection contains many out-of-print biographical and historical titles concerning Vienna and Central Europe.

French Revolution Pamphlets: A collection of pamphlets and serial issues published during and after the French Revolution. Collection is located in the Rare Book Room.

The Guido Mazzoni Collection: The collection consists of some 55,000 mostly Italian pamphlets, theatrical works, librettos, programs, catalogs dating from the 16th to the 20th century. It includes some World War II fascist propaganda, and, most importantly, one of the largest extant collections of "per nozze," being essays, studies or small works published on the occasion of a marriage.

The Lanson Collection: The collection was purchased from Professor Gustave Lanson, noted French scholar and critic in 1927. The collection consists of 11, 000 titles, many being standard works of modern French authors, as well as an extensive reprint collection of articles by Lanson and other French literary scholars.

The following overview provides some detail on the depth of the combined Duke and UNC Special Collections holdings in Germanic languages by century, to show the rich environment and material base for archival research for graduate student and faculty. More detailed information about named collections is contained in online and print Finding Aids:

1000-1500: The libraries preserve a core collection of early German and Latin manuscripts of German origin which are noted for their historical provenance and for their illuminations.

1500-1600: The libraries preserve significant materials from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Incunabula collections include, for example, both the Latin and German editions of Hartmann Schedel’s Liber Chronicarum (1493). Popularly known as the Nuremberg Chronicle, this is one of the most celebrated early histories of the world and is famed for its innovative woodcut illustrations. The libraries have considerable sixteenth century divinity collections which are particularly strong in materials related to Catholic Literature, Martin Luther and the Reformation. Holdings also include sources on the History of Medicine and Facsimiles of German manuscripts.

1600-1800: The collections include substantial numbers of items for : Alchemy, Chemistry & Magic; Art and Illumination; Athanasius Kircher Collection; Bibliography and the History of the Book; Divinity: Lutheranism, Christian Hebraica, Hymnology, New Testament Studies; Emblem books; German Dissertations (uncataloged); History of Medicine for  16th-20th centuries; Illustrated Festival and Funeral Books; the Jantz Collection (one of the largest German literature collections from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in North America) Jantz Broadside Collection; Jantz Graphic Arts Collections (print collection); Literary Works (poetry, drama, fiction, utopian literature, literary annuals, age of Goethe, Faust legend and fairy tales, etc.); Philosophy; Renaissance and Humanism; Science and Exploration; Viennese 18th C Music (Strauss, etc.).

1800-1900: In the nineteenth century the libraries hold broad materials related to the German experience internationally.

The collections include substantial holdings in: German American Imprints and German American Family Papers (Particularly strong on German communities of the American South); German American Newspapers; Viennese Economics (Morgenstern and Menger Papers); Henkel Family Priting; History of Medicine (incl. Gottschalk Collection at UNC); Literature (literary annuals, Jewish); German-Judaica; Music (general publications and music publishing in Vienna from the late 18th century through the 19th century and Viennese musical life in the 19th century); British and American Literature in translation (UNC Dickens and Ticknor & Fields Collections); History of Science and Medicine.

1900-1945: Collections for the beginning 20th century boast large holdings in materials in political and cultural expressions. Collections include: Archaeology and Stuart Maya Collections; Avant-Garde; Beats Collections; Bowman Gray Collection of World Wars I & II Broadsides, Posters, Postcards, and Propaganda (includes all sides of conflict); German Newspapers (Jewish, labor, regional, political); German Speculative and Utopian Fiction; German-American Newspapers; German-Judaica; History of Medicine; J. Walter Thompson Company Advertising Collection (including personal papers); Jewish Culture Collection (literature, Zionism, religion, biography); Literature (Jewish, Stefan George circle collection, fine printing); Nazi Propaganda Collection; British Propaganda Leaflets in German; Political Posters (German Broadside Collection); Papers & Manuscripts (Jantz Papers; Heschel Papers (1907-1972); Borchardt Papers; Hans Baron Papers; Frederick Herzog Papers; Weinmann Papers, Theodor Wilhelm Papers; William Stern Papers); Peetz Photographs; Political Caricature Serials.

Heidi Madden and Libby Chenault, 2015