Peter Behrens – 150

This year the 150th anniversary of the birth of Peter Behrens (1868-1940) is celebrated.  He was one of the most innovative designers and architects of the early 20th century and is recognized as a pioneer of modern industrial design. In his role as chief designer for the German company AEG he developed its corporate design encompassing the logo, publicity material, the form of the goods and the industrial buildings. With the turbine hall in Berlin Moabit he created an icon of industrial architecture. Continue reading

New electronic resources with a European connection

The ejournals@cambridge blog publicises trial access to and purchase of various databases and ejournals, and it is certainly a blog worth following.  Several purchases over the last few months complement our European collections, so this post gives an overview.  The subjects of these new resources span philology, politics, art history, theology, migration studies, history, and bibliography, and their contents are in English and various European languages.

Composite of samples of ephemera from the Euromaidan Protests database

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Upside-down bells in mainland Europe

Segeberg font by Quoth via Wikimedia Commons

I was recently cataloguing a book on monasteries in Schleswig-Holstein (Klöster in Schleswig-Holstein: von den Anfängen bis zur Reformation by Oliver Auge and Katja Hillebrand).  As I was leafing through the pages I was struck by a double page spread on baptismal fonts, and in particular by a full-page photograph of the highly decorative one to be found in the Marienkirche in Bad Segeberg.

The most notable feature of these fonts to me is that they were made of bronze, often, it seems, as a sideline for bellfounders (they do perhaps resemble upside-down bells). After a little research I soon realised that unlike in Britain (where stone was the usual material for fonts) there are still many fine examples of bronze baptismal fonts in northern Germany and nearby. Continue reading

LGBT publishing in Germany: Bibliothek rosa Winkel

In preparation for the pop-up exhibition “Queering the UL” in February this year, staff were asked to think of items that could feature in the event. This gave me a chance to take a closer look at some intriguing books that had passed through my hands, and which I was surprised to see among the very academic monographs I usually deal with. After a bit of research, I found out they were all in a series called “Bibliothek rosa Winkel,” which documents in fact an important part of German social history.

Logo

The Verlag rosa Winkel logo

The publishing house Verlag rosa Winkel, the first dedicated to gay themes in Germany, was founded in 1975 by a group of friends in West Berlin who, wanting to set up a stand of books on homosexuality at their university, realised that they had almost nothing to sell. The expression “rosa Winkel” refers to the pink triangle that homosexuals were made to wear on their clothes in Nazi Germany. The aim of the founders was to give a chance to books dealing with LGBT themes that had been turned down by more mainstream publishers. In 1991 they started the series Bibliothek rosa Winkel, defined as being at the crossroads of history and literature, and whose focus is testimonies or other narratives documenting life as a homosexual at different points in history. As Verlag rosa Winkel went out of business in 2001, the series was taken over by the publisher Männerschwarm Verlag. Continue reading

French and German prizewinners 2017

Following on from the recent post on Italian prizewinners, we now turn our attentions to the latest winners of major French (last covered in May 2017) and German (last covered in March 2017) prizes.

The Prix Goncourt was awarded to L’ordre du jour by Éric Vuillard (C205.d.4186).

The Prix Interallié went to Jean-René Van der Plaetsen for Nostalgie de l’honneur       (C205.d.4224).

Daniel Rondeau won the Grand prix du roman de l’Académie française for Mécaniques du chaos (C205.d.4223).

The Prix Médicis was awarded to Yannick Hanenel’s Tiens ferme ta couronne (C205.d.4222). Continue reading