“Do you have a copy of the Bible?”: critical editions in the UL

By Institut für Zeitgeschichte [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Institut für Zeitgeschichte [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Often, students come to the library looking for a copy of a text – a religious or classical text, for instance – without regard to the edition. Equally, however, it is common for those using the library to search for a specific edition of a text (editions in the Loeb Classical Library, for instance, are in the Reading Room – R707.5 for Greek and R712.5 for Latin – and also available online as ebooks).  A critical edition of a text with notes and/or commentary is valued by the research community for the analysis it provides. One newly published critical edition, much talked about in the press, which the UL acquired earlier this year is Hitler’s Mein Kampf, published by the Institut für Zeitgeschichte in Munich. It contains historical notes and textual analysis, and is structured much like more traditional biblical exegesis. Continue reading

Photography in the GDR


Geschlossene Gesellschaft (S950.b.201.2929)

One of the probably less known areas which we collect is photography in the GDR. Cambridge University Library thus has a substantial collection on the topic. One publisher is particularly active in that field, called Lehmstedt Verlag, and we have a substantial number of their publications on the topic. However, there is of course a variety of publishers from which we acquire such material. Our collections include various academic books about the topic that can be borrowed, although a lot of the material we acquire is heavily illustrated and/or an exhibition catalogue and therefore cannot be taken out of the building. A few of those books recently caught my attention as they crossed my desk:

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The Trude Good collection – The library of Mrs Gertrud Good, 1907-1996 (Part 2)

War clouds: Paris and London


Bought the year before Trude left Germany (UL classmark: F193.d.1.2)

On 27 February 1933, Trude and Josef watched distant flames from the Reichstag fire from a balcony. This was the turning point for them. The Judas, plus Fred and some of her cousins who were Zionists, planned to leave Hitler’s Germany at once. Their parents’ generation felt established in society in spite of the Nazi threat: “Why should a war hero and successful businessman have to run away?” Eugen gave Trude and Fred a bag of gold each as a parting gift. The Judas , their furniture and the library went to Paris, Fred to the USA, and the cousins to Israel and Brazil.

In Paris, the Judas became part of a milieu of intellectuals, writers, painters etc., forming friendships with several, including Nicholas Monsarrat, author of The Cruel Sea. Here also the marriage came to an end. Continue reading

The Trude Good collection – The library of Mrs Gertrud Good, 1907-1996 (Part 1)

“Glimpses of Trude”

The library of Mrs Gertrud Good, known to her friends and family as Trude, was one of the many collections of books brought into the country when their owners fled persecution in mainland Europe.  The Library has subsequently benefited from sev009eral donations of such material, which offer a welcome opportunity to plug gaps in our holdings.   Highlights from the Good collection include two first editions by Hans Fallada (F193.d.1.3 and F193.d.1.4), with cover designs by George Grosz and Olaf Gulbransson, and Else Lasker-Schüler’s prose text Arthur Aronymus (F193.d.1.2), incorporating on the cover and dust-jacket a drawing by the author herself. The life of the young woman who bought these books in 1931 and 1932 is briefly described by her son and daughter in the following two posts.

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Refugees in Germany… repeating history


German-speaking settlements in Middle and Eastern Europe (C201.c.7265)

Germany has a long and complicated history of population movement: more recently the integration of millions of refugees after World War Two was not easy; and the current influx of huge numbers of migrants is a topic of intense discussion in Germany. In total, 20.3% of Germany’s population now have a Migrationshintergrund (a migration background) – the official German term used to describe immigrants or their children.

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