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UNPACKING THE WARBURG LIBRARY

UNPACKING THE WARBURG LIBRARY Abstract Against the backdrop of Walter Benjamin's famous essay, “Unpacking My Library” (1931), this article, by the Librarian of the Warburg Institute, tells the story of the many times that the Warburg Library has been packed and unpacked. First it was the private collection of Aby Warburg, later a public institution, originally in Hamburg (in the 1920s) and then in London from 1933 to the present. This essay also explores the various ways in which books have been — and continue to be — acquired by the Warburg Library, including publication (both individual and institutional), donation, recommendation, and purchase. Each of these methods is not only discussed but also examined in light of Benjamin's account of the acquisition of his own library. Moreover, Benjamin's view that collections lose their meaning when they cease to be personal is challenged by the example of the Warburg Library, which has been transformed from a private collection containing around 15,000 books in 1911 to a public institution today housing over 350,000 volumes, while still maintaining its unique character. CiteULike Connotea Delicious Digg Facebook Google+ Reddit Technorati Twitter What's this? « Previous | Next Article » Table of Contents This Article doi: 10.1215/0961754X-1456917 Common Knowledge 2012 Volume 18, Number 1: 117-127 » Abstract Full Text (PDF) Classifications The Warburg Institute A Special Issue on the Library and Its Readers Services Email this article to a colleague Alert me when this article is cited Alert me if a correction is posted Similar articles in this journal Similar articles in Web of Science Download to citation manager Citing Articles Load citing article information Citing articles via Web of Science Google Scholar Articles by Kraye, J. Related Content Load related web page information Social Bookmarking CiteULike Connotea Delicious Digg Facebook Google+ Reddit Technorati Twitter What's this? Current Issue Winter 2012, 18 (1) Alert me to new issues of Common Knowledge Duke University Press Journals ONLINE About the Journal Editorial Board Submission Guidelines Permissions Advertising Indexing / Abstracting Privacy Policy Subscriptions Library Resource Center Activation / Acct. Mgr. E-mail Alerts Help Feedback © 2012 by Duke University Press Print ISSN: 0961-754X Online ISSN: 1538-4578 var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www."); document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E")); var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-5666725-1"); pageTracker._trackPageview(); http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Common Knowledge Duke University Press

UNPACKING THE WARBURG LIBRARY

Common Knowledge , Volume 18 (1) – Dec 21, 2012

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Duke Univ Press
ISSN
0961-754X
eISSN
1538-4578
DOI
10.1215/0961754X-1456917
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Abstract

Abstract Against the backdrop of Walter Benjamin's famous essay, “Unpacking My Library” (1931), this article, by the Librarian of the Warburg Institute, tells the story of the many times that the Warburg Library has been packed and unpacked. First it was the private collection of Aby Warburg, later a public institution, originally in Hamburg (in the 1920s) and then in London from 1933 to the present. This essay also explores the various ways in which books have been — and continue to be — acquired by the Warburg Library, including publication (both individual and institutional), donation, recommendation, and purchase. Each of these methods is not only discussed but also examined in light of Benjamin's account of the acquisition of his own library. Moreover, Benjamin's view that collections lose their meaning when they cease to be personal is challenged by the example of the Warburg Library, which has been transformed from a private collection containing around 15,000 books in 1911 to a public institution today housing over 350,000 volumes, while still maintaining its unique character. CiteULike Connotea Delicious Digg Facebook Google+ Reddit Technorati Twitter What's this? « Previous | Next Article » Table of Contents This Article doi: 10.1215/0961754X-1456917 Common Knowledge 2012 Volume 18, Number 1: 117-127 » Abstract Full Text (PDF) Classifications The Warburg Institute A Special Issue on the Library and Its Readers Services Email this article to a colleague Alert me when this article is cited Alert me if a correction is posted Similar articles in this journal Similar articles in Web of Science Download to citation manager Citing Articles Load citing article information Citing articles via Web of Science Google Scholar Articles by Kraye, J. Related Content Load related web page information Social Bookmarking CiteULike Connotea Delicious Digg Facebook Google+ Reddit Technorati Twitter What's this? Current Issue Winter 2012, 18 (1) Alert me to new issues of Common Knowledge Duke University Press Journals ONLINE About the Journal Editorial Board Submission Guidelines Permissions Advertising Indexing / Abstracting Privacy Policy Subscriptions Library Resource Center Activation / Acct. Mgr. E-mail Alerts Help Feedback © 2012 by Duke University Press Print ISSN: 0961-754X Online ISSN: 1538-4578 var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www."); document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E")); var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-5666725-1"); pageTracker._trackPageview();

Journal

Common KnowledgeDuke University Press

Published: Dec 21, 2012

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