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Many thanks to Cronaca for spreading the word!

Cultural suicide at Karlsruhe

This story has remained essentially invisible outside Germany, and I'm not sure why. It's been headline news there: a proposed selloff of 3500 of the 4200 medieval manuscripts -- many of them of the highest importance -- in the Badische Landesbibliothek of Karlsruhe. Worse, the money wouldn't even go to the library, or even to any public entity [...]

BTW: The Online petition is closed.

Here is a list of the relevant entries of ARCHIVALIA's "English Corner" on the Karlsruhe case.
BCK meinte am 2006/12/25 01:25:
Selling off culture: emptying the archive at Karlsruhe
buridan's blog on eEDUCAUSE CONNECT, Wed, 2006/10/04 - 6:46am / Jeremy Hunsinger (Virginia Tech)

There is a current issue with Badische Landesbibliothek of Karlsruhe selling off 3000+ medieval manuscripts. Apparently, they are contentiously held by the Counts of Baden, but may actually be state-owned. In any case, they are selling them for reasons unrelated to the preservation of the collection and archive. More info at: English version of the letter of protest: In the next few years, as maintenance costs for physical infrastructures increase, I suspect we will be seeing more tendency toward the centralization of manuscripts, and barring that, a tendency toward selling off manuscripts. The case of Karlsruhe likely isn't unique, of course, as this sort of thing has happened in the past, but we've never seen the legal issues, nor the amount of capital involved in this. What happens when people sell collections for this level of profit? How will that affect archiving and archivists? should we work to prevent this, now, and in future situations?

... And another reflection of Cronaca's blog entry comes from
ionarts Music, Art, Literature—the good stuff
Elsewhere in Blogville, Contributed by Charles T. Downey on Fri, Oct 13, 2006

Heilige Handschrift! This is why it is so important to read foreign newspapers if you can. At Cronaca, David Nishimura relates a story only being told in the German press. Karlsruhe's Badische Landesbibliothek was seriously proposing the sale of 3,500 manuscripts from its collection of 4,200 precious codices, to raise money for the upkeep of a castle that is actually in private hands. I have worked quite closely with some of the Gregorian chant manuscripts from that library, and I am horrified that a public library could let such resources disappear into private collections. David discusses some of the complicated ownership issues in the story. AGB

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