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The Museum of Art and Cultural History Schloss Gottorf library owns some 100,000 books, periodicals and catalogues on the topic of art - in all of its forms.

Books were always deemed important at Schloss Gottorf. As early as the 17th century, the library of the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf was widely known. Within the course of only one century, Fredrich III (1597-1659) and Christian Albrecht (1641-1694) succeeded in increasing the inventory from 700 inherited books to back then an impressive 10.000 specimens, as shown by contemporary inventories and catalogues. Also Adam Olearius (1599-1671), universal scholar at the Gottorf Court and responsible as the librarian for the collection from 1649 until his death, played a role here.

During the Great Northern War (1700-1721) the Court Library fell to Denmark finally and was then sent to a great extent closed to the Royal Library in Copenhagen. The probably major part of the books is still there today, no books from the ducal collection are located at Schloss Gottorf any more today.

Unique equestrian book collection stock

The outstanding items in the library today include a riders’ book collection, uniquely specialising in classical equestrianism and riding schools. The in-all 113 books, including epochal works by Löhneysen, Grisone, Pluvinel, Ridinger and La Guérinière, provide a historic summary of the development of the development of the art of riding from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

Often academically substantiated and in-part abundantly illustrated, they reflect the knowledge of their times pertaining to the healing arts, anatomy and training of horses in written form and figuratively. In 1997, the collection which had grown over the decades came to Schleswig as a donation from Dr. Horst Stützer from Reinbek close to Hamburg. Back then, nobody could have even imagined that the equestrian books would one day find their way to the former stalls of Schloss Gottorf which have been converted to a library and therefore to their original location. It would certainly have made the collector happy.

Library open to academics for concrete research projects

The library of the Museum of Art and Cultural History is primarily available to the Schleswig State Museums Foundation employees. Within the scope of inventory research, the literature is used precisely as for lectures and the development of new exhibitions and publications.

Moreover, the library also opens its doors for academics from further establishments. For organisational reasons, the Museum of Art and Cultural History Schloss Gottorf requests written registration including naming the concrete research plan - at least 14 days prior to the planned date.   

Dr. Ivonne Rohmann
+49 (0) 4261 813-230

Schleswig-Holstein State Museums
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