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Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge Deutschlands und der Schweiz (MBK)

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The MBK (1906–2019): Past and Present

Until the beginning of the twentieth century, medieval library catalogues had been only sporadically and unsystematically edited, remaining thus partially inaccessible for research. The MBK were founded as a commission of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften: BAdW) in 1906 in coordination with the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften: ÖAW), which similarly founded a commission to this purpose, the „Kommission zur Herausgabe der mittelalterlichen Bibliothekskataloge Österreichs", later renamed as the "Kommission für Schrift- und Buchwesen des Mittelalters" and now the „Abteilung Schrift- und Buchwesen“ (cf. Links). It was the original intention of this joint enterprise to cover the entire area of Central Europe, i.e. the extent of the Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages. However, the enormity of this task soon forced the founding fathers to scale down their plans, reducing their coverage to the areas of Austria, to be undertaken by the ÖAW, and Germany and Switzerland, for which the BAdW (originally financed by the cartel of German academies) was responsible.

Since then much has changed, not least the political borders of Germany, which were redrawn several times. Much source material and indeed whole libraries and archives exist no longer. On the positive side, the finding and accessing of source material has been revolutionized by modern cataloguing, scholarly research, edition projects and digitization, offering whole new research possibilities. Finally, the MBK themselves were touched by change in 2015 through the transformation from a commission to a project in the course of structural modernization at the BAdW. As a long-term basic research project, however, the purpose and aims of the MBK remain constant.

A portrait gallery of the project’s history

Ludwig Traube

Ludwig Traube

Founder and first chair of the MBK 1906-1907,
philologist, co-founder of the university subject “Medieval Latin Philology”,
professor of Medieval Latin Philology at the Ludwig-Maximilian Universtity, Munich (LMU)
Weblink BAdW
Wikipedia

Hermann Ritter von Grauert

Hermann Ritter von Grauert

Chair of the MBK 1907-1924,
historian, professor at the LMU,
editor of the Historisches Jahrbuch der Görres-Gesellschaft
Weblink BADW
Wikipedia

Georg Leidinger

Georg Leidinger

Chair of the MBK 1924-1945,
philologist and historian,
director of the Manuscript Department of the Bavarian State Library (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek)
Weblink BAdW
Wikipedia

Paul Lehmann

Paul Lehmann

Commissary chair of the MBK 1945-1950,
chair of the MBK 1951-1964,
philologist, professor of Medieval Latin Philology at the LMU
Weblink BAdW
Wikipedia

Bernhard Bischoff

Bernhard Bischoff

Chair of the MBK 1964-1991,
philologist,
professor of Medieval Latin Philology at the LMU
Weblink BAdW
Wikipedia

Helmut Gneuss

Helmut Gneuss

Chair of the MBK 1991-2016,
philologist,
professor of Medieval English Studies at the LMU
Weblink BAdW
Wikipedia

2015 Umgestaltung zum Projekt gemäß Satzung der BAdW

Claudia Märtl

Claudia Märtl

Chair of the MBK since 2016,
historian,
professor of Medieval History at the LMU
Weblink BAdW
Wikipedia