European Heritage in the Jagiellonian Library: Digital Authoring of the Berlin Collections. Core Facility - DiHeLib

The manuscript collections from the former Prussian State Library in Berlin, housed in the Jagiellonian Library in Kraków, represent a unique global library resource, one whose cultural, scholarly, and social value transcends the scope of an individual institution and a single country.

The Berlin collections, commonly referred to as "Berlinka", came to Kraków as a result of the events of the Second World War. Beginning in 1941, they were moved from a heavily bombed Berlin, first to Fürstenstein Castle (now Książ) and then to the Cistercian Church in Grüssau (now Krzeszów), which became part of the Polish state after 1945. They were found by a delegate from the Ministry of Education who was searching Lower Silesia for collections that had been removed from the libraries of Kraków, Warsaw, and Lviv. In 1947, they were handed over to the Jagiellonian Library, which has kept the collections of the former Prussian State Library, conserving them, and making them available since the end of the 1970s, as well as supporting research on them in terms of organisation and content. They now have the status of a deposit of the Polish state at the Jagiellonian Library.

In order to consolidate the numerous scholarly and scientific studies dealing with the Berlin collections, as well as to deepen the knowledge about these collections and to make them globally accessible online, the Jagiellonian University has decided to launch a flagship project under the Excellence Initiative Programme (ID.UJ). In particular, this project will focus on the cataloguing, digitisation, and research using artificial intelligence of one of the most extensive collections of the "Berlinka" - the Autograph Collection.

The Autograph Collection (Sammlung Autographa) contains unique materials from the 15th to the 20th century of fundamental importance for European culture, especially German-language culture, and the humanities. It consists of the manuscripts of eminent individuals who played a key role in European culture, literature, and science. Thousands of manuscripts are housed here, many of which have not yet been thoroughly studied or even identified. These are mainly letters, but also original literary and scientific works.

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