UNESCO Memory of the world manuscripts from Bamberg on Google Arts & Culture
Online access to exhibitions from the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg
In June 2018, the 78th plenary meeting of the German UNESCO committee was held in Bamberg, whose historical city was declared a UNESCO world heritage site 25 years ago. The Staatsbibliothek (State Library) Bamberg took this as an opportunity to display three of its most important mediaeval manuscripts, which form part of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme. The manuscripts are on show in the library’s exhibition rooms until the end of July and – for the first time – in virtual exhibitions on the platform Google Arts & Culture. Thus, access to highlights of mediaeval art is free to anybody interested worldwide. Explanatory texts in English and German help the viewers to understand the images better.
Fifteen early mediaeval manuscripts are presented in the virtual exhibition ‚Excellent – UNESCO Memory of the World‘. The oldest item is the Lorsch Arzneibuch, a medical miscellany from the time of emperor Charlemagne (c. 800). This key work for the transmission of classical medicine to the Christian Middle Ages was selected for the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme in 2013. Ten years before, a group of illuminated manuscripts from the scriptorium of Reichenau in Lake Constance was chosen. The emperors Otto III and Henry II commissioned these spectacular books around the year 1000. Two of them are preserved in Bamberg: the Song of Songs and the famous Bamberg Apocalypse with its cycle of 50 miniatures, a portrait of a ruler and scenes from the life of Christ.
A separate virtual Exhibition on the Bamberg Apocalypse allows everybody to examine the mysterious paintings in close detail. The Secret Revelation is the last book of the New Testament in which John describes his visions of the final days of the world. They culminate in the Last Judgment, in which Christ divides the chosen from the damned. Every scene is accompanied by a translation of the biblical text. A zoom facility directs the viewer’s eye towards individual figures. An art historical commentary explains the composition of each miniature.
Thanks to the cooperation with Google Arts & Culture, the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg can make its rich historical collections accessible to a wide international audience. While the fragile objects can only be shown in real exhibitions for a few months at a time, the virtual presentations remain available indefinitely. The range of exhibitions will be continually expanded. For the time being, the display from 2017 is also online: ‚Colours between Covers – German book illumination from the 15th and early 16th centuries‘.
About the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg
The Staatsbibliothek Bamberg is the regional library for Upper Franconia and one of the great heritage institutions in Bavaria. Founded as a result of the secularisation of 1803, it unites the books collections of the dissolved monasteries and religious institutions of the prince-bishopric of Bamberg and the older university of Bamberg. The library holds more than half a million books and continually acquires new publications in the fields of regional studies and humanities. It is accessibly to the general public free of charge for purposes of study, reserach, work and education.
The international importance of the library’s c. 1000 mediaeval manuscripts is emphasised by the inclusion of three books in the „Memory of the World Programme“ of UNESCO. 165 of these volumes date back to the foundation of the bishopric under emperor Henry II, who died in 1024. The manuscripts, the c. 3500 incunabula and the copious collection of prints and drawings are currently being catalogued in depth and digitized. Many of these items can be found online on www.bamberger-schaetze.de.
About Google Arts & Culture
Google Arts & Culture puts over a 1,500 museums at your fingertips. It’s an immersive way to explore art, history and wonders of the world from Van Gogh’s bedroom paintings to Mandela’s prison cell. The Google Arts & Culture app is free and available on the web, on iOS and Android. Our team has been an innovation partner for cultural institutions since 2011. We work on technologies that help preserve and share culture and allow curators to create engaging exhibitions online and offline, inside museums.
Dr. Bettina Wagner
Neue Residenz, Domplatz 8, 96049 Bamberg
Telefon: (0951) 95503-112, Telefax: -145
E-Mail: [log in to unmask]
7. Mai bis 28. Juli 2018
AUSGEZEICHNET: UNESCO MEMORY OF THE WORLD
Bamberger Apokalypse | Hohelied und Buch Daniel | Lorscher Arzneibuch
Mo-Fr 9-17h / Sa 9-12h
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