Knowing how to acquire for Bern. Remarks on the Donation Policy for the Bernese Public Library (17th/18th Centuries) - Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne Access content directly
Book Sections Year : 2024

Knowing how to acquire for Bern. Remarks on the Donation Policy for the Bernese Public Library (17th/18th Centuries)

Abstract

Jean Rodolphe Sinner (1730-1787) ran the State Library (now the Burgher Library) of Bern for a quarter of a century, from 1748 to 1776. He can be described as a “library reformer” who transformed a book depository into a public place, oriented towards the Republic of Letters and the questions of the contemporary society. Recognized as a scholar, he published a good number of catalogues raisonnés which marked the culmination of his activities for the promotion of the library. What is more, Sinner had completely understood that the growing reputation of the City of Bern’s library was first of all founded on book donations. The great French humanist Jacques Bongars (1554-1612) had assembled an illustrious private library which was given as a donation to the Bernese, in 1632. In the same way, an important collection of English Enlightenment works was transferred to Bern, as a gift of a generous British donor, Thomas Hollis (1720-1774), who had great sympathies for Switzerland and especially for the canton of Bern. The paper is particularly interested in this form of book transfer and in Sinner’s strategy to increase the prestige and splendour of the library, tackling the wide-spread prejudice that the Bernese Republic was a state disdainful of the arts and sciences.
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hal-04547522 , version 1 (15-04-2024)

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  • HAL Id : hal-04547522 , version 1

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Thomas Nicklas. Knowing how to acquire for Bern. Remarks on the Donation Policy for the Bernese Public Library (17th/18th Centuries). Jean-Louis Haquette et Helga Meise. From Press to Readers: Studies in the Materiality of Print Culture, Cultures & Temporalités (2), Éditions et presses universitaires de Reims, pp.161-176, 2024, Cultures & Temporalités, 978-2-37496-217-7. ⟨hal-04547522⟩
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