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ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft, Kiel

Jan 28, 2020


Image Credit: ZBW, Fotograf: Lukas Roth

The current ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics has two predecessor institutions. These are the former library of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and the library of the Hamburg Institute of International Economics. In 2007 the library in Hamburg merged with the library in Kiel– which separated from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy at the same time – and today’s ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics was established as an independent foundation under public law. On the occasion of the centenary birthday in 2019, the world’s largest research infrastructure for economic literature also engaged in provenance research.

In 1942 and 1943, the library’s holdings in Kiel were relocated to the cathedral in Ratzeburg where they survived the war almost unscathed. The inventory books and acquisition journals have been preserved completely in Kiel.

After the heavy air raids on Hamburg in World War II, the holdings of the institution in Hamburg were relocated to several bunkers. The library suffered losses at the end of the war, but also through confiscation by the British military administration in the immediate post-war years. Estimates for the losses vary between 15,000 and 30,000 volumes. Another 33,000 volumes were lost in the North Sea flood of 1962 in Hamburg. The acquisition documents show large gaps during the period of National Socialism; registers have been preserved for six years only of the Third Reich.

Both the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and the Hamburg Institute of International Economics conducted research for ministries and military departments during the Third Reich. In return, both received special rights for material storage and material procurement.

Several suspect cases can be found in the acquisition documents of both predecessor libraries, for instance deliveries by the Gestapo, confiscations from countries occupied by Germany during World War II and dubious donations of private persons.

ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Düsternbrooker Weg 120
24105 Kiel


E-Mail: provenienzforschung@zbw.eu
Tel: +49-431-8814-637