HERZOG-ERNST-SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME AT THE RESEARCH LIBRARY GOTHA AND THE GOTHA RESEARCH CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ERFURT
I. THE RESEARCH LIBRARY IN GOTHA
The Research Library, housed in Gotha’s Friedenstein Castle, holds a remarkable collection on early modern and modern cultural history. After Berlin and Munich and alongside the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel, it houses the most significant collection in Germany of historical sources from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. To these were added in 2003 the Perthes Collection Gotha from the holdings of the Justus Perthes Gotha press, established in 1785. It is considered one of the most significant cartographic collections worldwide.
The library holds, keeps, and catalogues these sources, which are part of a European cultural heritage. The library collection encompasses c. 700,000 prints, of which about 350,000 are early modern. To this are added c. 11,500 manuscript volumes containing a considerable collection of manuscripts, autographs, and literary remains pertaining, among other things, to the cultural history of early modern Protestantism, as well as a collection of some 3,500 oriental manuscripts – the third largest of its kind in Germany. Moreover, the library holds a remarkable collection of letters by German emigrants to America.
The Perthes collection with its collection of maps, cartographic library, and the press archives offers a unique collection in situ. The cartographic collection is comprised of c. 185,000 maps from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, produced by Perthes and other cartographic printers throughout the world. The cartographic-geographic library holds 120,000 volumes, a genealogical-statistical book collection, as well as a complete exemplar of the Almanach de Gotha, produced by the Perthes press. The press’ archive, with 800 linear metres of archival material, includes, inter alia, the transmission of the editing of Petermann’s Geographische Mitteilungen, a collection of the press’ specimen copies, as well as 1,650 copper plates. The Perthes collection is housed in the Perthes-Forum close-by Friedenstein Castle.
II. THE GOTHA RESEARCH CENTRE
The Gotha Research Centre is an internationally renowned research institute of the University of Erfurt, maintaining close ties to the Gotha Research Library and the museums at Friedenstein Castle. Our main objective is to conduct and facilitate international interdisciplinary research projects in the field of cultural and intellectual history of the modern period. A large part of our research is closely related to the remarkable holdings of the adjacent Research Library. Current research projects include e.g. work on numismatics and antiquarianism in early modern history, natural history and history of cartography from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. In addition, the Research Centre offers a rich programme of (guest)lectures, conferences, and colloquia. Our goal is to serve as a platform where scholars from all over the world can conduct research and discuss their ideas and work in progress in a challenging and congenial atmosphere. The Gotha Research Centre is headed by Prof. Martin Mulsow (philosophy/early modern history of ideas) and co-director Prof. Iris Schröder (nineteenth-century global history), assisted by a board of directors and an international scientific advisory board.