Wolfenbüttels ambassador to Kenya

An interview with Flora Khamala, intern at the Herzog August library

From Nairobi to Wolfenbüttel: In September 2016, the kenyan student Dorothy Flora Khamala joined the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel as an MWW intern. The up-and-coming information scientist wanted to learn as much as possible about the creation of digital editions. What she ended up learning about them and many other issues is the topic of this interview.

Forschungshospitantin Dorothy Flora Khamala Ende September 2016 in Wolfenbüttel. Foto: Sarah Melzian

“Almost like a cartoon in the margins”

In conversation with literary scholar William H. Sherman

William H. Sherman opened the conference “Biographies of the book” with his lecture “The Reader´s Eye: Between Annotation and Illustration” at the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel. In this interview, Sherman, who is the Head of Research at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and Professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of York, talks about why it was common for renaissance readers to immortalize themselves through depictions and drawings in their books, what motives were particularly popular and why reading a book can be compared to cultivating a beautiful garden.

Notes and drawings by the Florentine politician Bernardo Bembo (1433–1519) in a book written by the Roman writer Pliny the Younger. Courtesy to Stanford University Library.

Image politics in silk and lace

By Sophie Tauche

Following stops in Freiburg and Houston/Texas, visitors can now view the exhibition “Franz Xaver Winterhalter – Painter in Her Majesty’s Service” at the Palais de Compiègne near Paris. MWW research associate Sophie Tauche went to see it in Freiburg and was impressed by the visually appealing displays. However, it didn’t offer a new perspective on the most famous portraitist of 19th-century high society.

He knew how to stage women like Princess Anna of Hessen: Franz Xaver Winterhalter, German artist who portrayed the European high nobility of the 19th century. (c) Hessische Hausstiftung

I am coming back, Weimar!

Anne-Kathrin Gitter

What Italian literature did Goethe read and collect? This is one of the many questions the PhD student Anne-Kathrin Gitter, currently investigating the Dante discourse in German-language literature of the 19th century, hoped to answer at this year’s MWW International Summer School in Weimar. In the following, she tells us what she discovered in the small Thuringian town and why she plans to return there soon.

Summer school participant Anne-Kathrin Gitter. Photo: Elena Heymann.

From symbols of identity to memorials

A conversation about national monuments past and present

On 5th August 2016, Christine Tauber presented a public lecture as part of the MWW’s International Summer School in Weimar. The lecture was entitled: “How to build national monuments? Ambitious projects in Germany and France.” We asked the art historian about her favourite monument, the differences between monument traditions in Germany and France, and why it is so difficult to build national monuments today.


Das Weimarer Goethe- und Schiller-Denkmal, leicht verfremdet. Postkarte zu den öffentlichen Abendvorträgen der Internationalen Sommerschule von MMM 2016 in Weimar. © KSW, MWW

A telescope into the past

By Jörn Münkner and Jaqueline Krone

At the annual Future Day hosted by the Herzog August Bibliothek, pupils get to know the various working areas of the research institution in Wolfenbüttel. This year, the MWW project “Writers’ Libraries” received a visit from four inquistitive secondary-school students who dived into the world of books and demonstrated a knack for making them divulge the secrets of their former owners.


Research meets school: Jaqueline Krone (HAB, left) and Jörn Münkner (MWW, right) with their guests Paul, Johann, Tom and Maximilian. Photo: Sandra Ullmann

Joan of Arc, Faust and the 68ers

Stephanie Wodianka talks with Ursula Kundert

According to the Metzler Lexikon moderner Mythen (Lexicon of Modern Myths), in the modern age, almost “anything can become a myth”. The lexicon analyses a selection of people, characters and events which have acquired a mythical quality, from the 19th century to the present day. But how and where do new myths prevail over time? How can they assert themselves against already canonised myths, which often date back thousands of years? And how do they feed on such old myths, or instead, erase old sources of meaning?

Lexicon editor, Stephanie Wodianka. Photo: Anne-Katrin Hapke

"Making lifted treasures accessible to all"

Marian Dörk in conversation with Lydia Koglin

In mid-April, Marian Dörk gave a lecture in Weimar on The Visualisation of Cultural Data as part of the MWW workshop Libraries within the Library. In this interview, Dörk, a visualisation researcher, talks about what fascinates him about data, what expectations institutions approach him with and what is important to him when working on collaborations.

Complex data is his profession: visualisation expert, Marian Dörk. Photo: Lydia Koglin

Imaginery creatures, chubby lapdogs and a merry wild sow

By Hanne Grießmann

As a research assistant on the MWW’s Text and Frame research project, Hanne Grießmann ordered a late-medieval prayer book to the reading room of the Herzog August library. She had no inkling of the brightly coloured, fantastical world she would find inside. Her blog article tells us of the mischievous, playful goings-on in the margins of this religious manuscript and what they reveal about the satirical side of the Middle Ages.


What is that swine with the wheelbarrow up to? Drolleries in a late-medieval prayer book. Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Library, Cod. Guelf. 87.10 Aug. 12°, fol. 52v-53r. (CC BY-SA)

MWW Embarks on a Grand Tour

By Stefan Höppner and Timo Steyer

DH methods play an important role in the research projects at MWW. The DARIAH project offers helpful tools to researchers in this area. To learn more about them, MWW researchers Stefan Höppner (Weimar) and Timo Steyer (Wolfenbüttel) embarked on their first “DARIAH-DE Grand Tour” in Göttingen in mid-February 2016. A travel report


Sharing expertise: Timo Steyer und Stefan Höppner (standing at the first poster presentation on the left) learn about the newest DH tools. Photo: Frank Fischer