Introduction    

The University Library of Salzburg started its provenance research project in 2009. The project was financed by the University of Salzburg and the Province of Salzburg from 2009 to 2012. It investigated the role of the library and its former director, Ernst Frisch, in the looting of books from 1938 to 1945. Was the library, which was at the time called “Studienbibliothek Salzburg,” a beneficiary of the Nazi looting of books or was it a local perpetrator?
Even after 1945, books that had been stolen by the National Socialists entered the library in the form of presents, inheritances and acquisitions from antique shops.   The University Library of Salzburg feels obliged to identify Nazi-looted books in its inventory. Thus the research team carefully examined more than 240.000 suspicious volumes for provenance entries. In addition, the inventory books were searched in order to detect the provenance of dubious books. The scholars also investigated the vaguest hints dropped in databases, reference works, and archives. As a result, some victims of National Socialist book-loot and their fates could already be identified.  

The University Library of Salzburg does not research the history of the library during the National Socialist regime for its own sake. It wants to give clear signals of reparation. Consequently, it started the restitution of stolen items in its inventory on October 15, 2012 and restituted books and graphics to the monastery of Michaelbeuern.
The University Library of Salzburg is conscious of its responsibility as successor to the Studienbibliothek Salzburg and instituted a department of provenance research in 2012, when the sponsored research project ended.

 

Barrierefreiheit: Kurzbeschreibung des Bildes Barrierefreiheit: Kurzbeschreibung des Bildes Abb. Provenienzforschung

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