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Colonies and Colonialism in the Gotha Perthes Collection

The Gotha Research Library of the University of Erfurt invites you to a "Perthes Collection Open Day" on Saturday, 16 March. The motto of this year's event is "Colonies and Colonialism in the Gotha Perthes Collection". It starts at 9 am. in the Perthes Forum and ends at around 5 pm.

Das Perthesforum in Gotha, Innenansicht
Ancestral Hall in the Perthes Forum Gotha

The Gotha Perthes Collection brings together the historical legacy of three scientific publishers

  • the publishing house Justus Perthes Gotha,
  • the geographical publishing house Justus Perthes Darmstadt and
  • the VEB Hermann Haack geographical publishing house Gotha.

As the only map publishing archive preserved on the European continent, it contains unique source material on the development of cartography and geography in the 19th and 20th centuries. In the unity and interconnectedness of its holdings, the collection documents the last phase of the Age of Discovery, during which the interior of the non-European continents and the polar regions were explored.

The maps, atlases and journals published by Perthes, above all "Stielers Handatlas" and "Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen", shaped the scientific image of the earth well into the 20th century and popularised it for a broad public. Genealogical-statistical publications formed the second focus of the publishing profile, in particular the "Almanach de Gotha"/"Gothaische Hofkalender" as the authoritative biographical encyclopaedia of the European nobility.

The Gotha Perthes Collection was acquired by the Free State of Thuringia in 2003 with the support of the Kulturstiftung der Länder and integrated into the Gotha Research Library at the University of Erfurt.

Several special guided tours are planned for the "Open Day of the Gotha Perthes Collection" on 16 March, namely:

  • 9:30 am to 11 am,
  • 10:30 am to 12 noon,
  • 1 pm to 2:30 pm and
  • 2 pm to 3:30 pm.

Due to limited capacity, please register by 1 March by phone 0361/737-5581 (Mon–Fri 9am–3pm). The guided tours are free of charge. However, donations are requested for the preservation of the holdings of the Gotha Research Library of the University of Erfurt.