Estate Adolf Rhein

Letter from the estate Adolf Rhein

After the death of the Erfurt bookbinder and binding researcher Adolf Rhein (1885-1964), his bequest came to the former municipal library. In 2001, it was transferred to the University of Erfurt on permanent loan, together with the historical manuscript and book holdings of the city of Erfurt. The bequest consists of offprints, handwritten and typewritten material, periodical volumes, books, sample collections of binding papers, stamp impressions or rubbings, as well as a photo and negative collection on Erfurt library history with examples of the library rooms and the book holdings, especially in the context of bookbinding studies. Particularly noteworthy is a "Buchgewerbliches Hilfsbuch für die Bestände der Erfurter Stadtbücherei" (Erfurt 1909 - 1926).

On the occasion of the 20th German Librarians' Day, which took place in Erfurt in 1924, Rhein, together with Georg Aderhold, prepared an exhibition for the Erfurt Art Association titled "1000 Years of Writing and Books". Until his death, Rhein worked on a publication entitled "Alt-Erfurter Einbandmeister. Werkstätten und Einbände." The stamp lists he compiled in this context for the individual workshops have been made accessible in provisional form in the Digital Library Thuringia (DBT) (concordance and scans of the manuscript pages).

The bequest has so far only been roughly sorted. A preliminary overview is available in typewritten form.


Internship Report on Working with Rhine's Estate: Very Close to the Rhine ...

Abreibungen von Stempeln
Stamp rubbings

In addition to a considerable stock of medieval manuscripts, early prints and curiosities, the special collection of the UB also holds bequests. One of these bequests comes from Adolf Rhein, an Erfurt bookbinder and binding researcher of the 20th century. In search of insights into the fascinating world of medieval bindings and early bookbinding, Helene Jung, a master's student on the program Collection-Related Knowledge and Cultural History, settled for an internship in the Special Collection. From April to June 2017, this gave her the opportunity to get to know and admire Rhein's extensive collection of rubbings of master bindings and historical roller stamps, and to gain insight into the work of a master craftsman during the digitization of particularly endangered parts of the collection.

Adolf Rhein worked on an extensive work on the history of bookbinding in Erfurt, the manuscript of which is part of the estate and bears witness to Rhein's almost inexhaustible knowledge of bindings. In search of the sources of this knowledge, Ms. Jung studied Adolf Rhein's "Wanderbuch" (NRhein A3) - a bound collection of letters, notes, and other documents from his time as a journeyman in Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Zurich, and Italy from 1904 to 1906.

Although she unfortunately did not find the hoped-for codicological secret knowledge in it, she did find some lively certificates of journeyman life in the early 20th century and a rich source on the wanderer and music lover, on the person Adolf Rhein.

Author: Helene Jung ( June 2017)