Protestant church libraries emerged from the Reformation in the 16th century and are still part of the permanent stock of many church congregations today. They make up a large part of the historical libraries in Germany. Due to their age and their connection to the Protestant clergy, they are of great importance for research into the history of tradition and culture. Yet of all the historical library types, they are probably among the most poorly researched. There is a widespread lack of reliable indexing and studies. However, the mapping of the German Protestant church library landscape has gained new momentum in recent years. The first projects for preservation, online recording and digitisation have been implemented in cooperation between academia, academic libraries and the Protestant regional churches, as well as with the support of individual academic sponsors.
The conference will be led by Dr Kathrin Paasch (Gotha Research Library), Professor Dr Thomas Fuchs (Leipzig University Library) and Professor Dr Christopher Spehr (Chair of Church History at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena) and will be held in cooperation with the Regional Church Archives of the Protestant Church in Central Germany (EKM). It is generously supported by the Friedrich Christian Lesser Foundation and the Friends of the Gotha Research Library.