The Bamberg State Library preserves a great number of modern papers of people who were connected with Bamberg or the region. The donors of modern papers are mostly authors, scientists and composers, amongst them personalities of supra-regional importance. A consultation is possible on request and after consideration of legal restrictions.
The biggest coherently surviving collection of autographs of Jean Paul (actually Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, 1763-1825) is placed in the Bamberg State Library today as a permanent loan and is closely connected to the name of the lawyer and solicitor Dr. Franz Ulrich Apelt (1882-1944) from Zittau in Saxony.
The collection includes 1,108 letters and billets penned by Jean Paul, which he wrote between the years 1796-1825 to his friend and confidante Emanuel Osman (1766-1842) from the city of Bayreuth, furthermore 73 autographs of people from the author’s network. Since Jean Paul did not view letters as a consumer good but as part of his literary work, and as he corresponded almost daily with Emanuel, this collection is of the highest value for the history of literature and culture.
Franz Apelt bought the substantial bundle of papers in 1921 from Emanuel Osmund’s great-grandson and thereby saved it from a planned auction, which would certainly have led to its dispersal. The purchase had been mediated by the publisher of the historical-critical edition of all of Jean Paul’s works at the time, Eduard Berend (1883-1973), with whom Apelt had already been in close communication for many years about questions concerning romanticism in general and Jean Paul in particular. For his edition, Berend relied primarily on the Apelt Collection, which is why the Jean-Paul-autographs included in it have been already published with few exceptions. When in the 1970s in the GDR the dispossession of valuable collections was threatened, Franz Apelt’s heir managed to bring the autographs to the Federal Republic of Germany and thereby save it from the impending danger of dispersion.
All letters and billets of the collection were digitised and made available online by the Bamberg State Library on the platform Bamberg Treasures. Through the cooperation with the department for the Jean-Paul-Edition at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the digital copies of the Jean-Paul-autographs could also be enhanced with the corresponding transcriptions as full texts. This does not only make it easier to read the letters, but also enables a search by word within the Apelt Collection.
From 1957 onwards, the author Hans Wollschläger (1935–2007) worked as a lector for the Karl May Publishing Company in Bamberg. Under the influence of his intellectual teachers, Theodor W. Adorno and Arno Schmidt, he concerned himself with Gustav Mahler and Karl May. Wollschläger translated James Joyce’s novel “Ulysses” into German as well as works by Edgar Allan Poe, Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. In 1982, he published the first part of the experimental novel “Herzgewächse oder Der Fall Adams”. As an editor, Wollschläger produced the historical-critical edition of the works of Karl May, of whom he had already written a biography in 1965, together with Hermann Wiedenroth. Together with Rudolf Kreutner he edited the Collected Works of Friedrich Rückert (1788-1866).
In 2007, the intended purchase of Wollschläger’s literary estate during his lifetime by the German Literature Archive Marbach fell through. According to Wollschläger’s wishes, in 2011 almost his complete archive (but only parts of his library) were handed over to the Bamberg State Library (Msc.Add.1008).
The modern papers contain the only known copy of the complete version of Wollschläger’s novel “Herzgewächse oder Der Fall Adams” written in 1961, which was recommended for publishing to several Federal German publishing companies by Arno Schmidt in the 1960s and is to appear as a completion of Wollschläger’s works in individual editions. Moreover, Wollschläger’s musical compositions are available.
As early as 2010, Arno Schmidt’s original letters to Hans Wollschläger were sold to the Arno Schmidt Foundation in Bargfeld, which intends to publish the correspondence between Schmidt and Wollschläger within the framework of the “Bargfelder Ausgabe” (Bargfeld Edition). Since there are copies of Schmidt’s letters to Wollschläger, the entire correspondence (copies of Schmidt’s letters as well as carbon copies of Wollschläger’s letters) is also available in the Wollschläger Archive of the Bamberg State Library.
Those modern papers that were acquired by the library since its foundation until the middle of the 1960s are listed in the following two volumes of the printed catalogue of manuscripts:
The modern papers that the Bamberg State Library received after that date are listed in the short inventory of the holdings-group Msc.Add.; you can find an overview of the donors of the modern papers at the end of this paragraph. Complementary to the short inventory, internal repertories with detailed information exist for selected groups. They can be made available upon request. All modern papers are also recorded in Kalliope.
|Modern Papers||Time Frame||Shelfmark|
|Alawi, Bozorg (Mehdi Rowschandel, respectively)||1904–1997||Msc.Add.1016|
|Auhuber, Friedhelm (exchange of letters with Jörg Petzel)||1986–2004||Msc.Add.310|
|Benkert, Josef Albert||1900–1960||Msc.Add.15|
|Goldmann, Bernd (pre-death)||1945–||Msc.Add.1015|
|Jakubaß, Franz H.||1923–2010||Msc.Add.1002|
|Kettmann, Alfred Heinz||1912–2010||Msc.Add.1006|
|Morper, Johann Joseph||1899–1980||Msc.Add.38|
|Müller, Clara Else||1900–1998||Msc.Add.236|
|Petzel, Jörg (exchange of letters with Friedhelm Auhuber)||1986–2004||Msc.Add.310|
|Reitzenstein, Alexander von||1904–1986||Msc.Add.96|
|Sendner, Hans Marcel||1913–2003||Msc.Add.1001|