Lenka Veselá (Prag):
The Library of Hieronymus Beck von Leopoldsdorf in the Context of 16th Century Central European Aristocratic Libraries
Moderation: Karl Vocelka
Zeit und Ort: 18:30 Uhr, Hörsaal 45, Hauptgebäude der Universität Wien (1010 Wien, Universitätsring 1, 2. OG)
The Beck von Leopoldsdorf library from the end of the 16th century was unique in many aspects. This Lower Austrian book collection contained between 2.000 to 2.500 volumes and was carried off to Sweden as a part of the war booty from Bohemia and Moravia towards the end of the Thirty Years’ War. The detailed reconstruction of this book collection from Ebreichsdorf castle showed that it belonged amongst the little known progressive aristocratic libraries of an intellectual archetype, whose owners were not bound either by a family tradition or an intention to create collectors’ libraries of a universal nature. This library reflected some elements of Hieronymus Beck’s life and his world outlook, difficult to ascertain otherwise and uncaptured from other primary sources. His book collection is a unique proof of interaction between the Viennese learned and aristocratic environments of the second half of the 16th century.
The lecture will build on Beck library acquisitions and owner’s reader preferences, deciphering intellectual horizons of its creator that were until now unknown and classifying the Beck book collection within the context of other contemporary aristocratic libraries in the Czech and Austrian Lands in the second half of the 16th century.
Dr. Lenka Veselá is a researcher at the Library of the Academy of Sciences in Prague. She deals with the history of libraries and book culture in the early modern period and especially with the Swedish War booty books from Bohemia and Moravia acquired during the Thirty Years' War.