Deutsch-Russischer Bibliotheksdialog

The Deutsch-Russischer Bibliotheksdialog (German-Russian Library Dialog) is an initiative of libraries from both countries. It is intended to support professional exchange and clarify the whereabouts of cultural assets displaced as a result of the war.

The people seated at a conference desk with microphones (Opens a Larger Version of the Image)The third meeting of the German-Russian Library Dialog under Barbara Schneider-Kempf (l.) and  Yekaterina Y. Geniyeva † (m.) was held in Perm in May 2012. © Olaf Hamann

One goal of the initiative is to catalog holdings present in Russian libraries that were displaced as a result of the war, to make them accessible to the public, and to preserve them for the long term. For example, digitization projects are planned as a form of virtual reunification of collections separated as a result of the war. In addition, the dialog among libraries is intended to make Russian specialists aware of ongoing projects in Germany to research cultural assets looted by the National Socialists.

The Deutsch-Russischer Bibliotheksdialog was founded in September 2009. The M. I. Rudomino All-Russia State Library, the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Berlin State Library), and the Kulturstiftung der Länder (Cultural Foundation of the German States) invited representatives of German and Russian libraries to Moscow to discuss jointly the fate of book collections displaced as a result of the war. Hermann Parzinger, the president of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation), took part in the founding meeting. This library initiative is following in the steps of good experiences with the Deutsch-Russischer Museumsdialog.

The spokeswoman of the German participants in the library dialog is the general director of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Barbara Schneider-Kempf. The Russian participants were represented by Ekaterina Yurievna Geniyeva until she died in July 2015. She was the general director of the Rudomino Library of Foreign Literature in Moscow. Her successor as general director of the Rudomino Library, Vadim Duda, is Russia's new representative in the German-Russian dialog.

The Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin coordinates the German libraries that participate in the Deutsch-Russischer Bibliotheksdialog. Every year and a half, alternating between Germany and Russia, a committee of experts meets for joint consultation. The Kulturstiftung der Länder continues to be engaged in this dialog.