Lithograph: Heinrich Klemm’s Bibliographic Museum
View of the publishing and exhibition building of Heinrich Klemm’s Bibliographic Museum in Dresden, lithograph, coloured, circa 1884
Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek Leipzig


The A-Z of industrialisation

Industrial societies - that is to say societies that are distinguished by rapid technological transformation, pronounced attrition of the (historical) object and a fading sense of tradition - (attempt) to treat historical objects as exceptionally important and to preserve them in instutions that are specially created for this very purpose: museums.

Michael Fehr, Müllhalde oder Museum, 1989

A museum is an educational (Education) place dedicated to the arts, culture and the sciences (Science), in which collections of interesting objects are presented to the public. Since the 19th century, museums have been facilities that collect, store, carry out research and communicate.

Important collections are often the result of the endeavour of important individual collectors. One such collector was the Dresden-born master tailor and publisher Heinrich Klemm (1819-1886). His so-called “Bibliographisches Museum” (Bibliographic Museum) aimed to gather printed literature from the very earliest sources. The highlight of his collection was a 42-line Gutenberg Bible printed on parchment. A catalogue, published in 1884, detailing the repository of the Heinrich Klemm Museum documented a collection that was sold to the state of Saxony the same year and that was handed over to Leipzig’s Buchgewerbemuseum in 1886, the year of Klemm’s death. This material went on to form the basis of the Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum’s collection of printed works.