Martin Stankowski - a different kind of city historan

Foto privat: Dr. M. Stankowski

Since the 1960s the author and journalist Martin Stankowski has written in and about Cologne. He wrote articles for newspapers and magazines, radio and television, wrote various books and developed stage programmes with well-known artists and cabaret artists. Especially his successful book "Köln. The Alternative City Guide", which has been published in over 10 editions, has contributed to a new view of the city and its history. For and with his work, he has built up a library which, in addition to the standard works on the history of the city, above all contains alternative literature: Small publications of the city's political movements, women's, ecological, peace or social groups, documentaries and protest literature, alternative city guides or party programmes, as well as literary experiments, art programmes and the like. This became possible not only because in the 1970s he was a co-owner of a cooperative printing house that worked for these social movements, but above all because Cologne became a centre of social and cultural protest movements in the old Federal Republic of Germany.

In 2018, the Kölnische Bibliotheksgesellschaft succeeded in acquiring the historian's rich private library. In addition to the focus on Cologne, his books on rare cultural and socio-historical topics expand the USB collection and complement our traditional collection focus on the Rhineland.