Library Ferdinand Franz Wallraf
WALLRAF "THE COLLECTOR"
The Wallraf's collections, the "Wallrafianum", included both minerals, specimens, paintings, sculptures, documents and manuscripts and an extensive library. When the Cologne monastery property fell victim to secularisation in 1802, Wallraf endeavoured to secure the remaining holdings of Cologne and Lower Rhine religious orders.
In this way his collection of books acquired an almost universal character. Wallraf left his collections to the city of Cologne. Together with the Syndikatsbibliothek des Kölner Rates (Syndicate Library of the Cologne Council), the "Wallraf Library" formed the basis of the former Cologne City Library, which became part of the new University and City Library in 1920. Today, the UCLA is home to the majority of the former Wallraf Library. Other book collections are also located in city institutions such as the Stadtmuseum, the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum and the Historical Archive of the City of Cologne. The manuscripts of the collection are kept in the city archive.
You can consult books from the Wallraf Library for research purposes in the reading room Historical Collections .
Ferdinand Franz Wallraf influenced the cultural life of his home town Cologne like hardly any other citizen of his time. Thanks to his generous legacy, which culturally adorns the city and some of its institutions, he is still vividly remembered by the people of Cologne today as a collector and patron of the arts. We are very proud to be able to preserve an important book collection from his legacy. Wallraf's life spanned three important political phases, which, however, could not limit his activities and success. His only confession was his steadfast patriotism and his love for his hometown Cologne, regardless of the prevailing political circumstances. His scientific work and his collecting activities protected him in the many upheavals of his time.
Learn more about Wallraf's life in Cologne under changing circumstances >>
WHAT HAPPENS TO WALLRAF'S LIBRARY TODAY?
- The library of Ferdinand Franz Wallraf is in a desolate state. Thanks to the support of the Federal Government, the State and the City of Cologne, as well as private book sponsorships, the books of Archbishop Wallraf are to be completely renovated and restored. Our sponsors >>
- In 2018 we were able to save particularly endangered volumes from the Ferdinand Franz Wallraf library through the sponsorship project "Wallrafs Bücher". Our special thanks go to all private donors! "Wallrafs Bücher" >>
- Information on the "Wallraf-Cooperation" with the Chair of Early Modern History at the Historical Institute of the University of Cologne: "Forschendes Lernen in digitalen Arbeitsumgebungen - Das Beispiel der Universitätssammlung Wallraf" >>
- Video about the Wallraf Library in the USB Cologne within the project "Wallraf digital". YouTube >>
WALLRAF'S LIBRARY AS A STUDY OBJECT
- Cologne master theses in the context of the project "Wallraf digital" (German) >>
- Monographs, essays, theses on Wallraf - partly online, partly available for loan >>
- Bücheratlas - Blog post: Wallrafs Bibliothek in der Kölner Universitäts- und Stadtbibliothek ist zur Hälfte in schlechtem Zustand. Blog post (German) >>
- Ferdinand Franz Wallraf in Kölner Sammlung von Zeitungsausschnitten 1840 - 1969 (German) >>
- Further information: Wallraf im LVR-Portal Rheinische Geschichte (German) >>