Provenance research into Nazi-confiscated cultural goods in the historic stock from 1952–1968 in the university library at Berlin Free University
- Ringo Narewski
- April 2015 to March 2017
- April 2017 to March 2018
In 2015, the Bureau for Nazi-Looted Materials was set up in the university library at Freie Universität Berlin. Its mission is to identify objects looted and confiscated by the Nazis in the holdings of FU Berlin university library. The preliminary work for establishing the Bureau goes back to 2012. The Bureau came about as a logical consequence of discoveries of property looted and confiscated by the Nazis in the holdings of the university library. There are currently nine people on the Bureau’s team.
The project “Provenance research into Nazi-confiscated property in the historic stock from 1952–1968 in the university library at Freie Universität Berlin” is a component of the Bureau for Nazi-Looted Materials. In this project, the provenance of approx. 70,000 volumes acquired in the period 1952–1968 is being systematically examined, Nazi-looted property identified and returns made. The aim of the project is to check whether any of the provenances found include evidence of Nazi looting. It also plans to make the research findings and all of the uncovered provenances freely available online in a database.
To achieve this goal, the Looted Cultural Assets (LCA) provenance database was released in 2015 in a cooperation between the library of the New Synagogue Berlin—Centrum Judaicum, the university library, the University of Potsdam and the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin. This database gives interested parties access to the provenances found and the examples associated with them as well as providing summarized information about the research findings. Internally, cases from the participating libraries are linked to each other and joint research and investigation findings are documented. As a result, information is expertly exchanged and completed, and individual cases are dealt with more efficiently.