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Department of Early Printed Books

The Lynar Collection

In 2005 the State Library had the opportunity to add to its holdings 379 printed works from the Reformation period as a loan from the collection of the Counts of Lynar in Lübbenau. The Lynar family library looks back on a long tradition, its origins dating back to the 16th century. In the 18th century it experienced an important expansion through the acquisition of the scholarly collection of Anton von Geusau with its broad academic trait. The printed works from the 16th century predominantly were penned by Martin Luther. They illustrate the scope of his literary activities – from the discussion of theological questions to the impact of the Reformation on the parishes. They also reflect his exegesis of the Bible and his disputes with his opponents. The Lynar Collection encompasses all the three main reformatory works of Luther published in 1520, that is “An den christlichen Adel deutscher Nation” (To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation), “De captivitate Babylonica ecclesiae praeludium” (On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church), and “Von der Freiheit eines Christenmenschen” (On the Freedom of a Christian). Writings of Luther’s friends and opponents are also included, such as works by Philipp Melanchton, Lazarus Spengler, Johann Eck and Andreas Karstadt.

The ten satirical images which were published under the simple title “Abbildung des Papsttums” (Image of Papacy) are a particular highlight of the Lynar Collection. These prints presumably came from the workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder and are a sharp polemic against the official church of the Pope, and even today they offer many a riddle to researchers.

With view to its size as well as its quality the Lynar Collection is of extraordinary importance for the State Library. With its fundamental sources for research of the Reformation, to some extent at least, it makes up for the loss of the Library’s Luther collection in the Second World War.

Further reading

Familienarchiv der Grafen zu Lynar auf Lübbenau : (Rep. 37 Lübbenau) / bearb. von Jürgen König und Werner Heegewaldt - Frankfurt am Main [u.a.] : Lang, 2006. - XLIX, 517 S. : Ill., graph. Darst. ; 210 mm x 148 mm. - (Quellen, Findbücher und Inventare des Brandenburgischen Landeshauptarchivs ; 19)

Catalogus Bibliothecæ Selectæ ante Kalendas Dec. MDCCL. conjunctim, elapso vero hoc termino auctionis lege vendendæ. - Graizae : Ludewig, 1750. - [4] Bl., 280 S. ; 8°

Sammler: Anton von Geusau, Gräfl. Reuß-Plauischer Rat, 1695-1749

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SBB16 - Drucke des 16. Jahrhunderts im Bestand der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin

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Abteilung Historische Drucke / Andreas Wittenberg
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Blog Bibel - Thesen - Propaganda

Luthersammlung

Flugschriften der Reformation

Handschriftenabteilung /Nachlässe

Stiftung Luthergedenkstätten in Sachsen-Anhalt
Melanchthonhaus Bretten

News feed 07.11.2006: Ausstellung"Von dem weyt erschollen Namen Luther"

News feed 19.12.2016: Ausstellung "BIBEL - THESEN - PROPAGANDA"