Day 15: Wiener Library

Friday, July 10, 2015
Fridays are beautiful days, aren’t they? It’s the end of the work week, the weekend is coming… and I get individual time to visit places in London.

Today, after running some errands in the morning, I visited the Wiener Library with some of my other classmates. Jessica Green, who now works at the library, did the British Studies Program a couple of years ago. See! There is hope after we graduate!

Entrance to the Wiener Library (via K. Emmons)
Entrance to the Wiener Library (via K. Emmons)

The Wiener Library is one of the world’s most extensive collections on the Holocaust and the Nazi era. Alfred Wiener, after whom the library is named, began collecting antisemetic materials in Germany after returning from WWI. As a Jew, Wiener and his family had to flee from Germany in 1933 to Amsterdam where Dr Wiener set up Jewish Central Information Office. His efforts and collection materials aided the British government in the fight against Nazi Germany. More on the library’s history here.

I didn’t take many pictures because our tour guides were so informative! I was too busy asking questions and writing in my notebook. 🙂

The materials in their library consist of books, photos, audio/visual tapes, manuscripts, and artefacts. We saw a coloring book for children about the Hitler Youth program, a tea bag that was used to pass secret messages (It sounded like our guide said tahnschriften, but I can’t find that in my German dictionary. Schriften means writings, or letters. Do you know what the phrase might be?), a photo album from Ludwig Norman (originally from Essen in Germany, sent to Dachau concentration camp, survived to live in London), and materials from the Alice Fink collection.

Reading Room (via Wiener Library website)
Reading Room (via Wiener Library website)

The collection is the largest on this subject in the United Kingdom and I was so glad to visit! Using the library seems to be fairly easy too: students need to bring a letter of introduction and ID, non-students need to bring ID and proof of address. Members of the library can borrow books, otherwise the collections are for reference only.

LIS classmates with Jessica (via K. Emmons phone)
LIS classmates with Jessica (via K. Emmons phone)

Thanks again, Jessica, for letting us visit!

On to Day 16!

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