The Library of Aby Warburg

Warburg Institute Library

Fri 17 Jun 2016 09:45-22:00

Exhibition: The Library of Aby Warburg

13 -17 June 2016

The Reading Room
Warburg Institute Library

Exhibition curated by Michael Thimann and Thomas Gilbhard

Translation: Eckart Marchand

The Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg (KBW), the forerunner of the Warburg Institute, originated from the private library of Aby Warburg (1866–1929). From the beginning, Warburg’s research interests were wide-ranging. 

The mere act of bringing together books (and images) in his private library allowed issues to be raised, contiguities to be revealed and borders between disciplines to be transgressed. Warburg, however, was a collector of knowledge rather than of objects; and although he was a keen owner of books, they were less important to him as physical items than as necessary instruments in a process of scholarly research. As he put it in 1918, his books served him as “working tools in a scientific laboratory”.

This exhibition looks at the history, the books and the scholars of the Library in its early years and displays a range of relevant publications.