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Universitätsbibliothek Mainz


The Brentano Collection, purchased in 1953, contains, in addition to a special library, numerous autographs and manuscripts by Clemens Brentano and Bettina von Arnim, among others. The letters in particular offer a unique insight into the everyday life of the Brentano/Arnim/de La Roche family of writers.

Clemens Brentano Special Collection

The Clemens Brentano Collection can be traced back to Franz Dessauer, an industrialist whose family maintained friendly relations with the Aschaffenburg branch of the Brentano family. In 1923 he bought the Brentano House in Aschaffenburg in order to set up a Brentano Museum. With the help of bookseller Pattloch, he collected manuscripts, first editions, and literature by and about the Brentano family. But the plan failed due to the economic crisis and the turmoil of war. The Brentano House was bombed, but the collection remained unharmed in the safes of the Pattloch bookstore. It was put up for sale in 1953 and acquired by Mainz University Library the following year.

In addition to the Brentano special holdings with their about 500 titles, Mainz University Library owns numerous autographs. This Clemens Brentano Collection includes correspondence and several manuscripts by Clemens Brentano and by members of his immediate and extended family, as well as individual items from this circle. Numerous autographs come from the estate of Bettina von Arnim. Anyone who has an academic interested is welcome to gain an insight on request. Get an overview of all documents in the autograph portal Kalliope.

Or explore high-quality digital copies of the complete Brentano Collection in Gutenberg Capture.


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Dr. Christian George
Dr. Christian George