AMethodological Approach to Provenance Description
|Keywords||book provenance research – MARC 21 – Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – history of libraries – cataloguing – early printed book – Germany|
|Citation||SCHEIBE, Michaela. AMethodological Approach to Provenance Description. Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae – Historia litterarum. Prague: National Museum, 2013, 58(3-4), 20-27. ISSN 0036-5351. Also available from: https://publikace.nm.cz/en/periodicals/amnphl/58-3-4/amethodological-approach-to-provenance-description|
Most German libraries holding important historical collections are increasingly engaged in provenance description as an important issue of considering books as material objects. Since the publication of the Washington Principles in 1998 provenance research gained special interest as a means of detecting looted books in library collections. The process of establishing adequate standards for provenance description in a cooperative way was rather successful. In 2003 the so-called Weimarer Modell was published by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Alte Drucke at the Gemeinsamer Bibliotheksverbund. Now those standards could be developed further and were published last year as comprehensive recommendations of the Deutscher Bibliotheksverband. This paper discusses the various methodological questions that had to be considered creating the newly established data model for provenance description. What has to be described foremost? Is it the evidence in the copy (e.g. stamps, bookplates or inscriptions) or is it the person or institution connected with the evidence that provenance research should focus upon? How to record provenance evidence in a sensible way, if the owner cannot be identified? How to record exactly different evidences known to originate from one former owner? What to do about future findings, what about the effort for necessary corrections of provenance data?