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Wolfgang Kehr sets up a new foundation

Former university library director supports research and teaching at the University of Freiburg

Freiburg, Jul 21, 2017

Wolfgang Kehr sets up a new foundation

Wolfgang Kehr und Hans-Jochen Schiewer (from left). Photo: Thomas Kunz

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kehr, former university library director in Freiburg, winner of the University Medal and member of the university advisory council has set up a new foundation from an estate in the amount of 150,000 euros. The purpose of the Wolfgang Kehr foundation is to support science and research at the University of Freiburg; however, the annual revenue will go toward the advancement and care of the historic collections at the university library in Freiburg. The endowment administration will be managed by the department of endowment/estate and taxes at the University. "I am very pleased about the generous support for the historic collections – not only as rector at the University of Freiburg, but also as a medievalist who works with old books and manuscripts," says Prof. Dr. Hans-Jochen Schiewer.

Wolfgang Kehr ran the university library from 1967 to 1994. He has a strong affiliation to the historic collections: "When I began took the position, the collections of manuscripts and incunables were in poor condition. We opened them up, restored them and augmented them with prints from the 16th century from the cultural area on the Upper Rhine," says Kehr. "It is of particular importance for me to lend further support to these collections with a foundation."

A further important milestone in Kehr's work was the newly opened University library in 1978. The building, in whose planning he was deeply involved, attracted interest well beyond Freiburg's borders – due to what was considered at the time unusually large reading areas, the large number of open stacks with text book collections and a section for leisure reading, along with the introduction of electronic book borrowing. Furthermore, Kehr expanded the development of the entire Freiburg library system by founding, for instance, high-performance faculty libraries in Chemistry, Physics and Biology or by combining smaller faculty libraries. He was the author of important publications and editor or co-editor of numerous magazines and series, including, Zeitschrift für Bibliothekswesen und Bibliographie (Magazine for Library Science and Bibliography), Bibliothekspraxis (Library Practice) or the Handbook on Historic Book Collections in the Federal Republic of Germany and West Berlin. He was active in regional and state-level councils for academic library science as well as in the German Research Foundation and in the science council. In 1973 the former Faculty of Philosophy III named him honorary professor for English literature and philology. In 1993 he received the Federal Cross of Merit.

Andreas Lang
Endowment and Estate/ Taxes
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-4293