The Leo Santifaller Library

The historian Leo Santifaller was born in Castelrotto (South Tyrol) in 1890. After heading the State Archives of Bolzano, he was appointed to the University of Breslau in 1929, moving to Vienna in 1943. Santifaller stood out above all as a thorough editor of medieval sources, but also wrote important historiographical works and textbooks. When Austrian historiography reformed after World War II, Santifaller influenced entire generations of historians as a university lecturer. In the course of his career, he received numerous honors and held important offices in Austrian academia: for ten years he was director of the Austrian State Archives, and he was also chairman of the Institute for Austrian Historical Research, director of the Austrian Cultural Institute in Rome, and a full member of the Academy of Sciences.

Leo Santifaller’s library

Leo Santifaller’s working library has been in the possession of the University of Salzburg since the mid-1970s. In 2009, part of the collection was transferred from the Department of History to the University Library. There, formal indexing, inclusion in the online catalog, and a thematically motivated division into three branches took place. In 2014, the holdings were brought together and comprehensively processed as part of a project of the university course “Library and Information Studies” at the main library. Although the working library is not complete (108 titles from Santifaller’s library are now in the library of the Archabbey of St. Peter, and other volumes are in the University Library of Budějovicích), the holdings of the University Library of Salzburg are probably quite representative of the original composition.
This comprises 1,981 volumes, which are placed in the magazine of the main library and can be used in the reading rooms. Publications on church and regional history form a focal point in terms of content, which corresponds with Santifaller’s research interests. In addition, there are publications from the subjects of art history, geography, philosophy, astronomy and German studies.
Several of the books have annotations and notes that provide an interesting insight into Santifaller’s working methods. Handwritten dedications by friends and colleagues in the books shed interesting light on Santifaller’s professional and private network of relationships.
Markings, dedications, and notes, as well as other specimen-specific features, were recorded as part of the above-mentioned project and listed in a database.