University of Texas at Austin
Libraries Home | Mobile | My Account | Renew Items | Sitemap | Help |
support us

University of Texas Libraries

University of Texas Libraries
Celebrating the Life

About the Collections

Collection Policies
Endowments and Gifts
Scholarly Communication
Protecting Intellectual Property

Collection Contacts

Subject Specialist Directory

Susan Macicak,
Collection Development Officer

Merry Burlingham,
Chief Bibliographer

Carolyn Cunningham,
Collection Administration Librarian

Mary Rader,
Global Studies Coordinator

Dale Correa,
Middle Eastern Studies Librarian

Bonnie Brown Real,
Collection and Consortia Assessment Coordinator

Lexie Thompson Young,
UT System Licensing Coordinator

Emilie Algenio,
Consortia Resources Coordinator

Lisa Aguilar,
Library Specialist

The Cobet Collection: A Laboratory for Study of Post-War Germany

The years 1945-1950 were formative in modern German history as the search for a new political, social, and cultural value system began. In the period immediately following the end of World War II, an entire nation looked inward, questioning, searching the collective memory and conscience, and probing the societal soul. Germany in 1945 entered into an extraordinary period of intellectual ferment that was to continue for the next six years.

Christoph Cobet, a German scholar and antiquarian bookman who became fascinated with the period, recognized that its relatively brief duration made a well-defined documentation project conceivable. His goal was to collect every piece of the written word published in Germany or by Germans in exile, or translated into German, during the years 1945-1950. The collection, considered to be virtually complete in 1983, was purchased by the University of Texas Libraries, with the cooperation of the Department of Germanic Languages and the College of Liberal Arts. It supplements an already strong collection in Germanic literature, languages, and intellectual history, contained in the Perry-Castañeda Library, the main graduate research library for the humanities at the University.

Consisting of some 4,000+ titles, including over 100 periodicals, the Cobet Collection contains many works produced in extremely limited editions almost inaccessible even to the book trade of that time. Now, they are even more difficult to locate. Reflections of contemporary German thought and endeavor (literature, history, sociology, economics, law, education, philosophy, art, architecture, and theater), these assembled books and journals offer contextual support and illumination to the study of Germany as it struggled to understand its recent past and fashion a new identity during the post-war years.

The collection is housed permanently in the Collections Deposit Library at the University of Texas at Austin, and is a completely non-circulating collection because of its fragility. All items receive full cataloging and are listed in the University of Texas Libraries' Catalog. For the cost of the copying fees, some materials may be acquired through InterLibrary Services; however, for large-scale or long-term research projects, this is probably not feasible, given the size of the collection.

For questions, contact:
Shiela Winchester, Germanic Languages Bibliographer
The University of Texas Libraries
Reference and Information Services Department, PCL 2.430
Austin, Texas, 78713

For an appointment to view specific items, contact: 512-495-4694

Related Information
· Research by Subject: German Language and Literature

Back to Selected Library Collections