Cobet Collection

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 the period's 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 UT Libraries of the University of Texas at Austin, 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.  Originally 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.

The collection is currently housed in the closed-stack Collections Deposit Library at the University of Texas at Austin, and is a completely non-circulating collection because of its fragility. All items received cataloging at the time of receipt and are listed in the on-line catalog. Some material can be scanned or copied through inter-library service within copyright guidelines; however, for large-scale or long-term research projects, contact Shiela Winchester for assistance.