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Ellen Bertram receives Federal Cross of Merit

For International Volunteer Day on 4 December 2018, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany to 28 men and women. The recipients of this distinction included Ellen Bertram, who worked as a librarian at the German National Library in Leipzig until she retired.

Ellen Bertram received this award for her outstanding commitment to the culture of memory and remembrance in Germany: she has spent 30 years conducting voluntary research at her own expense into the fates of more than 5,000 Jews from Leipzig who were persecuted and murdered during the Nazi era.

Thomas Kunst awarded literature prizes

Thomas Kunst, lyricist and employee at the German National Library, was awarded no less than two literature prizes in 2018.

On 2 November, he received the Walter Bauer Award for 2018, endowed with 3,500 Euro and presented by the Cities of Leuna and Merseburg. In its statement, the jury noted that Thomas Kunst had attracted considerable attention and critical acclaim for both his novels and his lyrics, particularly in recent years.

Back in October, Thomas Kunst was also awarded the Lower Austrian Literature Prize 2018 to the tune of 4,000 Euro for his text "Zandschower Klinken".

Manager for cross-sector partnerships and community projects

On 1 May 2018 Barbara Fischer will take up her position as manager for new partnerships at the Office for Library Standards in the German National Library. Her task is to initiate new cross-sector community projects and partnerships. Particular attention will be paid to expanding the long-standing and successful cooperation with Wikimedia projects. A further key focus will be on pushing forward interlinking of the Integrated Authority File (GND) and Wikidata.
The cultural manager will be able to contribute her experience as curator for cultural partnerships at Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. and as a member of the "Europeana's Members Council". Her role there was to recruit cultural and memory institutions for the active implementation of Open Culture and Free Knowledge measures, and to strengthen their collaboration on Wikimedia projects. Barbara Fischer supported Wikipedia volunteers e.g. by organising writing workshops and photography tours together with the cultural institutions, the results of which then benefitted Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. Together with partner institutions, she organised conferences and symposia aimed, among other things, at developing positions on the relationship between cultural heritage and the digital agenda. She also initiated the Coding da Vinci Hackathon which brings together coders and cultural institutions every year to create exciting new applications for Open Culture data sets.

Ms. Fischer can be e-mailed from May 1 at . Contact her via Twitter at @fischerdata. Picture details: Barbara Fischer (photo: Kerstin Jasinszczak, edited by DNB, Stephan Jockel, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Director General dubbed Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres

Dr. Elisabeth Niggemann has been dubbed "Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres", an honour of the French Republic. The official ceremony was held on 2 March 2018 in the French embassy in Berlin.

The Order of Arts and Letters has been presented to Elisabeth Niggemann in recognition above all of her services to French culture. The Director General of the German National Library has demonstrated her commitment not only to supporting culture in Germany and the German-speaking countries, but also at the European level. The nomination bestows one of the greatest honorary awards of the French state upon Elisabeth Niggemann. It has been presented since 1957 to individuals who have provided great service in the field of culture and literature in France and around the world.

Research advisor at the German Museum of Books and Writing

Dr. André Wendler is joining the German Museum of Books and Writing as research advisor from 1 February 2018. He will develop new projects and look after the Museum's existing academic cooperation projects in the fields of book and media history. The Museum preserves unique documents and objects relating to book, publishing, writing and paper history. The cultural and social relevance of these is revealed in different academic contexts. It will be Dr. Wendler's responsibility to coordinate and develop the interfaces between academia and the Museum.

Dr. Wendler is a media and cultural scientist. He successfully completed his doctorate on historiographic anachronisms in film at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. There he carried out research and taught in the Media Faculty; his field was media history as related to typographic and electronic culture and queer media. His favourite object in the German Museum of Books and Writing is currently a Wanderer music typewriter.

Contact Dr. Wendler by calling him on +49 341 2271-518, mailing him or via his @awndlr Twitter account.

Last update: 11.12.2018

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