May 27, 2022

Germany: Bonn Library Recovers 600 Books Missing Since the Second World War

From The Art Newspaper:

More than 600 books, among them 11 valuable medieval manuscripts, are to return to the University and Regional Library of Bonn in a ceremony today, more than 70 years after they disappeared in the chaotic aftermath of the Second World War.

About 150 of the most valuable of the books were discovered when they were offered to Sotheby’s for auction by a Belgian woman who had inherited them from her father. When they arrived in London for inspection, the auction house’s experts noticed that many of the bindings had been removed, library stamps had been erased and title pages destroyed.


Specialists at the auction house matched the books with the Bonn library’s meticulous inventory of losses recording some of the 180,000 volumes missing since the Second World War and contacted the library.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.