The Supporters of the Philological Library Nonprofit Association was founded in 1996 at Freie Universität Berlin as a student initiative to help the library of the German Department, whose budget had been reduced by two-thirds the previous year. Through broad-based recruitment, sponsorships for magazine subscriptions, and especially through the sale of donated books, the Supporters Association largely succeeded in compensating for the budget reduction. When the separate humanities libraries were merged into the Philological Library, the Supporters Association expanded. Today, the funds it provides still make up 12 to 15 percent of its annual budget and benefit all the subjects in the library. The money comes mainly from the proceeds of the Book Bazaar (Bücherbasar), a small used-book store on the main campus of Freie Universität that is run by students on a volunteer basis. More than 20,000 donated books of all types are in stock.
This semester the writer Feridun Zaimoglu is the Heiner Müller Visiting Professor at the Institute of Comparative Literature at Freie Universität. The Heiner Müller Visiting Professor coincides with the Berlin Literature Prize of the Prussian Maritime Foundation (Stiftung Preußische Seehandlung). In his text Der Mongole, Zaimoglu discusses his childhood, language in general, and how he discovered literature and came to be a writer.
In an installation called "Bibliothek der unlesbaren Zeichen" (The Library of Garbled Characters), which the artist Axel Malik set up in the Philological Library during the 2015/2016 winter semester, Malik exhibited books that he had completely covered and redesigned with different types of textual typesetting and characters in different textures. The books had been donated by the Book Bazaar. During the event, Malik will write some of his characters on a picture-framing mat for each visitor.
- Tuesday, June 21, 2016, 6 p.m.
- Atrium, Philological Library, Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin; subway stations: Dahlem-Dorf and Thielplatz (U3)