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Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute troubles (Read 64589 times)
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Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute troubles
05.05.2010 at 09:10:25
 
There are rumours and reports about the Warburg Institute's these days not completely unproblematic relations to the University of London.
 
See http://archiv.twoday.net/stories/6322564/ and http://artforum.com/news/week=201017#news25412 .
 
At both links there is no discussion of the fact that there seems to be a 5 years probationary period for the new director of the Warburg Institute (the successor to Hope: see extracts from the job add here). (I myself was rather puzzled about this: why make applications by scholars aged 59 or younger who have tenure at their present institution extremely improbable?)
That job add (full text here) IMO was remarkable for other reasons too: just search it for the places where the term "renaissance" does occur ... .)
 
I don't know whether the University of London is aware that there might be very well a number of other universities willing to host the Warburg Institute in case there should be the option for them to do so ... .
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Inst. troubles
Reply #1 - 25.06.2010 at 10:31:09
 
Now see also: Marion Löhndorf: Das Gesetz der guten Nachbarschaft : Eine Rationalisierungsmassnahme der Universität London bedroht das Warburg Institute (NZZ, 2010-06-23) (found thanks to http://archiv.twoday.net/stories/6394038/ ).
 


 
On a happier note: If the information which I have received is correct: IMO The Warburg Institute made a really excellent choice when selecting it's new director!
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute trou
Reply #2 - 21.07.2010 at 10:26:56
 
Via the FICINO email distribution list I received pointers to:
 
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Warburg Institute: New director
Reply #3 - 21.07.2010 at 13:02:52
 
Quote from hck on 25.06.2010 at 10:31:09:


On a happier note: If the information which I have received is correct: IMO The Warburg Institute made a really excellent choice when selecting it's new director!

 
That information was/is correct.  Smiley Cheesy Smiley
See here.
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute trou
Reply #4 - 22.07.2010 at 17:28:47
 
Now see also http://earlymodernhistory1.blogspot.com/2010/07/future-of-warburg-institute.html , and via this: http://artintheblood.typepad.com/art_history_today/2010/07/warburg-goes-to-war.h tml .
 
There are also various discussions concerning the future of thne Warburg Institute on facebook these days.
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Re: Rumours & reports abt Warburg Institute troubl
Reply #5 - 26.07.2010 at 10:36:55
 
You might also be interested to read Anna Somers Cocks: The Warburg Institute is fighting for its life : The famous library founded by Aby Warburg for a special kind of research may lose its essential nature (2010-07-20).
 
She writes i.a.:  
Quote:
There are now fears that the University plans to move the Warburg’s library from its building in Woburn Square and put it with its own library in its headquarters. In 2007 it squeezed the Warburg by raising its space charge by £500,000, which eats up half the Institute’s £1.3m annual grant so that it now has an annual deficit of half a million. Jill Kraye, the Institute’s librarian and a historian of philosophy, says, “They charge us eight times more for being an open access library”, and yet the whole point of Aby Warburg’s original conception was to be able to browse among the books.

The University is also trying to curtail the Warburg’s independence after “converging” the administration of the Warburg library into London Research Library Services, which will be appointing the Warburg’s next librarian, who will no longer be a scholar-librarian, as has been the case from Fritz Saxl onwards. There is no money to appoint a successor to the head of the Warburg’s photographic archive, the essential complement to the books in the integrated Warburgian approach to ideas. Currently, its head is Liz McGrath, the award-winning author of Rubens, Subjects from History.

Another sign of the Warburg’s diminished independence is that the Institute itself was not represented on the board to appoint the successor to the current director, Charles Hope, although a descendant of the Warburg family was included. At this rate, there could soon be nothing left of the Warburg except a few Fellows detached from the library that not only gave birth to the Institute but is at the heart of what makes it such an influential and civilising place.

All this suggests that the University does not acknowledge its obligations under the 1944 trust deed, but what is almost more serious is that in its bureaucratic way the University seems to have lost sight of the human reality of what makes a place of learning and intellectual creativity. Administrative synergies will not do it; money and a fine building do not necessarily do it, as the Getty Research Institute has shown. Despite all its facilities, that has never stirred people’s minds much or aroused affection.

...
Quote:
Instead of this sad and unedifying state of conflict, the University could cut the charge to the Warburg, recognise its own obligations and the Warburg’s unique characteristics, and collaborate with the Institute on a long-term plan for its future in its own building. This certainty would make it possible for the Warburg to launch an international search for the endowment funding that would enable it to carry on its extraordinary work.

The alternative looks increasingly unattractive. The Warburg, supported by its Advisory Council, has taken legal advice and has been told that the University is in breach of the 1944 trust deed, but the University wants to apply to the Charity Commissioners to amend the terms of the deed. Director Charles Hope points out that if they succeed in this, it would not only be the death of the Institute, but also of the library, half of whose acquisitions currently come through the Warburg’s endowment income, gifts and exchanges (for example, the De Menil family gave it 30 years worth of material about the “image of the black” in art).

The Warburg family is getting angry. Max Warburg, the banker son of Eric Warburg, who signed the 1944 trust deed making the donation, told the Neue Zürcher Zeitung last month that the family would do everything possible in law to compel the University to honour the trust deed, which guarantees the Warburg’s independence and independent financing. “The whole thing is a scandal,” he said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
In one of the comments (22 Jul 10 22:36 CET / Eileen, California) there is this:
Quote:
If the Univ. of London has compromised its stewardship of the library, can the trust deed be revoked and the library be returned to the Warburg family in Hamburg. could a benefactor be found in a German university?
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Re: Rumours & reports abt Warburg Institute troubl
Reply #6 - 26.07.2010 at 15:08:27
 
See also Jessica Elgot: Jewish scholar's library under threat (2010-07-22). Ms Elgot writes i.a.:
Quote:
Staff believe that the university wishes to absorb the collection into its own main library.

Librarian Professor Jill Kraye said: "This trust deed is a legal document. It is not outdated - Magna Carta was signed in 1215. We want to preserve the unique character and traditions of our library but the punitive costs mean we cannot afford to do so."

The university's Andy Williamson, said: "The University has evolved with the times and is giving consideration to seeking an alteration to the terms of the Trust Deed."
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Re: Rumours & reports abt Warburg Institute troubl
Reply #7 - 28.07.2010 at 10:54:49
 
Now see also Veszélyben a Warburg-könyvtár (2010-07-27): A text in Hungarian (google's translation into English here) with links to material and reports in several languages.
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Warburg Institute: troubling situation (D. King)
Reply #8 - 29.07.2010 at 09:20:59
 
See also Dorothy King: The Warburg Institute In Trouble - Again (2010-07-28).
i.a.:
Quote:
London University tried to in effect close down the Institute of Classical Studies by removing its library a few years ago. It's been tinkering with the Warburg, which is dying a death of a thousand budget cuts. And let's not forget that they managed to close down the Percival David Foundation, which once house one of the best collections of Chinese Ceramics anywhere in the world.

 


 
Found thanks to http://twitter.com/SabrinaBooks/status/19755524051
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Re: Warburg Institute troubles
Reply #9 - 02.08.2010 at 12:01:20
 
On facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Warburg-Institute/130111620333260 you can read:
Quote:
Dear Colleagues and Friends,Many thanks for your support. The Warburg Institute is currently in discussion about the way forward. We will keep you informed; but for the time being, please hold your fire.

 


 
No comment.
 
From me.
 
Now.
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Grafton & Hamburger on Warburg Institute troubles
Reply #10 - 02.09.2010 at 09:03:30
 
Found thanks to The Warburg Institute's presence on facebook:
Anthony Grafton & Jeffrey Hamburger: Save the Warburg Library! (2010-09-01).
 
There you can read i.a.:
Quote:
In light of Warburg’s legacy, current threats to his institute’s very existence would apparently confirm Marx’s adage that great events happen twice, “once as tragedy, and again as farce.” It seems brutally ironic that the core of Warburg’s legacy is now under threat from the very university that helped ensure its survival.

If the university’s plans succeed, the institute will now have to abandon Warburg’s fundamental principles, lose control of its own books and periodicals (many of them acquired by gift or by the expenditure of the institute’s endowments), and shed, over time, the distinguished staff of scholars and scholar-librarians who train its students and continue to shape its holdings. The Warburg’s collections will become a component of the troubled library system of the University of London—a system that has already shown its willingness to sell off thousands of valuable books, and could do the same with part of the Warburg’s holdings, should it continue, as is likely, to find itself in financial straits. A center of European culture and a repository of the Western tradition that escaped Hitler and survived the Blitz may finally be destroyed by British bean-counters. It is a picture, in the words of H.L. Mencken, “to bemuse the vulgar and to give the judicious grief.”

...
Quote:
If the University of London insists on following through with its plan, perhaps the German authorities can find the means to bring the Warburg back to its original home. That would certainly be preferable to watching as philistines demolish a great European institution.

 
Well, in this case there is no so thing as "the German authorities": the universities are under the authority of the federal states where they are situated, and of the 16 federal states of Germany I guess some 3 (maybe even more) might perhaps be potentially interested to integrate the Warburg Institute into one of their universities or other research institutions (or - less probable IMO - to support it as an independent institution):

 
An other option might be to try to transfer the Warburg Institute as one of the humanities oriented institutes of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft.
Or as a member institute of the Leibniz Gemeinschaft.
 
However: to make negotiations (including "pre-negotiations") about any such solution possible the Warburg Institute would have to take the initiative and express its interest in a re-transfer to Germany. And as of now I doubt will happen (the Warburg Institute has become a rather English institution by now IMO); but perhaps it did already happen, and I just don't know about it?
 
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Roeck on Warburg Institute troubles
Reply #11 - 02.09.2010 at 13:23:32
 
Also found thanks to The Warburg Institute's presence on facebook:  
Bernd Roeck: Wiege der Erkenntnis: Die legendäre Warburg-Bibliothek in London ist bedroht
 
Probably from from "Weltkunst" # 9 (2010).
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Re: Roeck on Warburg Institute troubles
Reply #12 - 09.09.2010 at 10:07:13
 
Quote from hck on 02.09.2010 at 13:23:32:
Also found thanks to The Warburg Institute's presence on facebook:
Bernd Roeck: Wiege der Erkenntnis: Die legendäre Warburg-Bibliothek in London ist bedroht

Probably from from "Weltkunst" # 9 (2010).

 
Now also pointed to at http://archiv.twoday.net/stories/6501342/ .
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Warburg Institute troubles: Davis & Reeve
Reply #13 - 15.09.2010 at 10:31:08
 
At http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/archives/kbw_articles/art_newspp216_9_10.pdf you can find letters by Graeme Davis (vice-chancellor University of London) and Michael Reeve (chairman, advisory council, Warburhg Institute), published (2010-09) as letters in The Art Newspaper, No. 216.
 
One of the topics is the meaning of "full involvement". Apparently the term is not interpreted exactly the same by both authors.
 
But these and some other aspects did not come as a major surprise to me.
 
However: Reading these letters: I was surprised at both letters mentioning "independence" as an issue. (Davis: "The university is not 'trying to curtail the Warburg's independence' but instead respects and takes great pride in, its unique character. The institute is part of the university ...", "self-governing" / Reeve: "it has proposed to set about replacing the trust deed, which obliges it to maintain the institute as an independent unit, with a new deed that contains no mention of independence.")
 
The concept of "independence" is anything but clear to me; I doubt whether it has a clear and precise meaning; and even assuming that it has a clear and precise meaning: I doubt whether is a useful concept or just something like the concept of "sovereignty" but in the context of sub-commonwealth institutions.
 
Apparently "independence" is not "autonomy" (we know from Aristotle that only beasts and gods can be autonomous, that autonomy is nothing human beings can have).
 
As of now the Warburg Institute seems to depend i.a. on:

  • the Warburg Institute staff being able to do and doing their job with a modicum (or more) of enthusiasm and dedication,
  • money received via the University of London and from other sources,
  • infrastructures (including the library!), programmes and actions attracting students and outside scholars.

 
(I doubt whether there is any institution <scholarly, commercial, political, whatever> which could be called truly independent.)
 
 
Worthwhile questions might be (i.a.):

  • Can the Warburg Institute staff continue to do their job with a modicum (or more) of enthusiasm and dedication and success?
  • Can the institute and its library maintain the present attractiveness to students and scholars?
  • Who is able to decide on major changes, who is able to enact major changes?
  • What are the options (if any) if there should be pressure for major changes negatively affecting the Warburg Institute staff and the institute's attractiveness to students and scholars?
  • Who decides on whether to investigate, test, pursue any such options (assumed that they do exist)?

 
 
 


 
Found i.a. thanks to Mark Thakkar on facebook.
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Warburg Institute troubles: Leiter
Reply #14 - 16.09.2010 at 12:39:05
 
Brian Leiter: Save the Warburg Library! (2010-09-15) writes (pointing to the text by Anthony Grafton and Jeffrey Hamburger pointed to and commented on here in this thread):
Quote:
Several readers have called this travesty-in-the-making to my attention. The collection survived the Nazis, but may not survive the new "corporate" model of higher education in Britain. A great opportunity for an entrepenurial university in North America or elsewhere!

 
Well, concerning the "A great opportunity for an entrepenurial university in North America or elsewhere! "-bit: The Warburg Institute up to now seems not to be "for sale". Maybe somebody there (or elsewhere) is contacting potential "investors"/new hosting institutions without my having received any information about this, but taking into account the upcoming change of directors I rather doubt it (Charles Hope acting in such a way IMO would act disloyal to his successor if he acted without his consent and if he did so with his consent: it would/could/should be seen as an action by his successor; Peter Mack  acting in such a way IMO would act disloyal to the institution having recently hired him; placing loyalty to the Warburg Institute over loyalty to the University of London, well, I know of no English equivalent of the German proverb "das Hemd ist näher als der Rock" or "das Wambs ist näher denn der Rock" <"the shirt - or waistcoat - is closer to the body than the coat">, and due to that ignorance of mine as of now I don't expect either director having <already> opened negotiations concerning institutional emigration; yes, in theory such exploration might already be undertaken by somebody else at the Warburg Institute, but if it is it is done rather silently.).  
Starting the other way round, i.e. a potential new hosting institution contacting the Warburg Institute without having previously received signals of interest from the Warburg Institute might be a rather bold way of action, and might be (mis-)read as equivalent to an attempt at "hostile takeover".
 
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Re: Grafton & Hamburger on Warburg Institute troub
Reply #15 - 22.09.2010 at 08:38:58
 
Quote from hck on 02.09.2010 at 09:03:30:
Found thanks to The Warburg Institute's presence on facebook:
Anthony Grafton & Jeffrey Hamburger: Save the Warburg Library! (2010-09-01).

There you can read i.a.:
Quote:
In light of Warburg’s legacy, current threats to his institute’s very existence would apparently confirm Marx’s adage that great events happen twice, “once as tragedy, and again as farce.” It seems brutally ironic that the core of Warburg’s legacy is now under threat from the very university that helped ensure its survival.

If the university’s plans succeed, the institute will now have to abandon Warburg’s fundamental principles, lose control of its own books and periodicals (many of them acquired by gift or by the expenditure of the institute’s endowments), and shed, over time, the distinguished staff of scholars and scholar-librarians who train its students and continue to shape its holdings. The Warburg’s collections will become a component of the troubled library system of the University of London—a system that has already shown its willingness to sell off thousands of valuable books, and could do the same with part of the Warburg’s holdings, should it continue, as is likely, to find itself in financial straits. A center of European culture and a repository of the Western tradition that escaped Hitler and survived the Blitz may finally be destroyed by British bean-counters. It is a picture, in the words of H.L. Mencken, “to bemuse the vulgar and to give the judicious grief.”

...
Quote:
If the University of London insists on following through with its plan, perhaps the German authorities can find the means to bring the Warburg back to its original home. That would certainly be preferable to watching as philistines demolish a great European institution.


Well, in this case there is no such thing as "the German authorities": the universities are under the authority of the federal states where they are situated, and of the 16 federal states of Germany I guess some 3 (maybe even more) might perhaps be potentially interested to integrate the Warburg Institute into one of their universities or other research institutions (or - less probable IMO - to support it as an independent institution):


An other option might be to try to transfer the Warburg Institute as one of the humanities oriented institutes of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft.
Or as a member institute of the Leibniz Gemeinschaft.

However: to make negotiations (including "pre-negotiations") about any such solution possible the Warburg Institute would have to take the initiative and express its interest in a re-transfer to Germany. And as of now I doubt this will happen (the Warburg Institute has become a rather English institution by now IMO); but perhaps it did already happen, and I just don't know about it?


 
What appears to be a revised version of this text is now available at http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/sep/30/save-warburg-library/ .
 
It does still contain the sentences Quote:
If the University of London insists on following these examples of academic malfeasance, perhaps the German authorities can find the means to bring the Warburg back to its original home. That would certainly be preferable to watching as philistines demolish a great European institution.
, but at the end of the text you find:
  Quote:

Letters

Move the Warburg to L.A.? October 14, 2010

 
When you go to the URL pointed to there (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/oct/14/move-warburg-l/ ) you get Quote:
'Move the Warburg to L.A.?' has not been published yet.
.
 
This might be seen as part of some sort of competition with the Warburg Institute as a prize indicating which region sports the best environment for advanced humanities studies, competitors being London, various institutions in Germany, and one or several institutions/cities/states in the USA, and perhaps also some other institution(s) up to now not yet mentioned.
 
However: I still hope that there will be no reason nor need for such a competition. Renaissance studies scholars i.a. need access to ample primary sources, and such access is provided by a few major libraries with really excellent holdings of such sources without too strong a regional focus (and IMO access to digitised copies will never be an equivalent "Ersatz"); the locations of such libraries are Washington, Paris, (to some degree) Rome, Munich, and last not least London, where the Warburg Institute is now located and hopefully will continue to be located and to prosper.
 


 
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/sep/30/save-warburg-library/ found by me thanks to an email by Victoria Musvik.
 


 
(Edited to reduce the number of errors of grammar and spelling.)
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Endrödi tweeting on Warburg Institute situation
Reply #16 - 22.09.2010 at 13:30:47
 
Gábor Endrödi (who tweets as 1100sor) today had several tweets on the Warburg Institute situation and perspectives:
 
Quote:
<Article> Grafton/Hamburger: Save the #Warburg Library (this is now the fulltext of what earlier circulated as preview) http://bit.ly/96UiS9
(http://twitter.com/1100sor/status/25199785770 )
 
 
Quote:
@hckGGREN adds some thoughts on the option of repatriating the #Warburg in Germany http://bit.ly/9MKeD1
(http://twitter.com/1100sor/status/25199877831 )
 
 
 
Quote:
Given the multiple contacts of the #Warburg circle to the Vienna school of art history, #Vienna could be quite an option too ... (1/2)
(http://twitter.com/1100sor/status/25200032999 )
 
Quote:
... and in this case I could manage visits in one-day tours (2/2) #Warburg
(http://twitter.com/1100sor/status/25200167883 )
 
 


 
Thanks for the permission to quote this (http://twitter.com/1100sor/status/25201420135 )!
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Victoria Musvik on the Warburg Institute situation
Reply #17 - 24.09.2010 at 16:43:46
 
At http://victorieuse.livejournal.com/206668.html you can read a 2010-09-22 posting by Victoria Musvik (Виктория Мусвик (victorieuse)) (plus commentaries).
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Rowland &c. on the Warburg Institute library &c.
Reply #18 - 04.10.2010 at 09:32:21
 
[quote author=hck link=1273043425/0#15 date=1285137538]Quote from hck on 02.09.2010 at 09:03:30:

<...>
at the end of the text you find:
Quote:

Letters

Move the Warburg to L.A.? October 14, 2010


When you go to the URL pointed to there (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/oct/14/move-warburg-l/ ) you get Quote:
'Move the Warburg to L.A.?' has not been published yet.
.

 
By now the text has been published:
Move the Warburg to L.A.? (Ingrid D. Rowland, reply by Anthony Grafton and Jeffrey Hamburger)
 
Rowland writes i.a.:
Quote:
Save the Warburg library? That cry [Anthony Grafton and Jeffrey Hamburger, NYR, September 30] should have gone up years ago, when the institution decided—of its own volition—to sell off the books bequeathed it by the eminent scholar Frances Yates, a frequent contributor to these pages and quite possibly the most influential—certainly the most inspirational—of all the scholars the operation in Woburn Square has ever produced. The books thus sacrificed on the altar of mammon were not duplicates; they were the very books in which Dame Frances wrote her penciled notes. They are historical records of enormous value, and they now reside at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles—at least we may be grateful that they were not sold off piecemeal.

...
Quote:
Ironically, therefore, one way to restore—restore, not save—the integrity of the Warburg library’s collection (and more than its collection) is to sell the whole damn thing to the Getty. Aby Warburg, passionately interested in the American Southwest, could have adjusted to L.A. at least as easily as those adoptive Angelenos Thomas Mann and Arnold Schoenberg.

 
 
From Grafton's & Hamburger's response:
Quote:
What matters most is to see this unique library preserved. We would certainly rather see it sent to Los Angeles than broken up or entrusted to the wrong hands. But we believe that it should stay in London, close to the British Library and British Museum and only a couple of hours’ travel from the other great collections of the United Kingdom and the Continent—research in all of which it continues to sustain.

 
 
I don't understand the "or entrusted to the wrong hands" bit. And: IMO the Warburg Institute is more than just its library, and even the library is more than just the books etc. it consists of right now. As a museum documenting 20th century renaissance studies scholars' work the Warburg institute would loose its importance as a place dedicated (i.a.) to renaissance studies and just be a collection of interest to those studying 20th century intellectual history. There is more than one way to kill an institution ... .
 
 
BTW: see also http://twitter.com/charlesnodier/status/26213091759
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Rumours&reports: Warburg Institute troubles: AFWI
Reply #19 - 06.10.2010 at 11:29:05
 
At http://enfilade18thc.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/american-friends-of-the-warburg-in stitute/ you can read (i.a.):
Quote:
In regards to the uncertain future of the Warburg Library, Mary Garrard offers the following information (posted on the caah listserv) . . .

There exists a group called the American Friends of the Warburg Institute (AFWI), which solicits and accepts contributions to support the Warburg Library. On September 28, their board voted to help substantially defray the costs of legal procedures to keep the Warburg Institute from being subsumed into the general London University Library system.

 
Unanswered questions (i.a.):
  • Whose costs?
  • On whose behalf?
  • With whose money?
  • What costs?
  • Which legal procedures?
  • Why is the Warburg Institute considered to be identical with its library?

 


 
Found thanks to http://twitter.com/gordonchls/status/26534661281 (retweeted by Gábor Endrődi).
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Warburg Institute: ABCradio interview with Grafton
Reply #20 - 11.10.2010 at 09:14:15
 
At http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bookshow/stories/2010/3033247.htm viz. http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2010/10/bsw_20101011_1025.mp3 you can find a 2011-10-11 ABC radio interview with Anthony Grafton.
 
I'll try to give some sort of an abstract.
 
The interview is on Aby Warburg and his library. And then about studying at the Warburg Institute in the 1970s.
 
And then on the present worries about the Warburg Institute and its library. Grafton says i.a. that he is not reassured about the University of London's praise of the Warburg Institute. He says integrating its library into the UoL collections is no good idea as in the past there have been made problematic de-accessioning decisions concerning UoL books. He says: whether outside institutions should help is for the bWarburg and its governing/advisory bodies to decide. He praises Peter Mack (the newly appointed director of the Warburg Institute. And he says that UoL doesn't believe in scholar-librarians and doesn't understand the Warburg Institute.
 


 
Two observations: Far more "Warburg Institute" people from the 1970s are praised than present "Warburg Institute people" (my terms). The portions of the interview dedicated to the present "worries" have, well, quite some focus on the library.
 


 
Found thanks to http://twitter.com/1100sor/status/27010310577 .
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Re: Rowland &c. on the Warburg Institute library &
Reply #21 - 21.10.2010 at 18:15:20
 
Quote from hck on 04.10.2010 at 09:32:21:

<...>
By now the text has been published:
Move the Warburg to L.A.? (Ingrid D. Rowland, reply by Anthony Grafton and Jeffrey Hamburger)

Rowland writes i.a.:
Quote:
Save the Warburg library? That cry [Anthony Grafton and Jeffrey Hamburger, NYR, September 30] should have gone up years ago, when the institution decided—of its own volition—to sell off the books bequeathed it by the eminent scholar Frances Yates, a frequent contributor to these pages and quite possibly the most influential—certainly the most inspirational—of all the scholars the operation in Woburn Square has ever produced. The books thus sacrificed on the altar of mammon were not duplicates; they were the very books in which Dame Frances wrote her penciled notes. They are historical records of enormous value, and they now reside at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles—at least we may be grateful that they were not sold off piecemeal.

...
Quote:
Ironically, therefore, one way to restore—restore, not save—the integrity of the Warburg library’s collection (and more than its collection) is to sell the whole damn thing to the Getty. Aby Warburg, passionately interested in the American Southwest, could have adjusted to L.A. at least as easily as those adoptive Angelenos Thomas Mann and Arnold Schoenberg.



<...>

 
By now there is a reply by Peter Mack and Jill Kraye: http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/archives/kbw_articles/nyb1110.pdf .
 


 
Found thanks to a posting by The Warburg Institute on facebook.
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Re: Rowland &c. on the Warburg Institute library &
Reply #22 - 22.10.2010 at 11:51:30
 
Quote from hck on 21.10.2010 at 18:15:20:


By now there is a reply by Peter Mack and Jill Kraye: http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/archives/kbw_articles/nyb1110.pdf .


 
 
Now also available in purely electronic form: Peter Mack and Jill Kraye: Did the Warburg do right by Frances Yates? (dated 2010-11-11 - though available alredy now).
i.a.:
Quote:
All judgments are open to question and to revision in light of later perspectives. Notes that did not appear significant to Trapp may seem of “enormous value” to Rowland. Also, more attention is paid nowadays to “marks in books” than was customary thirty years ago—with recent bequests, the Warburg library has accessioned duplicates even where the annotation was scant and apparently of no great significance. By the standards of the 1980s, however, not retaining all the Yates duplicates, in a library with space problems, was a justifiable, sensible, and pragmatic decision.

...
Quote:
Yates often expressed the belief, as Trapp recalled in a memoir, that “her work was there to be developed by ‘nackwacks’ (= Nachwuchs, the new generation).” The sale furthered, in both Los Angeles and London, the goal dearest to the heart of a great scholar.

 


 
Found thanks to a posting by The Warburg Institute on facebook.
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute trou
Reply #23 - 18.11.2010 at 10:20:25
 
Thanks to several places on facebook I found this:
Iris Hellmuth & Thomas Andre: Ein Denkmal europäischen Geistes ("Hamburger Abendblatt" 2010-11-06).
 
Quote:
"Forscher kamen so allein durch das Betrachten der Titel und das Schmökern am Regal assoziativ auf Zusammenhänge, die durch systematisches Arbeiten mit Katalogen und schon gar nicht durch Googeln zu erschließen sind", sagt Bernd Roeck, Professor für Geschichte der Neuzeit an der Uni Zürich. Roeck arbeitete einst am Warburg Institute in London und bekleidet im nächsten Jahr wahrscheinlich die Warburg-Professur in Hamburg, er sagt: "Die Uni London versichert die Unabhängigkeit des Instituts auch bei einer Eingliederung in die eigene Bibliothek - da stellt sich die Frage, was eine Veränderung des Istzustands überhaupt bringt."

...
Quote:
Nicht weniger dramatisch klingt Max Warburg, Direktor des Bankhauses, wenn er die Pläne der Londoner Universität als einen "Skandal" bezeichnet. Es war schließlich sein eigener Vater, Eric Warburg, der im November 1944 die Schenkung durch einen Vertrag besiegelte. "Und aus dem ursprünglichen Vertrag geht eindeutig hervor, dass das Institut selbstständig bleiben soll und auch selbstständig zu finanzieren ist. Ich bin sehr enttäuscht über die jetzige Diskussion, die Familie Warburg wird rechtlich alles unternehmen, um dagegen vorzugehen und das jetzige Vorhaben zu verhindern."

...
Quote:
Beide Seiten, sowohl das Warburg Institute in London wie auch die dortige Universität, beraten sich derzeit mit ihren Anwälten. "Ein bisschen erinnert diese Geschichte ans Altonaer Museum - erst wird die Schließung verkündet, dann stellt man fest: Das geht rechtlich gar nicht."

Um die Schließung zu ermöglichen, müssten die im Schenkungsvertrag von 1944 genannten Bedingungen verändert werden - das ginge allerdings nur, wenn die Universität glaubhaft machen könnte, dass diese Bedingungen nicht mehr zeitgemäß sind.

 
And: There is a linked to some content available only to subscribers: "Offen gesagt Holt Warburgs Erbe zurück 6. November 2010, 07:42 Uhr Ein Kommentar von Thomas Andre" / roughly: "Get Warburg's heritage back" (to Hamburg, I assume).  
What soever that Warburg heritage might be exactly: I have no idea. Just the books present in the library at the time Aby Warburg died? The the books present in the library at the time of its getting to Britain? The Warburg library as it was in 1944? The Warburg Institute Library as it is today? The Warburg Institute? Under what terms? Funded by whom? Funded for how many years?
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute trou
Reply #24 - 19.11.2010 at 08:47:24
 
At https://twitter.com/_belphoebe_/statuses/5404876855054338 you can read:
Quote:
Warburg Institute fans rejoice? "On avance vers le début d'une solution": F. Quiviger today during the Warburg conference in Paris. #Warburg
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute trou
Reply #25 - 23.11.2010 at 17:48:04
 
Now see also Werner Hofmann: Den Schatz bergen (probably from "Die Zeit" 2010-11-11). (Found thanks to the Warburg Institute's presence on facebook.)
 
Hofmann pleads for "buying back" the Warburg Institute's library ("die Londoner Bibliothek zurückzukaufen" - I'm not sure whether to interpret this as him saying that he's interested only in the pre-transferral collection), and using it for a (new?) non-universitarian institution dedicated to "Bildwissenschaft" (some sort of history of art) making use of works of art housed in Hamburg museums.  
 
Nothing in that text about "the study of the classical tradition", nothing about the study of thought, literature, institutions; nothing about the Warburg Institute's staff; nothing about the fellowships, post-1933 donations ... .
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Grass on the future of Warburg Institute library
Reply #26 - 08.02.2011 at 09:06:56
 
Nobel prize laureate Günter Grass apparently demands that Hamburg should acquire the Warburg Institute's library (as reported by dpa): see http://www.welt.de/newsticker/dpa_nt/infoline_nt/boulevard_nt/article12463975/Gu enter-Grass-kritisiert-Hamburger-Kulturpolitik.html & http://www.focus.de/kultur/diverses/kultur-guenter-grass-kritisiert-hamburger-ku lturpolitik_aid_597381.html :
Quote:
Außerdem appellierte er an die Stadt Hamburg, die in der Nazi-Zeit nach Großbritannien gebrachte Warburg-Bibliothek wieder zurückzukaufen.

 
Once again: "buying back" ("zurückzukaufen") - as if that library had ever been property of the Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg. - And: Once again: no mention of the Warburg Institute, its mission, its staff, &c.
Potential explanations i.a.: Electioneering & carnival. (No, I don't do "mentalities"; hence I don't offer "that special Hamburg mentality" as an alternative explanation.)
 


 
Found thanks to http://www.zeit.de/wissen/2011-02/aby-warburg?page=2 - which, iun turn, I found thanks to Gábor Endrődi's https://twitter.com/#!/1100sor/status/34803767937339393 .  
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Re: Grass on the future of Warburg Institute libra
Reply #27 - 09.02.2011 at 10:12:44
 
Quote from hck on 08.02.2011 at 09:06:56:
Nobel prize laureate Günter Grass apparently demands that Hamburg should acquire the Warburg Institute's library (as reported by dpa): see http://www.welt.de/newsticker/dpa_nt/infoline_nt/boulevard_nt/article12463975/Gu enter-Grass-kritisiert-Hamburger-Kulturpolitik.html & http://www.focus.de/kultur/diverses/kultur-guenter-grass-kritisiert-hamburger-ku lturpolitik_aid_597381.html :
Quote:
Außerdem appellierte er an die Stadt Hamburg, die in der Nazi-Zeit nach Großbritannien gebrachte Warburg-Bibliothek wieder zurückzukaufen.


Once again: "buying back" ("zurückzukaufen") - as if that library had ever been property of the Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg. - And: Once again: no mention of the Warburg Institute, its mission, its staff, &c.
Potential explanations i.a.: Electioneering & carnival. (No, I don't do "mentalities"; hence I don't offer "that special Hamburg mentality" as an alternative explanation.)




Found thanks to http://www.zeit.de/wissen/2011-02/aby-warburg?page=2 - which, iun turn, I found thanks to Gábor Endrődi's https://twitter.com/#!/1100sor/status/34803767937339393 .  

 
This is now mentioned/commented on  by Evan F. Kuehn in Clavi non defixi: a blog for research in historical and systematic theology at http://nondefixi.blogspot.com/2011/02/few-items.html :
Quote:
Heinrich Kuhn notes an odd call by Günter Grass for Hamburg to buy up the Wartburg Institute's library.  Not sure quite what to make of this.
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute trou
Reply #28 - 02.03.2012 at 16:55:07
 
Does anybody know what happened regarding this? Ucl seem to have backed down, but no public statement has been made by nobody, as far as I can gather. I wonder what changed their mind, since I don't believe it was Günter Grass alone.
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute trou
Reply #29 - 02.03.2012 at 17:18:17
 
Quote from JanVanEyck on 02.03.2012 at 16:55:07:
Does anybody know what happened regarding this? Ucl seem to have backed down, but no public statement has been made by nobody, as far as I can gather. I wonder what changed their mind, since I don't believe it was Günter Grass alone.

 
Their "Strategic plan" goes up to 2014 (http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/home/aboutthewarburginstitute/strategic-plan/ pointing to http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/uploads/media/WI_Strategy_2011_14.pdf ).  
 
I guess it's "wait and see". Not bad. But not really good either.
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute trou
Reply #30 - 07.01.2013 at 10:20:41
 
Quote from hck on 02.03.2012 at 17:18:17:

<...>

I guess it's "wait and see". Not bad. But not really good either.

 
Apparently now there is a state of "everything remains (at least essentially) as it is" (which IMO is good news): at http://www.miniaturaitaliana.com/blog/?p=30508 you can read (2013-01-05) :  
Quote:
NEWS: Salvata la biblioteca del Warburg Institute di Londra.

La biblioteca del Warburg Institute di Londra non sarà separata dal Warburg Institute, uno dei più importanti centri di ricerca al mondo sul Rinascimento. Il progetto di ristrutturazione prevedeva di svuotare lo storico edificio di Woburn Square dagli oltre 350.000 volumi e destinarlo ad attività più redditizie. I libri sarebbero confluiti nella biblioteca di Senate House, perdendo in tal modo il caratteristico ordine con cui sono distribuiti sugli scaffali, noto come “la legge del buon vicinato”. Secondo il suo fondatore, Aby Warburg, i libri non vanno infatti organizzati in sequenze alfabetiche o cronologiche, ma in base agli ambiti culturali e tematici. L’annuncio è stato dato dal direttore dell’istituto, Peter Mack.

 
At http://www.notiziarioitaliano.it/index.php/costume-e-cultura/138808-%C2%ABho-sal vato-gli-studi-sul-rinascimento%C2%BB viz. http://0cn.de/izjk you can read (i.a., 2013-01-03) :
Quote:
«Dopo anni di tensioni e di battaglie, posso dire, per il momento, che la biblioteca del Warburg è salva e non sarà separata dall'Istituto. Le trattative con l'Università di Londra sono in corso. Ma continueremo a vigilare per difendere la nostra identità e la nostra autonomia». Peter Mack - direttore del Warburg Institute di Londra, uno dei più importanti centri di ricerca del mondo sul Rinascimento - parla di tregua,

...
Quote:
ha resistito a un progetto di ristrutturazione delle scuole di specializzazione per ridurre i costi di gestione. I vertici dell'Università di Londra avrebbero voluto recuperare lo storico edificio di Woburn Square, che ospita gli oltre trecentocinquantamila volumi della biblioteca, per destinarlo ad attività più redditizie.

...
Quote:
La biblioteca e l'Istituto sono una cosa sola, come è detto con chiarezza nell'accordo che la famiglia Warburg firmò con l'Università di Londra quando nel 1944 decise di cedere il suo straordinario patrimonio librario. E noi ci batteremo per mantenere questo principio a qualsiasi costo».

...
Quote:
dirigere questa biblioteca, come fa oggi la nostra collega Jill Kraye, presuppone una conoscenza dei campi di ricerca per continuare a collocare i libri secondo il disegno originario.

...
Quote:
Fonte Corriere
-> i.e.: the orriginal article is this one: Nuccio Ordine:
«Ho salvato gli studi sul Rinascimento» : Peter Mack dirige l'Istituto Warburg di Londra «Volevano trasferire la biblioteca per fare soldi»
"Corriere della sera" 2013-01-03
.
 


 
http://www.miniaturaitaliana.com/blog/?p=30508 seen thanks to https://plus.google.com/101279375437817078878/posts/QT6hX8Bde22 .
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Warburg Institute troubles: once again
Reply #31 - 23.06.2014 at 15:58:23
 
Something like one and a half years ago, 7th of January 2013 it seemed that the storm had passed, that the threat against the Warburg Institute (as the library centred institution it is) was no longer imminent. (See below.)
 
That calm now seems to have ended: At http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/warburg-institute-library-saved-from- nazis-awaits-its-fate/2014023.article (seen first thanks to Klaus Graf on Archivalia you can read in an article by Jack Grove (Warburg Institute: library saved from Nazis awaits its fate, 2014-06-19): i.a.:
 
Quote:
Four years after Warburg’s death, the collection of about 80,000 books, many rare Renaissance volumes, was moved to London as Nazism took hold in 1930s Germany. However, the University of London is now seeking to challenge the status of the deed of trust it signed in 1944 when accepting the collection.

That document promised to maintain and preserve the collection “in perpetuity” as “an independent unit” – a pledge that now appears onerous as the Warburg runs a reported £500,000 annual deficit.

 
I have no idea what "to challenge the status of the deed of trust" might mean. (The deed itself, to me, the absolute layperson when it comes to English law, seems to be a clear and simple document; you can read it at http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/fileadmin/images/Home/deed.pdf . And trying to change unilaterally the interpretation of a contract the interpretation of which was undisputed for almost 70 years, to me, the absolute layperson when it comes to English law, seems to be, well, a surprising type of action; even if I accept that the German venire conra factum proprium probably has no clear equivalent in "Estoppel".)
 
I have no idea what the claim that "the Warburg runs a reported £500,000 annual deficit" might mean. It costs money to run research institutions, institutions of higher education, libraries. I am aware of the fiction that (some) UK institutions of higher education are expected to recover part of the money it costs to run them via fees paid by their students.  But to use "deficit" for money paid to a research institution, institution of higher education, library: to me this sounds strange.  
 
Quote:
Representatives for both the university and the Warburg Institute were due to appear in a court in London’s Rolls Building this week after efforts to negotiate a compromise over the past five years have failed.

 
Past tense: "were due to appear". But no reports about what was said (and/or done) there.  
Nor any information on what each side offered as a compromise.
 
Quote:

A judgment on the validity of the 1944 deed, which is barely more than a page long, is expected in the autumn. If the university were to succeed, many Warburg supporters fear that the institute’s volumes would be divided up among Senate House Library shelves.

 
If that should happen: it would end the existence of the Warburg institute as the library centred institution it always was and is.
 
Quote:
Further, there is speculation that a court defeat would mean that the collection would return to Hamburg where much of the Warburg family is still based. The US-based branch of the Warburg family are also known to have taken a keen interest in the case.

 
A)   There is no source given for this "speculation".
B)   Is this about the "original" 80000 books, or about the ca. 350000 the library holds now?
D)   How would that "collection" be put to use in Hamburg?
E)   What about he Warburg institute's staff (and students)?
 
Quote:
A university spokesman said that the Attorney General, who has been asked to resolve the Warburg dispute, has “indicated that a court hearing is his preferred course of action”.

“The university respects this view” and looks “forward to the court providing clarity”, he added, saying it could not comment on “an immensely complex set of legal arguments in advance of any judgment”.

 
Does this translate as "roll the dice!" (or its Latin or Greek equivalent(s))?
 
Quote:
Peter Mack, the Warburg’s director, declined to comment, as did the institute’s legal counsel.

 
On the one side: I do understand this: When in court talk to the court and to the parties and representatives present there, don't talk to the press: the forum a court is is better kept a bit at distance from the forum that public opinion (including the press) is.
On the other side: At least in some parts of the world not everything that is brought to court must also be settled in court. And telling about your "plan A" and your "plan B" and musing about a possible "plan C" can pave roads to such a solution out of court.
 
Seen from here: there are these possible outcomes (from worst to best):

  • dissolution of the Warburg library and the Warburg institute.
     
  • dissolution of the Warburg library but keeping the Warburg institute as a research institute.
     
  • having (parts of) the library intact in place A and having the institute (also as intact as possible without the library) in place B.
     
  • Delivering University of London of that GBP 500000 p.a. burden (that's something like 625000 €, IMO not really much for library acquisitions plus some 8 librarians plus 2 archivists plus at last two professors and at least one lecturer (not counting staff probably not "burdening" UoL's budget) and transferring both the library and the institute to some other place.
    Suitable places would need at least one library with really major holdings of oldish stuff and major holdings of newer stuff in the fields the Warburg is interested in. Such places coming to my mind are (in alphabetical order) Munich, Paris, Rome, Washington. Cambridge might be an option too. And I don't know enough about the holdings in Princeton and Harvard. Most probably more than one of the universities existing in these places might be willing to act as hosts for the Warburg. But I am less than certain that they would be able to grant the Warburg the degree of independence it has (had) at UoL. And housing an institution of the size of the Warburg near the major library of the town is not easy either - unless you already have the building available.  
     
  • Everything remains more or less as it is now. (i.e.: The University of London interprets the deed the way it interpreted it for many many years, and acts accordingly.)
 
 
That much from me today.  
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
Here are the oldish bits, mentioned above:
 
Quote from hck on 07.01.2013 at 10:20:41:
Quote from hck on 02.03.2012 at 17:18:17:

<...>

I guess it's "wait and see". Not bad. But not really good either.


Apparently now there is a state of "everything remains (at least essentially) as it is" (which IMO is good news): at http://www.miniaturaitaliana.com/blog/?p=30508 you can read (2013-01-05) :
Quote:
NEWS: Salvata la biblioteca del Warburg Institute di Londra.

La biblioteca del Warburg Institute di Londra non sarà separata dal Warburg Institute, uno dei più importanti centri di ricerca al mondo sul Rinascimento. Il progetto di ristrutturazione prevedeva di svuotare lo storico edificio di Woburn Square dagli oltre 350.000 volumi e destinarlo ad attività più redditizie. I libri sarebbero confluiti nella biblioteca di Senate House, perdendo in tal modo il caratteristico ordine con cui sono distribuiti sugli scaffali, noto come “la legge del buon vicinato”. Secondo il suo fondatore, Aby Warburg, i libri non vanno infatti organizzati in sequenze alfabetiche o cronologiche, ma in base agli ambiti culturali e tematici. L’annuncio è stato dato dal direttore dell’istituto, Peter Mack.


At http://www.notiziarioitaliano.it/index.php/costume-e-cultura/138808-%C2%ABho-sal vato-gli-studi-sul-rinascimento%C2%BB viz. http://0cn.de/izjk you can read (i.a., 2013-01-03) :
Quote:
«Dopo anni di tensioni e di battaglie, posso dire, per il momento, che la biblioteca del Warburg è salva e non sarà separata dall'Istituto. Le trattative con l'Università di Londra sono in corso. Ma continueremo a vigilare per difendere la nostra identità e la nostra autonomia». Peter Mack - direttore del Warburg Institute di Londra, uno dei più importanti centri di ricerca del mondo sul Rinascimento - parla di tregua,

...
Quote:
ha resistito a un progetto di ristrutturazione delle scuole di specializzazione per ridurre i costi di gestione. I vertici dell'Università di Londra avrebbero voluto recuperare lo storico edificio di Woburn Square, che ospita gli oltre trecentocinquantamila volumi della biblioteca, per destinarlo ad attività più redditizie.

...
Quote:
La biblioteca e l'Istituto sono una cosa sola, come è detto con chiarezza nell'accordo che la famiglia Warburg firmò con l'Università di Londra quando nel 1944 decise di cedere il suo straordinario patrimonio librario. E noi ci batteremo per mantenere questo principio a qualsiasi costo».

...
Quote:
dirigere questa biblioteca, come fa oggi la nostra collega Jill Kraye, presuppone una conoscenza dei campi di ricerca per continuare a collocare i libri secondo il disegno originario.

...
Quote:
Fonte Corriere
-> i.e.: the orriginal article is this one: Nuccio Ordine:
«Ho salvato gli studi sul Rinascimento» : Peter Mack dirige l'Istituto Warburg di Londra «Volevano trasferire la biblioteca per fare soldi»
"Corriere della sera" 2013-01-03
.




http://www.miniaturaitaliana.com/blog/?p=30508 seen thanks to https://plus.google.com/101279375437817078878/posts/QT6hX8Bde22 .

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Re: Warburg Institute troubles: once again
Reply #32 - 26.06.2014 at 12:20:16
 
Update: at http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/index.php?id=838 there is a Warburg Institute Statement on High Court Proceedings. i.a.:
 
Quote:
The University issued proceedings to seek clarification from the High Court of what the trust comprises, what its obligations as trustee are, and whether its conduct (including in relation to the Institute’s finances and funding) is and has been in accordance with the provisions of the Trust Deed.

 
A long and complicated sentence. I have no idea how often the High Court hears such cases.
 
Quote:
The 10 day trial of the matter, between the University of London, HM Attorney General and the Advisory Council of the Warburg Institute, concluded in London last week. The parties are now awaiting judgment, sometime in the autumn.

 
A 10 days trial. Obviously my understanding that the trust deed is a rather simple text was and is completely wrong.
 
Quote:
The Advisory Council of the Warburg Institute is very grateful for the immense support it has received and continues to receive related to this matter. However, respecting entirely the Court process, it does not consider it appropriate to make any comment at this time, save where considered necessary to correct any misinformation published.

The Advisory Council was concerned to read the article by Nick Clark of The Independent published on 25 June (24 June online), which contained several inaccuracies. In particular, it is not correct that the Warburg wants “the collection” to be entirely independent and to be free to move it should it so desire, or that the Advisory Council wants to change the way in which the library is arranged including the loss of the Institute’s “open stack” arrangements, which are of course at the very heart of the Institute.

 
The article mentioned here is most probably the one available at http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/high-court-to-decide- the-fate-of-the-warburg-institutes-historic-library-9560670.html?origin=internalSearch .
 
Quote:
To be clear, the Advisory Council simply wants the terms of the trust deed respected and adhered to, which includes preserving the Institute and its unique, world class library.

 
Amen to that!
 


 
http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/index.php?id=838 seen thanks to https://twitter.com/AlexRALee/status/481797029396766720 .
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute trou
Reply #33 - 11.08.2014 at 09:05:48
 
Now there is: Maev Kennedy: Academics fear for Warburg Institute's London library, saved from the Nazis (2014-08-10).  
 
I.a.:
Quote:
Members of the Warburg family are understood to have indicated that they would be happy to return the collection to Germany, or transfer it to the US, in order to preserve its independence.

The Warburg is believed to be running at a substantial deficit, which critics believe is largely because the university increased the buildings charge for its premises some years ago.

...
Quote:
The university, in a brief statement, defended its record and said that it had no intention of breaking up the collection. "The University of London has at no point recommended that the Warburg Institute's unique collection be absorbed into Senate House Library.

"Under the university's management over the past 70 years, the Warburg collection has grown substantially from the original 80,000 volumes to the 350,000 in the collection today. The last thing that the university wants is for this exceptional cultural resource to be merged or absorbed elsewhere. We await the decision of the court in due course."

 


 
Seen thanks to Begoña Cayuela Vellido on G+  
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute trou
Reply #34 - 11.08.2014 at 10:00:47
 
Quote from hck on 11.08.2014 at 09:05:48:

 
cf. &m this editorial : The Guardian view on the University of London and the Warburg Institute (2014-08-10) : i.a. :
 
Quote:
But the university is now picking and poking at the wonderful gift it was given, most recently by trying to clarify in court the terms of the deed, which have not presented any difficulties of understanding up till now. The trouble is of course financial. Changes to the university system have deprived the central University of London of much of its former power and wealth. What’s left are the buildings in central London, and these would certainly be more valuable if they were not in the grip of scholars and art historians.

The funding crisis in higher education has been a grim siege that has continued for years and years. Expedients once unthinkable are now considered as matters of fact. In a city under siege the animals in the zoo stop being exotic or beautiful, and turn into awkwardly ambulant steaks. The Warburg has had its service charges raised by the university to the point where it faces financial extinction.

The aim appears to be the reduction of the library to the books that it contains, which would then be merged into the rest of the university’s system. The university denies that this is under consideration, or ever has been, but it is difficult to understand why else it has decided that the wartime deed needs to be tested in court. If it is happy to follow the plain directions of the deed, why ask for another interpretation?

The best solution would be for the Warburg Institute to stay as it is and where it is. But if the University of London cannot fulfil its trust, it would be best for the library to return to Germany.

 


 
Seen thanks to https://twitter.com/ucylpay/status/498704978488201216 via Lsa Jardine on Twitter.
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute trou
Reply #35 - 12.08.2014 at 09:09:10
 
Begoña Cayuela Vellido pointed me on G+ to: Martin Kemp : A betrayal of trust? The Warburg Library under threat (2014-08-08).
 
Quote:
The terms of the trust deed seem unambiguous, but the University has been questioning its obligations. Its first move was to levy a huge increase in the sum the Warburg is charged for the building, which now consumes 60 per cent of its annual grant. According to a complex formula that is typical of institutional accounting, the Institute currently receives an annually variable sum in compensation for part of the charge. The Institute’s recent annual deficits range from £125,000 to almost £420,000, effectively ensuring financial ruin. The University argues that it is not charging rent but imposing a building-specific service charge across its estate. We await the results of a 10-day trial held in June, involving the University of London, the Attorney General and the Advisory Council of the Warburg Institute.

The basic issue is, of course, cost and income-generation. The University, which lost a significant part of its business with the independence of Imperial College, appears to be cutting back on its remaining obligations. But there are costs other than those identifiable on an accountant’s sour balance sheet. The cost of losing the Institute as presently constituted cannot be calculated in pounds. The international disgrace cannot be estimated in cash. The current exhibition in the library is devoted to ‘Laughter’. The only way for this not to be followed by weeping is for the University and all interested parties to promote the establishing of a long-term endowment that will prevent the greatest act of vandalism in Western academia of my lifetime.

 
I rather like the "not ... rent" but "building-specific service charge" bit of Newspeak.
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute trou
Reply #36 - 18.08.2014 at 14:12:30
 
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute trou
Reply #37 - 21.10.2014 at 13:21:02
 
Rachel Donadio: Scholars Fear Loss of Eden in London : Warburg Institute Threatened by Funding Woes 2014-10-10) has much that is/was already known, and has also these:
 
Quote:
In a statement, Maureen Boylan, the university’s deputy secretary, said that the university had “never recommended that the Warburg Institute’s unique collection be merged with another collection, absorbed elsewhere, or relocated.”

 
<...>
 
Quote:
Mr. Grafton said he had been told that the university had proposed that the institute save money by closing its stacks, a move he said would radically disfigure its character.

 
<...>
 
Quote:
Asked if the university had proposed that the Warburg close its open stacks, Ms. Boylan said the university had no comment.

Even if the library stays intact, cuts to British state university funding are certain to affect the institute, which has a staff of 24 and lacks its own long-term endowment. In 2012-13, the last year for which there are audited figures, the university provided 1.8 million pounds (about $2.9 million) of the Warburg’s £2.8 million ($4.5 million) in funding, in addition to covering the £250,000 operating deficit on a £3 million operating budget.

In the Warburg’s 2012-13 annual report, Peter Mack, then the director, wrote that “the financial situation of the institute continues to cause us concern.” He added, “We remain vulnerable to the increasing levels of charges imposed upon us by departments of the university.”

 


 
Seen thanks to Richard Blum on G+.
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Warburg Institute vs Unversity of London: news
Reply #38 - 07.11.2014 at 09:11:45
 
There is a Warburg Institute (and Bates Wells Braithwaite) press release (2014-11-06) at http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/home/news/high-court-ruling/ . There you can read (i.a.):
 
Quote:
Warburg Institute safe as High Court rules contents
not the property of University of London

...
Quote:
To the benefit and relief of scholars worldwide, the High Court has rejected the University of London’s claims that all additions to the Warburg Institute since 1944 belong to the University, and instead agreed that they form part of the Institute. Furthermore, the judge, Mrs Justice Proudman, held that the University is obliged to provide funding for the activities of the Warburg Institute.

Leticia Jennings of Bates Wells Braithwaite, who advised the Advisory Council of the Warburg Institute, commented: “This decision ensures that the wealth of important material housed within the Institute will remain available, as before, in its entirety, and that the University will not be free to in any way restrict the access of the many scholars who use and rely on the Institute’s outstanding resources.”

...
Quote:
eticia Jennings stated: “The contemporaneous evidence leading up to the signing of the Trust Deed shows that the transfer to the University of London was on the condition that the University accepted these obligations. This judgment has confirmed that the University must maintain the Institute as ‘an independent unit’, and that the University is not entitled to use the name and prestige associated with the Warburg Institute to obtain funds, but to then apply those funds to the University’s general purposes.”

In recent years the University had charged a proportion of its total estate expenditure to the Warburg Institute, meaning that the once solvent Institute was left with a significant deficit as it was used, in effect, to subsidise the University’s corporate property. The judge held that the University’s conduct in this regard is not permissible and “flies in the face” of the terms of Trust Deed.

The judge also clarified the important role of the University in relation to housing the Warburg Institute: whilst the University continues to own the building at Woburn Square, it has a binding obligation to house the Institute in a suitable building close to the University centre in Bloomsbury.

Despite the judge’s clear ruling, following a very detailed review of the evidence, the University has decided to seek permission to appeal.

In response to the judgment, Librarian and Acting Director of the Institute, Dr Raphaële Mouren, commented: “Whilst I am very pleased that this judgment appears to mean that the intellectual resources of the Warburg Institute, including its world renowned library, will be preserved for future generations of scholars working in the humanities, I am very disappointed that the University has decided to focus on an appeal. I very much hope it will reconsider, and commit to working with us to strengthen the Institute for the benefit of the academic community and enhancing our corpus of scholars.”

 
 


 
 
Seen thanks to Germaine Warkentin on the FICINO email distribution list.
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Re: Warburg Institute vs Unversity of London: news
Reply #39 - 07.11.2014 at 11:01:18
 
Quote from hck on 07.11.2014 at 09:11:45:
There is a Warburg Institute (and Bates Wells Braithwaite) press release (2014-11-06) at http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/home/news/high-court-ruling/ . There you can read (i.a.):

Quote:
Warburg Institute safe as High Court rules contents
not the property of University of London

...
<...>

 
Vide etiam: Jack Grove: Warburg Institute court judgment handed down (2014-11-06) : i.a.:
 
Quote:
Both the University of London and the Warburg Institute are claiming success in a long-running legal battle over the institute’s independence after a High Court ruling was published.

...
Quote:
The university says the “space charge” – which it says rose from about £278,000 in 2006-07 to £643,000 in 2007-08 - is line with normal full-economic cost principles used by other universities.

...
Quote:
In a judgment published on 6 November, Mrs Justice Proudman finds “the levying of space charges…is not, to my mind, permissible”.

The “UOL only has a right to be indemnified in respect of the actual, properly incurred expenditure on the Institute…not in respect of UOL’s costs on its other property”.

“The imposition of university-wide space charges flies in the face of this provision as it merely treats the Institute as a constituent part of UOL without regard to its special character or its position as an independent unit,” the judgment continues.

However, she gave the university leave to appeal four separate parts of her decision. It has three months to consult its trustee and decide whether it wishes to take the case, which it says has already cost the university “hundreds of thousands of pounds”, to the Court of Appeal.

...
Quote:
However, the university claimed the “judge has found in favour of the university on almost every point that was of importance to us”.

These points include noting that the block grant funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England belongs to the university, not to the Warburg, and that its governance arrangements are in line with the 1944 trust deed.

...
Quote:

Vice-chancellor Sir Adrian Smith said <...>
“We are also aware of rumours that there were other interested parties wanting to move some or all of the collection to Hamburg or New York”, he said, adding that “today’s ruling will ensure that we keep the collection in the university here in London”.

 


 
Seen thanks to https://twitter.com/FrueheNeuzeit/status/530491005632778241
 


 
At http://www.london.ac.uk/fileadmin/documents/news_events/Press_Release_-_The_Univ eristy_of_London_welcomes_Warburg_judgment.pdf you can readthe University of London's reaction to the verdict: i.a.:
 
Quote:
The Judge has found in favour of the University on
almost every point that was of importance to us.
In summary, she has confirmed:
* The University’s ownership of the building that houses the Warburg Institute.

* That block grant funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England  (HEFCE) belongs to the University and not to the Warburg
.
*  The University’s  internal governance arrangements  that apply to  the  Warburg  Institute  ( which are  the same as those applied to all the  Institutes of the School of Advanced Study ),  are in line with  the 1944 Trust Deed.
*   The University has the right to  charge the Warburg for services provided to it
.
* That there is  in general  no unacceptable conflict of interest for the University in  managing the  Warburg, since this is what the founders of the Institute envisaged in the Trust  Deed , although  she has criticised the use of our estate - wide service charge.


...
Quote:
The judgment leaves an area of uncertainty around internal funding mechanisms. While the Judge
makes clear that we can recover the actual cost of the running of the Warburg Institute, she also says
that estate- wide service charge does not “chime with the Trust Deed”. We are considering the
practical implications of this.

...
Quote:
The University’s position throughout has been that this case should nev er have been brought to court. The financial and opportunity cost to us has been serious. We look forward to enabling the Warburg Institute to recover its role in humanities scholarship under new leadership. The University and the Advisory Council are in the process of making an appointment of the Warburg’s next Director .

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Letter: Warburg Inst. Advisory council -> UoL
Reply #40 - 20.11.2014 at 09:35:12
 
At http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/home/news/open-letter/ there is an open letter by Margaret M. McGowan (Chair, Warburg Institute Advisory Council) to Richard Dearlove (Chair of the Board of Trustees, University of London), dated 2014-11-19.  
The way I read it: the letter suggests to settle any remaining disputes between the Warburg Institute and University of London out of court.
I have no idea why they did go for an open letter, ad as the text is rather verbose, I assume I will have overlooked or misinterpreted at least part of its contents.
 


 
A PDF-version of that letter is available at http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/fileadmin/images/Home/open_letter.pdf
 


 
Seen thanks to François Quiviger on the FICINO email distribution list.
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Re: Letter: Warburg Inst. Advisory council -> UoL
Reply #41 - 20.11.2014 at 12:13:24
 
Quote from hck on 20.11.2014 at 09:35:12:
At http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/home/news/open-letter/ there is an open letter by Margaret M. McGowan (Chair, Warburg Institute Advisory Council) to Richard Dearlove (Chair of the Board of Trustees, University of London), dated 2014-11-19.
The way I read it: the letter suggests to settle any remaining disputes between the Warburg Institute and University of London out of court.
I have no idea why they did go for an open letter, ad as the text is rather verbose, I assume I will have overlooked or misinterpreted at least part of its contents.




A PDF-version of that letter is available at http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/fileadmin/images/Home/open_letter.pdf




Seen thanks to François Quiviger on the FICINO email distribution list.

 
An interpretation of that letter can be found at https://www.change.org/p/petition-save-the-warburg-institute/u/8789966?tk=0vY074 y5zDWLuYUBt4zOVbaCTq2rsJSAlv23mxz_9bU&utm_source=petition_update&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_update_email :
 
Quote:
Their letter invites the University not to submit an appeal, but rather to seek mediation in order to agree the best course of action for implementing the judgment recently handed down (http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/home/news/high-court-ruling/ ).

Practically speaking, mediation is a much more cost effective, and in the spirit of partnership, the letter sets a positive tone for moving forward.

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Warburg Institute & UoL: Agreement 2015-02
Reply #42 - 09.02.2015 at 09:11:41
 
At http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/home/news/#c2478 you can now read:
Quote:
AGREEMENT WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON - FEBRUARY 2015



Following the court's ruling on the interpretation of the 1944 Trust Deed, the University of London and the Advisory Council of the Warburg Institute are pleased to announce that they have, through mediation, reached a binding agreement on the future management of the Warburg Institute. We are very pleased that this outcome means that we can now draw a line under past disagreement and look to the future.

 
(The almost same text, dated 2015-02-06 is at http://www.sas.ac.uk/about-us/news/warburg-agreement :
Quote:
Warburg Agreement
Friday 06 February 2015

Following the court’s ruling on the interpretation of the 1944 Trust Deed, the University of London and the Advisory Council of the Warburg Institute are pleased to announce that they have, through mediation, reached a binding agreement on the future management of the Warburg Institute. We are very pleased that this outcome means that we can now draw a line under past disagreement and look to the future.

.)  
 
I hope this is good news.
 
I wonder: what is in this agreement? and why isn't it made public? and why conclude this agreement now, in a situation when the post of the director of the Warburg Institute is still vacant? shouldn't the director have had a say on this?
 
I feel a bit uneasy.
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