Sélestat Humanist Library

After four years of renovation, the Humanist Library of Sélestat reopened its doors on 23 June. The Bibliothèque Humaniste is a unique testimony to the idea of spiritual renewal that marked the 14th century in Europe. The city of Sélestat has indeed benefited from a strategic geographical location between the centers of thought of Italy and the Netherlands.

It was also shaped by the figure of the author, writer, humanist lawyer and Erasmus friend Beatus Rhenanus (1485-1547), who was born and lived in the city. The library collection consists of the personal library of Beatus Rhenanus, supplemented by the parish library. The fund was later enriched by purchases and donations collected and preserved over the centuries.

Mila-wall exhibition wall at the Humanist Library Selestat
Mila-wall wall corpus at the Humanist Library Selestat
Exhibition room with Mila-wall technology at the Humanist Library Selestat

The Humanist Library of Sélestat currently comprises 423 volumes with 1287 works and 41 manuscripts distributed in various collections. There are also 33 old manuscripts and 255 autograph letters. In order to present this unique collection in optimal conditions, the architect Rudy Ricciotti has doubled the area of the building by extending it and arranging cellars. The restructuring has preserved the architectural appearance of the Romanesque grain exchange (built in 1840, the Bibliothèque has been installed there since 1889) in the city.

The exhibition "Réminiscences" (23 June to 9 September 2018) presents the photographs of the photographer Dominique Pichard, who followed the project for the Bibliothèque for 4 years to document the important steps of it.

The Mila-wall walls of MBA France, with their clear design and modular structure, will be reusable by the Bibliothèque, for future exhibitions, in different configurations.

Photos : Bibliothèque Humaniste by Sélestat, Copyright Roland Letscher / MBA France