Librarians of the German Democratic Republic : Between Compromise and Resistance

Being only weakly acknowledged by the political authorities, academic libraries of the gdr were able to conserve some autonomy. This reveals, among other things, the weak politicization of personnel. The concern to preserve the encyclopedic traditions of the institutions that they were in charge of was, for many librarians, an important motivation, even if submission to prescribed ideological orders was nevertheless inevitable. The history of the profession can therefore be reconstituted through the prism of arrangements and of minor acts of resistance. The deterioration of the country's economy constitutes another guiding thread : the budget difficulties met by the libraries accentuated dissent between representatives of the profession and the supervising authorities.