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Deutsches Technikmuseum - October

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The Websites of the donation Stiftung Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin at a glance:


The donation contains six locations:

Exhibit of the Month October 2017

Photo: Page views of the catalogue and drafts for special characters

An almost 100-year-old project: the "Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke". The draft of the black hand on the left was one step in designing ...

Special characters for the State Library, 1996

Script is one of mankind’s oldest cultural techniques. It must be designed.

Bernd Möllenstädt (1943-2013), artistic director for script design at Berthold Types in Berlin, was one such designer. Since 2013 his legacy is located in the archives of the Deutsches Technikmuseum.

In the middle of the 1990s he designed special characters based on the "Alten Schwabacher" - a script going back to the 15th century that, however, was banned by the Nazis in 1941 and even today is hardly used at all.

Union Catalogue of Incunabula

These special characters were needed to fill a gap in the "Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke", an ongoing project of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin to publish a Union Catalogue of Incunabula (from Latin incunabula = "Wiege (cradle) or beginnings", here: copies of books from the earliest stages of printing.)

Detail of the photo (enlarged): some special characters, for example section-mark, index or separator character.

... the special character "index finger" (penultimate row) © SDTB / Photo: C. Kirchner

The still incomplete catalogue, the first volume of which came out in 1925, is for the time being available in eleven volumes and two fascicles of volume 12; it extends as far as the entry "Hugo Senensis".

The original cast lead typesetting scripts had to be adapted for phototypesetting and digital printing.
The excerpts displayed here are the new special characters like the separator character or the index finger that were designed by Bernd Möllenstädt to match the already existing script in the "Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke".

The shapes of the characters have not changed during the last twenty years; however, the technical representation, such as for the online databank "Gesamtkatalogs der Wiegendrucke", is continuously adapted.