Ernst Wahle (1889-1981)

Prehistory and Early History in the German Empire, dictatorship and republic

Ernst Wahle, Professor of Prehistory and Early History at Heidelberg University, was one of the formative figures of German prehistoric archaeology in the first half of the twentieth century. Due to his long-time function as University teacher and as curator of archaeological monuments he gained a pioneering role in both fields in Baden.

Since 1984 his extensive scientific bequest (shelfmark: Heid. Hs. 3989) forms part of the collection of the Heidelberg University Library . Wahle's rich scientific archive (approx. 13 running metres of archival documents) comprises personal documents, notes, excerpts, correspondence, manuscripts, offprints etc. as well as 18,000 glass plate negatives and positives, among them pictures of archaeological objects found at Baden-Wuerttemberg sites and lost now.

Within the context of a two-year project the bequest was completeley indexed in the bequest database „Kalliope“. A selection of the images, photos and documents was digitized and made available online.

Not only is Ernst Wahle's bequest to the University Library of Heidelberg one of the largest bequests of one of the most eminent German prehistorians of the twentieth century, but it is also—after having completed the project and due to the depth of indexing and full online search facilities—probably one of best indexed bequests in the fields of Pre- and Early History.

The Heidelberg project "Erschließung, Erhaltung und Bereitstellung des Nachlasses des Archäologen Ernst Wahle (1889-1981) im Bestand der Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg" was supported by the Stiftung Kulturgut Baden-Württemberg. Project duration: 01.04.2010 - 31.03.2012