The Salzburg Collection at the University of Alberta. Research stay of Dr. Marion Romberg (ÖAW-IHB) in February 2020

From 1 to 24 February 2020, Dr. Marion Romberg, historian and art historian from the Institute for Habsburg and Balkan Studies of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW-IHB) in Vienna, will be staying at the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies at the University of Alberta. The objective of her prolonged stay is twofold:

Firstly, she will hold a public guest lecture on her current research on the Empresses of the 17th century. It will present the  results of the project ‘Empress and Empire: Ceremonials, Media, and Rulership’ (Austrian Science Fund P 28241, headed by Katrin Keller,, carried out at the ÖAW-IHB between 2015/17–2020. The lecture “An Early Modern Empress Consort’s Role in the Courtly Public Sphere: The Forgotten Empress Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg (1655–1720)” will take place on 6 February at 2 pm. Dr. Romberg will also hold a guest presentation in the undergraduate lecture course on the Habsburgs taught by Professor Joseph F. Patrouch in the Department of History and Classics.

Secondly, Dr. Romberg’s stay serves to prepare her new research project on the early modern holdings of the Salzburg seminary library. The in-house seminary library was a central transition and multiplication site of knowledge. Founded in 1567, the Salzburg Seminar became one of the centers of priests’ education. As the seminar developed over time, its library grew from approximately 998 volumes (1598) to 1,330 (1641), 3,800 (1699), 7,300 (1772) and 10,934 (1816), to the present total of about 63,000 titles. In 1965, on the initiative of Prof. Helen Liebel-Wechowicz (1930-2017), the University of Alberta purchased a substantial part of the book collection of the Salzburg Seminary.  The so-called “Salzburg Collection” comprises about 3,500 volumes. Thematically, the focus is on juridica, which is supplemented by books on the history, politics and culture of the Habsburg monarchy, the Holy Roman Empire and other European countries, regions and societies. Dr. Romberg pursues the long-term goal to create a digital image of the knowledge network within the early modern holdings of the Salzburg Seminary Library. This is a library, which in its entirety (Salzburg and Alberta) awaits a more in-depth scholarly examination.  For a catalog featuring selections from the library, see Felice Lifshitz and Joseph F. Patrouch, Salt, Sword, and Crozier: Books and Coins from the Prince-Bishopric of Salzburg (Edmonton: University of Alberta Libraries, 2017).

Dr. Romberg earned her PhD in 2015 on the topic of village churches and their murals as a multiplication places of knowledge. She focused especially on the iconography of the four continents as a media which disseminated knowledge on the flora and fauna, people and lands of the world, constituted discourses on identity and alterity and formed the mentality of the beholder. For further information see her published thesis Die Welt im Dienst des Glaubens. Erdteilallegorien in Dorfkirchen auf dem Gebiet des Fürstbistums Augsburg im 18. Jahrhundert( Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag 2017) and her most recent article “Did Europe exist in the Parish before 1800? The Allegory of Europe and her three Siblings in Folk Culture,” pp. 77–103 in Isabella Walser-Bürgler, Clementina Marsico, and Nicolaus Detering (eds)., Contesting Europe: Comparative Perspectives on Early Modern Discourses of Europe (15th–18th Century) (=Intersections, 67) (Leiden: Brill 2019).

Dr. Romberg is very much looking forward to presenting her research and getting to know Canadian colleagues. She invites everybody to get in touch with her via email (

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