Warburg Digital Library Collections

Welcome to the digital collections of the Warburg Institute, the premier institute in the world for the study of cultural history and the role of images in culture.

The Warburg Institute is cross-disciplinary and global. It is concerned with the histories of art and science, and their relationship with superstition, magic, and popular beliefs. Its researches are historical, philological and anthropological. It is dedicated to the study of the survival and transmission of cultural forms – whether in literature, art, music or science – across borders and from the earliest times to the present.

We hope to build our digital collections to reflect this remit, beginning with books from Aby Warburg's Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek.

The digital library follows its physical counterpart in employing the unique classification scheme devised by Warburg. Details can be found at http://warburg.libguides.com/classification


Elizabeth David Bequest
Elizabeth David Bequest
Elizabeth David was a British cookery writer, who brought a revolution to the nation’s eating habits during the mid-twentieth century. After travelling around Europe during the 1940s, she introduced post-war Britain to Mediterranean cuisine and ingredients which revitalised the flavours of home cooking. As part of her research into the social history of food, David collected cookery books and left her private collection of historical material to t he Warburg Institute Library. This digital collection, when complete, will include approximately 150 of these: those which we cannot digitize for copyright reasons can be found in the Library under Banqueting classmark (DCH 250-DCH 540). The Warburg Institute uses reasonable endeavours to ensure the accuracy of copyright ownership and other rights contained or referenced within the pages of our website, content and materials. If we inadvertently violate your rights, please get in touch (warburg.library@sas.ac.uk) and notify us of the relevant details. We would then be happy to acknowledge and correct your rights.
Ex Libris Aby Warburg: Magic and Science
Ex Libris Aby Warburg: Magic and Science
This collection features books covering the subjects of Magic and Science from the personal library of the Hamburg art historian and scholar Aby Warburg (1866-1929). These books formed the basis of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg, which was officially opened in 1926 and emigrated to London in 1933-1934. As suggested by the name of the Library named after him, Warburg had wide-ranging interests in Kulturwissenschaft, a term difficult to translate, but usually rendered as ‘cultural studies’, understood in its widest, anthropological sense. It is well-illustrated here by his collection on Magic and Science (classmark F). Together with Philosophy (A) and Religion (B, G), it makes up the broader category of ‘Orientation’, which deals with man’s attempts to make sense of his place in the world.
Italian Baroque Opera Libretti
Italian Baroque Opera Libretti
In April 1931 the Florence-based antiquarian bookseller Leo S. Olschki offered a collection of Baroque Italian libretti to the Warburg Library. A libretto is a booklet containing the text of an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical, sometimes even ballet. It is sometimes the only written source for lost plays. Libretti are re-tellings of legends or stories written by professional writers, Librettists, and set to music by composers. The collection, purchased by the Institute in 1931, comprises of 45 libretti from the late 17th and early 18th centuries from Italy. It includes works by: Bonaventura Aliotti, Aurelio Aureli, Giovanni Battista Bassani, Francesco Berni, Carlo Bosi, Lorenzo Cattani, Fortunato Chelleri, Vicenzo Legrenzio Ciampi, Domenico Gabrielli, Pietro Antonio Galerini, Baldassare Galuppi, Francesco Gasparini, Giulio Cesare Grazzini, Giovanni Legrenzi, Carlo Ambrogio Lonati, Paolo Magni, Andrea Mattioli, Giuseppe Maria Orlandini, Carlo Pallavicino, Giacomo Antonio Perti, Carlo Francesco Pollarolo, Giovanni Maria Ruggieri, Giuseppe Domenico Totis, Belisario Valeriani and Marc’Antonio Ziani.