Questions in the multivalent context of the sociology of literature and the history of literary reception can barely be answered on a theoretical level. Popular reading material beyond the canonized elite is only peripherally accessible, if at all.
The collection of sources at Marbach for the genres of popular literature spans a representative historical arc from the middle of the nineteenth century into the 1970s. This collection contains extensive holdings of colportage novels, Wild West stories and crime novels, a lending library from the 1860s to 1870s, sections from a modern prison library with many signs of use, a systematically assembled Karl May aggregate, enriched with American Indian stories and adventure literature, the literary sections of an aristocratic library, a collection of light popular literature and books of edification from the years 1880 to 1920 as well as a collection of belletristic publications from 1933 to 1945. The collection has around 50,000 units, including 24,000 rare issues, and has developed out of fruitful cooperation with collectors. In our normal holdings, numerous relevant titles and files of popular literature have also been archived, and we continue to add to this collection.
Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach
Telephone +49 (0) 7144 / 848-301
Telefax +49 (0) 7144 / 848-390
Head of Department: Dr. Nathalie Maag