Martin Luther writings on display 2011.09.14

Written by David Green.

An important piece of history has been restored and is on display at Northwest State Community College’s McDougle Center.

Luther’s Werke is a collection of writings by Martin Luther, a German priest instrumental in the protestant reformation. They were printed from 1824 to 1860. The collection, which was restored with funds from the American Heritage Preservation Grant, is now on permanent display and is accessible to the public.

 Northwest State acquired the writings through the assistance of Edwin Oberhaus in 2008. Sixty-five of the sixty-seven total volumes are at NSCC, creating one of the most complete collections of Martin Luther’s writings in the United States.

 “Germans were one of several groups that migrated to the Midwest and settled in northwest Ohio. There’s a large population here with German ancestry and Lutheran heritage,” said Peter Wilhelm, coordinator of historic preservation at NSCC. “The College is excited to share these works with the community, and we feel the documents are valuable for immigration history and cultural perspective.”

 NSCC received the American Heritage Preservation Grant in 2010 and has recently completed the work included in the grant. The focus of the project was to repair and stabilize the collection and prepare the books for community access. This included de-acidification, cleaning and repairs to the books; installing special shelving for storage; and installing a monitoring device for temperature and humidity in the storage area.

 The newly restored works are on display in the McDougle Center, a research and special collections room located inside the NSCC Library. The McDougle Center is open to community members and students during regular library hours.

For more information on Luther’s Werke or to schedule an appointment at the McDougle Center, contact Peter Wilhelm at 419/267-1217 or pwilhelm@northweststate.edu.

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