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BARB, Alfons (1901-1979)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1370 WIA, Alfons Barb
Held at: Warburg Institute
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Full title: BARB, Alfons (1901-1979)
Date(s): c1924-1979
Level of description: collection
Extent: 29 boxes
Name of creator(s): Barb | Alfons A | 1901-1979 | librarian and cultural scholar


Administrative/Biographical history:

Alfons Barb was born in Vienna. He supported himself working as a goldsmith whilst studying at the University of Vienna and received his doctorate aged 25. He then worked as a museum director for several years until the Anschluss, when he was dismissed under the new racial laws. He moved to England with his young family in 1939 where, after time spent interned as an enemy alien and eight years working as a factory tool fitter, he eventually resumed an academic career. Barb joined the Warburg Institute in 1949 as Assistant Librarian and subsequently served as Librarian (1956-1966). He was an Honorary Fellow of the Institute from 1968 until his death in 1979. He was also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society, and received the Austrian Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst in 1968.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Alfons Barb, c 1924-1979, including working papers, collection of casts of gemstones, correspondence and offprints. Topics covered include: Magic, Folklore and Amulets; Medieval Magic; Gnosis; Gemstones; Mystery, Myth and Magic; Greco-Roman Numismatics and Archaeology and 'History of Popular Belief and Superstition from Ancient Times to the Present Day'.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
German and English

System of arrangement:

Arranged in sections as follows: Working Papers, collection of cats of Gemstones, correspondence and off-prints.

Conditions governing access:

Archive material is accessible for the purpose of private study and personal research and within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Archive reading room. Access is with permission from the Institute Director and by prior appointment only. Potential users are advised to browse the Institute website and contact the Archivist, Dr des Claudia Wedepohl, before planning a visit. Access to individual items in the Warburg Institute Archives may be restricted under the Data Protection Act or the Freedom of Information Act.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies, at the discretion of the archivist, may be provided for research use only (working papers: up to 10% of any archive pressmark; correspondence by authors for whom the department doesn't hold copyright: up to 10% of the institutes holdings). Traditional photography is allowed at the discretion of the archivist, no digital cameras. Scans and digital photographs can be ordered at the discretion of the archivist. Requests to publish original material have to be submitted to the Archivist.

Finding aids:

Collection level description available on-line at the University of London Research Services website

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received from the family, 1979.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry compiled by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Apr 2008

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