All Scholars

DZIATZKO, Karl Franz Otto

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  • Date of Birth: January 27, 1842
  • Born City: Neustadt, Upper Silesia
  • Born State/Country: Germany
  • Parents: Karl, a physician, & Ottilie Niewiandomski.
  • Date of Death: January 13, 1903
  • Death City: Göttingen
  • Death State/Country: Germany
  • Married: Helene Moebius; Therese Streckfuß.
  • Education:

    Study at Breslau,1859-61; Bonn, Ph.D. 1863; Habil., Freiburg, 1871; study in England, 1878, 1896.

  • Dissertation:

    “De prologis Plautinis et Terentianis quaestiones selectae” (Bonn 1863).

  • Professional Experience:

    Teacher, Lucerne, 1865-71; librarian, Freiburg University Library (Breisgau), 1871-2; teacher, Karlsruhe, 1872-4; head librarian, Breslau, 1874-86; head librarian & professor of library science, Göttingen, 1886-1903; co-editor, The Library.

  • Publications:

    Ausgewählte Komodien des P. Terentius Afer: zur Einführung in die Lectuere der altlateinischen Lustspiele. Erstes Bändchen: Phormio (ed.) (Leipzig: Teubner, 1874; 4th ed. 1913, ed. Edmund Hauler; P. Terenti Afri Comoediae (Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1884); Instruction für die Ordnung der Titel im Alphabetischen Zettelkatalog der Königlichen und Universitätsbibliothek zu Breslau (Berlin: Asher, 1886); Beiträge zur Gutenbergfrage (Berlin: Asher 1889); Gutenbergs früheste Druckerpraxis (Berlin: Asher, 1890); Entwickelung und gegenwärtiger Stand der wissenschaftlichen Bibliotheken: mit besonderer Berücksichtigung Preussens, Spirgatis, Leipzig 1893; Untersuchungen über ausgewählte Kapitel des antiken Buchwesens (Leipzig: Teubner, 1900); Das neue Fragment der Περικειρομένη [Perikeiromene] des Menander (Leipzig: Teubner, 1900). 

  • Notes:

    Karl Dziatzko was orphaned as a child and devoted his love to books dealing with the classical world. After study at Breslau he spent two years at Bonn under Friedrich Ritschl and was also a clerk and assistant at the university library. He briefly left his teaching post to manage the Freiburg  Library, but economic necessity took him back to teaching after only a year. In time he moved to Breslau (now Wroclaw) to institute reforms suggested for all libraries by the Prussian Ministry of Education. With the support of the head of the Ministry’s university department, Friedrich Althoff (1839-1908), he acquired a budget three times what it had been, he greatly enlarged the size, budget, and usage open reading spaces, created a new card catalogue, printing the first manual catalogue in Germany. For his success he was invited to do the same at Göttingen, where he was instrumental in beginning the “Göttingen School” which aimed to professionalize libraries and librarians (the latter through national examinations) and trained students who spread his methods across Germany. In 1900 he founded the Association of German Librarians and gave an important lecture on the creation of a catalogue of incunabula.  As a classicist, Dziatko published widely on Terence before his removal to Göttingen and late in his short life, a fragment of Menander. His most important publications, however, are those on which his enduring fame rests, books and lectures on the creation of the alphabetic card catalogue, the treatment of incunabula, and the reformation of his chief field, Library Science, of which he was one of the founders in the modern era.  

  • Sources:

    Ludwig Denecke, NDB 4 (1959) 213-14.

  • Author: Ward Briggs