We are the DDB: Gleimhaus - Museum of the German Enlightenment

The Gleimhaus is one of the oldest German literary museums, established in 1862 in the former residential building of the poet and collector Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim (1719-1803) at the Halberstadt Dome. It houses the inheritance of Gleim with its three "B": pictures, books and letters (in German: Bilder, Bücher und Briefe).

Gleim’s writing chair, mid-18th century, Gleimhaus Halberstadt – Museum der deutschen Aufklärung (Photo: Gleimhaus Halberstadt – Museum der deutschen Aufklärung, Ulrich Schrader)
Gleim’s writing chair, mid-18th century, Gleimhaus Halberstadt – Museum der deutschen Aufklärung (Photo: Gleimhaus Halberstadt – Museum der deutschen Aufklärung, Ulrich Schrader)

Gleim, a genius of friendship, was friends with many of the greatest writers of his time and assembled them in portraits on his walls. So, he collected the largest portrait gallery of great spirits of the 18th century, his so-called “Freundschaftstempel” ("Temple of Friendship"). Lessing, Klopstock, Herder, Jean Paul, Anna Louisa Karsch, Elisa von der Recke and many others are looking at the visitor. The atmosphere in these rooms is unique. In addition, Gleim built up an extensive library and a significant manuscript collection. In this interplay of pictures, books and letters Gleim's estate is a unique cultural-historical document of the Age of Enlightenment with its friendship culture. Even Goethe was enthusiastic about the collections.

Portrait Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim, painted by Johann Heinrich Ramberg, 1789, Gleimhaus Halberstadt – Museum der deutschen Aufklärung (Photo: Gleimhaus Halberstadt – Museum der deutschen Aufklärung, Ulrich Schrader)
Portrait Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim, painted by Johann Heinrich Ramberg, 1789, Gleimhaus Halberstadt – Museum der deutschen Aufklärung (Photo: Gleimhaus Halberstadt – Museum der deutschen Aufklärung, Ulrich Schrader)

The Gleimhaus is listed in the Blue Book of the German Federal Government alongside nineteen other institutions in the New Federal States as a "Cultural Place of Remembrance with special national significance".

So far, the objects of the art collections of the Gleimhaus can be researched via the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (German Digital Library). Its central inventory is Gleim's portrait painting collection "Temple of Friendship". In addition, the house keeps safe the inheritances of some regional artists. In the future, the portrait graphic collection of the Gleimhaus as well as Gleim's library and his manuscript collection will be integrated into the DDB.

To the inventory of the Gleimhaus in the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek

Gleimhaus Freundschaftstempel (Temple of Friendship), (Photo: Gleimhaus Halberstadt – Museum der deutschen Aufklärung, Ulrich Schrader)
Gleimhaus Freundschaftstempel (Temple of Friendship), (Photo: Gleimhaus Halberstadt – Museum der deutschen Aufklärung, Ulrich Schrader)