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Edited by Ariane Roth and Marina Schütz
Translated by Alta L. Price

The Dynamic Library presents essays in translation from an interdisciplinary symposium on the classification and organization of knowledge held at Sitterwerk, St.Gallen in Switzerland. Home to over 25,000 volumes on art, architecture, design, and photography, the Sitterwerk’s Kunstbibliothek (art library) began with the bequest of book collector and connoisseur Daniel Rohner (1948–2007). The question of how to systematically organize this idiosyncratic collection into a publicly accessible library was a fundamental concern, and a solution was found in a dynamic system of organization powered by RFID technology, which relies on digital tracking. The essays gathered in The Dynamic Library contextualize the Sitterwerk’s associative classification system amid artistic and historical systems of order while pointing to future methods for incorporating subjectivity and serendipity into the organization of knowledge.


Introduction: Marina Schütz
The Back Story of the Art Library: Felix Lehner

Classification Systems
Gerhard Matter: Introduction
Paul Michel: Organizing Knowledge
Tobias Schelling: Library Organization Systems
Philipp Messner: New Orders of Knowledge around 1900

Susanne Bieri: Introduction
Dorothée Bauerle-Willert: Aby Warburg’s Library and Picture Atlas
Hans Witschi: Handbook History
Hans Petschar: Notes on the Cataloging of Vienna’s Imperial Library

New Orders of Knowledge
Ariane Roth and Marina Schütz: Introduction
Anthon Astrom, Fabian Wegmuller, Lukas Zimmer: New Orders of Knowledge
Christian Kern: RFID: Applications and Implications—A Foundation for the Internet of Things
Claudia Mareis: Design Research and “Mode 2”—Knowledge Production

*The Dynamic Library: Organizing Knowledge at the Sitterwerk, Precedents and Possibilities 
was made possible with the support of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.


About the Sitterwerk:
The Kunstgiesserei (art foundry) and the non-commercial Sitterwerk Foundation—with its art library, material archive, studio house, and Kesselhaus Josephsohn—form a dynamic space in St.Gallen, Switzerland, where traditional crafts and the most modern technologies are directly connected in both theory and practice.