The Friends of the
Humanist Library
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"a dynamic association"


From its very foundation in 1951, the Society has been closely linked to the Humanist Library, where it has always had its headquarters.

This is why, in distinction to the other historical societies of Alsace, its particular vocation is to participate in the preservation, enrichment, promotion and development of the Humanist Library, with a special emphasis on the Library's most precious collection: the former parish library founded in 1452 and the books of the Selestadian humanist Beatus Rhenanus.

As the city of Sélestat owns the various collections, in 2000 the Society decided to sign a partnership convention with this territorial collectivity.


The Society publishes an Annual which contains studies of the Library's original holdings, humanist or other, as well as articles about the history or any other aspect of life in Sélestat and its locality.

It takes part in the development of the Humanist Library by acquiring or restoring books, by acquiring or restoring other objects of historical or archeological interest.

It publishes various pamphlets and documents for Library visitors and any other interested individuals.

It organizes events to publicize the Library: conferences, exhibitions, lectures, meetings with academic representatives and independent researchers.

It can award grants to students who, as part of their university studies, have chosen to undertake research on the original holdings, Sélestat and its locality or humanists linked to Sélestat.

It shares in the communal, intercommunal, departmental and regional efforts to further tourism based upon cultural offerings, tourism in which the Humanist Library is a central point of interest in Alsace.

It contributes, more generally, to a better knowledge of the heritage of Sélestat and of its locality, as well as to its defence, preservation and development.