28.04.2022 - Samariter Laden Purkersdorf donates valuable chance find to BOKU
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Earth scientists made a special discovery with rarity value in the "SamLa - der Samariterladen" in Purkersdorf, a shop of the Samariterbund. Volumes of the so-called "Kronprinzenwerk" (Crown Prince's Work) were offered for sale here among crockery, coffee machines and pieces of furniture for a good cause. The SamLa now handed over the edition of the "Kronprinzenwerk" to the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, which thus complements the historical collection of Crown Prince Rudolf.
Normally, earth scientists make their spectacular finds in the field using a geologist's hammer. The fact that it can also be done differently was recently demonstrated at a Samaritan Association facility - the so-called SamLa in Purkersdorf (Lower Austria). There, an almost perfectly preserved edition of the "Kronprinzenwerk", a 24-volume encyclopaedia on the geography and regional studies of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, turned up. Inspired and co-authored by Crown Prince Rudolf, the only son of Empress Elisabeth ("Sissi") and Emperor Franz Joseph I, who was interested in natural sciences, his geological collection is still housed today as one of two historical collections at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU).
Wonderful addition to the BOKU mineral collection
Herbert Willer, head of the SamLa, did not hesitate for long and instead of a profitable sale, he set a good example and unceremoniously donated the volumes to the Institute of Applied Geology at BOKU Vienna. There, the work complements the mineral and rock collection of Crown Prince Rudolf and will soon also be on display in the exhibition showcases on site. "BOKU is very grateful to SamLa and the Samaritan Association for the donation of the almost complete Crown Prince's work," emphasises Franz Ottner, Head of the Mineral Collection at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna. "It is a wonderful addition to the very personal mineral collection of Crown Prince Rudolf and we are pleased to make the Kronprinzenwerk accessible to students and visitors*."
More than 400 collaborating authors were involved in this monumental piece of Austrian history, which was created between 1885 and 1902. Cooperation is also essential at the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund Österreichs (Workers' Samaritan Association of Austria), which has existed since 1927 and has become an indispensable part of the Austrian social and rescue system. "Saving historical documents of the time, such as these books, are a special concern of mine," says Willer. Nevertheless, they are not the first such donation Willer has made. Time and again, valuable objects with a history can be found among the donations, which have already been handed over to museums and are now accessible to the public.
The team at BOKU has been dealing intensively with the stories surrounding scientific, historical collections and their preservation for many years. Both the Crown Prince Rudolf Collection and the Bilimek Collection have been inventoried and scientifically processed. Historical sources such as the Kronprinzenwerk still find practical application today.
Parts of the collections are to be made accessible to the public in the future within the framework of exhibition projects.
Publication about the Crown Prince Rudolf Collection at BOKU Vienna
Fitz Otto. 1993. a collection tells....