Library of the Capuchins of Klausen

The founding of the Capuchin Library in Klausen can be traced to 1700 when the Spanish Queen Maria Anna von Pfalz-Neuburg donated a Capuchin Monastery to the birthplace of her confessor, P. Gabriel Pontifeser. She not only equipped the monastery with material goods but also provided the monastery with printed works which today make up the most valuable part of the historical Capuchin Library in Klausen. Of the 3,310 books, 121 carry an indication of the donor naming Queen Maria Anna Palatine. Of these, 95 are in Spanish and for the most part, refer to literary and historical subjects.
A part of the collection is considerably older than the monastery as the Capuchin Order provided each newly founded monastery with a basic collection of printed works. Therefore, approx. 770 works are from the 16th and 17th centuries. Four incunabula were printed before 1500. The monastery library experienced its greatest period of growth in the 18th century whereas the last two centuries are hardly represented. This could be due to the fact that monastery was dissolved in 1972 and placed at the disposal of the local town council. The Order Library was relocated at the Capuchin Provincial Convent in Brixen whereby a strict selection process was carried out. Especially works from the 19th and 20th centuries were removed and sold to an antiquarian. Some literature was transferred to the Bruneck Convent when the Capuchin Order Novitiate was relocated there in 1964. This explains why at the beginning of the 20th century the Capuchin Library in Klausen had some 6,000 works whereas today the collection consists of just 3,310 items.

Rainhard Domanegg, Die Kapuzinerbibliotheken Klausen, Eppan, Schlanders und Müstair, Brixen 2007



Location: Capuchin Convent of Brixen

Library Structure