Egyptomania #1 — Library adventure

Parts of the university building

As mentioned in my previous post regarding my book, I had been thinking of visiting the Bielefeld University Library on the weekend and I decided to do so. To my surprise, even the trains were on-time today which is quite a rare occurence. I took the train at 14:37 and arrived at the university at 15:21. As the university is still undergoing renovations (it has been for the past decade or so) I had to take a small, side entrance to enter the university. The building itself, as can be seen on the photo, has a rather … rustic appearance, to put it nicely. You can definitely see that it was built during the 60s.

I intentionally visited the university on a Sunday during the holidays, as I had expected there to be very few students; however, I was surprised to see that there was actually a decent number of students both in the university itself and the library. I visited the FB 15 library (wherein FB stands for Fachbibliothek which translates as special library) which is also known under the name of Fachbibliothek Linguistik und Literaturwissenschaft (Special library for linguistic and literary studies). I had, however, forgotten to take some change with me which is needed to lock your bags and other belongings into a locker; taking a opaque bag with you into the library isn’t allowed. I therefore reluctantly hung my backpack on one of the coathooks in front of the entrance, took out my laptop, and proceeded to go inside hoping that my backpack would still be there once I returned.

A very small part of FB 15

The library is quite large and visiting it is always very interesting. There’s rows upon rows of books in a variety of languages about a variety of languages, especially in the Fachbibliothek Linguistik und Literaturwissenschaft. Their book catalogue can be searched online ( which also provides you with the location of each one of the books, whether or not they’re non-circulation titles and whether or not they are currently borrowed by someone and for how long. You can even reserve the book and pick it up within a week of it being returned.

The majority of books on Ancient Egyptian

As I have said earlier, I was surprised to see that there were quite a few people at the library. All the computers provided within (which, to be fair, aren’t many) were occupied and quite a large number of the tables for reading and taking notes were too. I therefore tried finding a semi-quiet place to sit down, open my laptop and see what kind of books they had on Ancient Egyptian. Unfortunately, however, I was disappointed to find out that they had fewer books on the subject than I remebered. There were scores of books and articles than could be accessed online, but only if you had a student ID (which I don’t) or by using one of the computers within the library — which were, as I said, all occupied. The only physical books they had were located in the NX section of the FB 15, so I went there.

Ancient Egyptian Onomastica I

I took my a while to find the correct location and upon arriving there I saw the dozen or so books they had on Ancient Egyptian, Coptic and Demotic. The majority of the books they had there were ones that I had read or heard of previously, such as Erman’s “Ägyptische Grammatik”, all volumes of Erman’s “Wörterbuch der Altägyptischen Sprache” or Loprieno’s “Ancient Egyptian: A Linguistic Introduction”. Some of the books, however, were ones that I had not heard of previously, among which were books regarding the grammar of the Coptic language (which were very interesting but unfortunately not what I had looked for) but also three books by Gardiner, namely “Ancient Egyptian Onomastica I & II”. I wasn’t even sure what the title meant, and therefore I looked it up on Wiktionary; here’s the definition:

I found that quite intruiging and after a quick look at the book’s contents, I decided to take it home with me and read it a bit. I will be writing another blog post once I have and I will be telling you what I thought about it. Until then, see you!

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