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The Iron Library - a short introduction

Only a few meters from where bathers and water sport aficionados enjoy the Rhine in fine weather stands Klostergut Paradies, with its unique Iron Library. The core of this special library, set in the idyllic surroundings a former convent, is literature on the history of iron and steel. The industrial corporation Georg Fischer Ltd, or GF, created a foundation for the library in 1948.

The Iron Library now has holdings of over 40,000 books and some 800 periodicals. GF had purchased the former Paradies convent in 1918. Founded by the Clarissan order in 1253, it was deconsecrated in 1836. The library was opened in the west wing of the former convent in 1952, to mark the 150th anniversary of the GF Corporation.

In accordance with the library's name, mining, production and processing of metals were the original focus of the library's collection. The Iron Library is one of the largest special libraries in this field. In the meantime, the focus has broadened to include the history of technology and related subjects such as industrial culture. As the GF Corporation develops, so the library expands into new areas such as plastic technology.

The Iron Library is a reference library open to the public, a reading room is available for visitors. All the library's holdings can be found and searched in an online catalogue. Guided tours can be arranged by prior appointment.


The Iron Library in the press


The Iron Library in pictures

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The Iron Library movie

A film about a library, and a library in a former convent at that? Everyone will immediately think of the film version of Umberto Eco's novel "The Name of the Rose", with Sean Connery in the leading role of William of Baskerville. Well, I'm afraid it's not Sean Connery because in the film about the Iron Library it's the Iron Library itself that plays the leading role.

The film was shot by students of the Technical Documentation vocational college of the Hohentwiel Commercial School in Singen, with their teacher Berthold Gantner. In the course of this project, the students filmed in the rooms of the Iron Library and its surroundings for several days. The laborious editing work was done by Berthold Gantner who gave the film its finishing touch. We at the Iron Library are very grateful to him. The atmospheric music was written by Josh Woodward.