Volunteer from Krefeld receives the Rhineland thaler from the LVR

Volunteer from Krefeld receives the Rhineland thaler from the LVR

The 66-year-old Ralf-Günter Stefan takes care of the historical book inventory in the Museum Burg Linn on a voluntary basis. In his role he has already recovered many treasures.

Ralf-Günter Stefan holds a treasure in his hands. “In Germany there is only one corresponding edition in the Kiel University Library,” says the 66-year-old. The very well-preserved book is an annotated Gospel based on Matthew, printed in 1687 in Dordrecht, the Netherlands.

“It’s a rare print and should enrich the collection,” says Stefan. For more than 25 years he has been looking after the historical library in the Museum Burg Linn in Krefeld on a voluntary basis. For this and his diverse cultural commitment in North Rhine-Westphalia, he has now been awarded the Rhineland Thaler by the Rhineland Regional Association.

“We have quite a few Bible editions, also from the Netherlands, but such a copy is not yet in the collection,” says the retired first chief detective, who was head of dactyloscopy and forensics at the Düsseldorf police headquarters during his active time. The Dutch holdings of the historical library are something special anyway. The editions probably come from donations to the museum by the Krefeld Mennonites, who until the 18th century only bought Dutch prints for their libraries.

Stefan now presented the book to Christoph Dautermann, acting director of the Burg Linn Museum, as a surprise gift for the historical library. Dautermann initiated the proposal for the Rhineland Taler Award to the 66-year-old at the time. “Mr. Stefan has not only made a great contribution to cataloging, documenting and preserving our holdings. And all of this on a voluntary basis, ”says Dautermann.

In addition to Krefeld, Ralf-Günter Stefan is involved in the Friedrich-Spee-Gesellschaft in Düsseldorf, works with various libraries across the country and writes scientific publications. When the price was announced in 2020, Stefan didn’t want to believe it at first. But then the joy about the Rhineland thaler quickly set in. “This is my first award ever,” he says. Due to the corona, the award could only now take place in Düsseldorf.