In reading Owen Chadwick’s magisterial book, The Secularization of the European Mind in the Nineteenth Century, I came across a reference to a ‘vast, sprawling’ unpublished biography of the radical critic and friend of Marx, Bruno Bauer, by Ernst Barnikol (who had also written on FC Baur, among other things). The International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam now has Barnikol’s papers, including the long manuscript of his ‘Bruno Bauer. Darstellung und Quellen’ (Collection ID: ARCH00022).. This work was never published in full, given its length, but certain extracts were published posthumously in Bruno Bauer: Studien und Materialien, edited by P. Reimer and Hans-Martin Sass (Assen: van Gorcum, 1972) under the auspices of the IISH, although that volume is now long out of print. Bruno Bauer is a figure of continuing interest to theologians, social theorists and historians, for his radical Hegelianism, his associations with Karl Marx, his role as most prominent of the Dutch ‘radical critics’ of the New Testament, and his ‘atheistic theology’. And Ernst Barnikol has writtenwritten penetrating studies of the German tradition of idealist theology and philosophy.
So I wrote to the IISH to ask whether they would ever think of digitizing the work, given that digital space constraints weigh less heavily than print constraints. I’ve just heard back that they would in principle be open to doing so (and thus effectively making Barnikol’s whole manuscript available as a free e-book), but given their workload, they would need external funding of around 3000 EUR (a little over $3200 by today’s exchange rate) to have someone digitize the 4,000 pages or so of the archives. So, while it seems unlikely, if anyone wants to invest in making Barnikol’s work freely available, or knows of another good way to get a few thousand euro for the project, please let me know.