Admission to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft
The foundation of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft (Kaiser Wilhelm Society) in 1911 gave Henriette Hertz the opportunity to establish her library as the second German research institution in Rome – alongside the "Prussian Historical Station" (today the German Historical Institute, DHI). On 18 September 1912 – six months before her death on 9 April 1913 – she bequeathed her collection of books and photographs, the Palazzo Zuccari as the seat of the "Bibliotheca Hertziana", and a generous endowment to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft. Ernst Steinmann was appointed founding director in accordance with her wishes, and the official inauguration of the institute took place on 15 January 1913. Henriette left her art collection and a share of her assets to the Italian state as a token of gratitude for its hospitality. At the time of its opening, the library had an inventory of five thousand volumes; as the first specialist library for art history in Rome, it quickly established itself as a center for art historical research in Rome.