Born on September 9, 1944, at Adorf, Germany.
Education and Affiliation
He attended the Humboldt gymnasium in Cologne and studied sinology, Manchu and cultural anthropology at Cologne and Bonn universities, 1963‒1970; he took his Ph.D. in sinology (under Walter Fuchs) in 1970. Afterwards he underwent library training to qualify for the upper level of library service, and after passing the respective examination in 1973 became deputy director of the newly established Federal Forces University Library at Hamburg, where he was responsible for humanities and social sciences. In 1986 he became senior director of library services, Berlin State Library. He retired in 2009; since then he has been editing and publishing his numerous unfinished papers.
During his time in Hamburg he served also as lecturer at the College for Librarianship and at the Chinese Dept. of Hamburg University.
During his time in Berlin he also served at the College for Librarianship; in addition he gave classes at the Japan Centre, Humboldt University, and later at the East Asian Seminar, Free University of Berlin.
In 2002 he took his Habilitation at the Free University of Berlin.
For years he acted as chairman of the Round Table on Newspapers, International Federation of Library Associations. In this capacity he organized newspaper conferences e.g. in Shanghai and in Moscow.
As director of the worldwide ISBN standard he introduced the ISBN system in Russia and the former Soviet Republics, and to China, Hong Kong and Macao as well.
As director of the ISO ISMN standard, he introduced the ISMN system e.g. in Russia.
He organized frequent conferences and seminars in the library and standards fields.
He has been a frequent participant of the PIAC (Permanent International Altaistic Conference) and was awarded a gold medal (2013).
Bibliography and history of the book, especially in East Asia, history of Oriental studies.
He continues to publish books and articles. Among his latest publications are: Zur klassischen poetischen Literatur Chinas. Leitfaden zu den Übersetzungen und Rezensionen von Erwin von Zach (1872–1942) (2019), George Robert Loehr jr. (1982–1974) und die Forschung über die Pekinger Jesuitenkünstler [with M. Steinicke](2019), Walther Heissig aus dem Nachlass II (2019), Johann Redowskys Reise von Irkutsk nach Kamtschatka (1806-1807) im Auftrag der Akademie der Wissenschaften (2019), Józef Kowalewski’s letters to Bernhard Jülg (2018), Die Tibetischen Anfangsgründe des Translateurs Johann Jährig (1793) [with Alla Sizova] (2018), Mongolische Chrestomathien des 19. Jh. in Russland (2018).
Neue Rückschau auf ein arbeitsreiches Leben. Hartmut Walravens zum 75sten: Thematisches annotiertes Schriftenverzeichnis Mit Einleitung und Registern. Berlin: BoD, 2019. 236 S.
Walravens H. Symbolism of sovereignty in the context of the Dzungar campaigns of the Qianlong emperor // Written Monuments of the Orient. 1(5), 2017. P. 73—90.
Walravens H., Zorin A. The Āli-kāli Trilingual Syllabary Brought by D. G. Messerschmidt from Siberia and Edited by G. S. Bayer in the 1720s // Journal of the International College for Postgraduate Buddhist Studies, Vol. XXI. Tokyo: ICPBS, 2017. P. 183—241.
Walravens H. Omens in Celestial Phenomena. On a Manchu Manuscript // Written Monuments of the Orient. 1(1), 2015. P. 87–97.
Walravens H. Letters of A.Schiefner about V.P. Vasil'ev // Written Momuments of the Orient [Письменные памятники Востока], 1(8), 2008. P. 251—264.