Bavarian State Library

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bavarian State Library
Logo Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.jpg

Logo of the Bavarian State Library

founding 1558 as court library
Duration 33.92 million (as of 2019)
Library type Universal library
place Munich coordinates: 48 ° 8 ′ 50.5 ″  N , 11 ° 34 ′ 50.2 ″  EWorld icon
Visitor address Ludwigstrasse 16
operator Free State of Bavaria
management Klaus Ceynowa
Facade of the Bavarian State Library, 2011

The Bavarian State Library ( BSB ) (former Latin name: Bibliotheca Regia Monacensis ) in Munich is the central universal and state library of the Free State of Bavaria and one of the most important European research and universal libraries with an international reputation. Your media inventory (including e-media) amounts to around 33.92 million media (as of 2019); This makes it the largest universal and research library in Germany . In addition, it has one of the most important manuscript collections in the world, the most extensive collection of incunabula in Germany, one of the most extensive and important journal libraries in Europe and numerous other important special collections, including almost 17.3 million photos, the largest German public image archive Sponsorship. With its media holdings, the State Library, founded in 1558 as a court library, is today one of the largest and most important memorial institutions in Europe.

A deposit copy has existed since 1663 , which means that two copies of every printed work published in Bavaria must be submitted to the Bavarian State Library. The BSB has published the specialist journal Bibliotheksforum Bayern and - together with the Berlin State Library - the library magazine since 2007 .


The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has the task of making literature available to the public as a universal library for science, research and teaching. As the central state and archive library, it has been the specialist authority for all matters relating to the Bavarian library system since 1999 and is involved in all state-wide planning and coordination activities in the library system. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has had the right to deposit copies of Bavarian publications since 1663, which it collects, indexes, archives permanently and makes available to its users. As part of this, she regularly publishes the Bavarica in the Bayerische Bibliographie , a bibliography with book titles with a Bavarian reference. The library is in charge of the Bayerische Landesbibliothek Online , the central cultural and scientific internet portal on the history and culture of Bavaria. As one of the six members of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sammlung Deutscher Drucke (AG SDD), who are jointly building a distributed, virtual national library in Germany, the BSB is responsible for prints from the years 1450–1600. It is the seat of the Munich Digitization Center , looks after specialist information services for science of the German Research Foundation and worked on the management of the Common Corporation File (GKD) and the Personal Name File (PND), which were incorporated into the Common Authority File (GND) in April 2012 .


In the storage library Garching store numerous writings of the State Library.
Bookplate of the Bibliotheca Regia Monacensis
Peter receives the keys to the kingdom of heaven (fol. 152 v ); Image from the Pericope Book of Henry II.


The media inventory (including e-media) of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is around 33.5 million. In addition to 10.76 million volumes, this also includes around 140,000 manuscripts, including the Codex aureus and two manuscripts of the Nibelungenlied (manuscripts A and D). The collection also includes the Gospels of Otto III. , Otto III's prayer book , formerly Pommersfelden, Gräflich Schönbornsche Bibliothek, Hs. 2490, the Carmina Burana , the Freising Monuments , the Pericope Book of Henry II , the Babylonian Talmud, the choir books by Orlando di Lasso and the Wessobrunn Prayer .

The library has 54,400 print and electronic journals, an approximately 21,000 copies counting collection of about 9,660 incunabula (which is about one-third of the approximately 28,000 received incunabula ), including a Gutenberg Bible and the full Turks Calendar (Rar. 1). The library also includes 2,509,000 digitized volumes.

The inventory includes numerous prints from the 16th century as well as biblical uncial and minuscule manuscripts and lectionaries . The UNESCO world document heritage includes the pericopes of Heinrich II , recorded in 2003 , the Hohenems-Munich manuscript A recorded in 2009 , the Gospels from Bamberg Cathedral recorded in 2003, Otto III 's Gospels recorded in 2003 . and the Bibliotheca Corviniana, which was added in 2005 .

As part of the “ Collection of German Prints ”, it has the task of building up a collection of printed works from the German-speaking and cultural area from 1450 to 1600 that is as complete as possible. It is the specialist information service library of the German Research Foundation for the areas of Prehistory and Early History , Byzantium , Classical Antiquity , Modern Greece , Romanian and Albanian Language and Literature, Eastern , Central Eastern and Southeastern Europe , general history , history of Germany , Austria , Switzerland , France and Italy and musicology and by the end of 2014 as a special collection the book , library and information science .

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is recognized by the United Nations as a UN depot library .

Digital offers

As an innovation center for digital information technology and services, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has also initiated extensive internet projects. The Munich digitization center was established in 1997 . With the provision of the converted sheet catalog 1841–1952 and the incunabula catalog 1450–1500, the entire collection of publications in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek can now be researched online. The eBooks on Demand document delivery service provides complete electronic copies of copyright-free books upon request. On March 7, 2007, the then General Director Rolf Griebel announced that Google Book Search would digitize the holdings for the State Library, provided they are not subject to copyright . In 2008, in the 450th year of its existence, the Bavarian State Library was named Library of the Year by the German Library Association.

In addition, the library has developed numerous mobile apps :

  • Famous Books - Treasures of the Bavarian State Library: The library presents the most valuable top items from its rich old inventory.
  • Oriental Books - Oriental Treasures of the Bavarian State Library: The app contains 20 magnificent manuscripts from the library's extensive oriental collection.
  • Ludwig II. - In the footsteps of the fairy tale king: The location-based services app presents a variety of multimedia information on the “fairy tale king” Ludwig II of Bavaria with augmented reality features. The application is offered in cooperation with the Bavarian Administration of State Palaces, Gardens and Lakes .
  • Bavaria in historical maps: Historical maps from the map collection of the State Library, which is important across Europe, are made available in the form of a location-based service for mobile use. The app was developed in cooperation with the House of Bavarian History , the Bavarian Administration of State Palaces, Gardens and Lakes and the State Office for Digitization, Broadband and Surveying and funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance, State Development and Home, and the Bavarian State Ministry of Education and cult, science and art .
  • Dichterwege - In the footsteps of Jean Paul : The app was developed on the occasion of the 250th birthday of Jean Paul in cooperation with the joint project Jean-Paul-Weg in Upper Franconia and the Jean Paul Association in 2013 as a digital hiking guide in the footsteps of the poet Jean Paul.
  • bavarikon 3D: With this app, leading Bavarian cultural institutions present selected art objects as 3D digital copies. The first selected 3D objects include sculptures, sculptures, historical globes and medieval manuscripts.
  • German classics in first editions: 30 first editions of German-language classics are made available in three different views, including an innovative hybrid view. In the hybrid view, the sometimes hard-to-read black or mixed font on the original book pages can be easily read within seconds by selecting a modern font.


The Holy Life Winter Part - Page from a manuscript from the Weihenstephan Benedictine Abbey (approx. 1475, in the BSB)

The library was founded in 1558 in the chancellery vault at the Alter Hof in Munich as the court library of Duke Albrecht V through the purchase of two collections: on the one hand, the estate of the Austrian lawyer, orientalist and imperial chancellor Johann Albrecht Widmanstetter , which was made up of oriental manuscripts and prints, editions of classic Authors and works from the fields of theology , philosophy and jurisprudence consisted, on the other hand, the collection of the Augsburg patrician Johann Jakob Fugger , which could be acquired in 1571. Fugger had hired agents to collect volumes of manuscripts and prints in Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. This was more than 10,000 volumes. At the same time he had manuscripts copied in Venice. In addition, in 1552 Fugger had acquired the manuscript and incunabula collection of the physician and humanist Hartmann Schedel , which was one of the richest private humanistic libraries north of the Alps. The Antwerp doctor Samuel Quiccheberg (1529–1567) initially looked after and organized the Fugger collection . He had adopted the order of the Augsburg court library. The collection was later looked after by the librarian Wolfgang Prommer , who cataloged it both alphabetically and by keyword . Aegidius Oertel from Nuremberg became the first librarian in 1561. The main users of the library were the Jesuits who were brought to Munich in 1559 .

Wilhelm V continued the collection with further purchases:

  • Spanish prints from the estate of the Tyrolean knight Anselm Stöckel (1583)
  • the collection of the Augsburg councilor Johann Heinrich Herwarth von Hohenberg , which is rich in printed music (1585)
  • Humanist library of the Augsburg and Eichstatt canons Johann Georg von Werdenstein (1592)

In 1600 the inventory already comprised 17,000 volumes. The court library was temporarily brought to Burghausen in 1632 from the Swedes advancing in the Thirty Years' War . As a result of the secularization in Bavaria and the transfer of the Kurpfälzische Hofbibliothek, the library received an increase of around 550,000 volumes and 18,600 manuscripts around 1803. In 1827 Friedrich von Gärtner was commissioned to plan a representative building for the Court and State Library and the General Reich Archives . The building should initially be erected at Ludwigstrasse  1, in 1828 it was said that the location should be opposite the Glyptothek on Königsplatz; but in the same year the Ludwigstrasse was planned again. In 1831 the architect completed the designs. Due to a lack of money, the foundation stone was not laid until July 8, 1832. The library building was completed in 1843 after 11 years of construction. The elongated brick building encloses two courtyards and is based on the palace architecture of the Italian early Renaissance, it is assigned to the Florentine style . The original seated figures of Greek scholars on the outside staircase were created by Ludwig von Schwanthaler . Due to the severe damage in the Second World War , the current figures of Aristotle , Homer , Thucydides and Hippocrates on the stairs of the main portal are reproductions by various artists.

Main entrance
Entrance portal of the Bavarian State Library with the four scholars Thucydides , Homer , Aristotle and Hippocrates (from left to right)

The library has been called the Bavarian State Library since 1919 . At the beginning of the 20th century, the library's holdings grew rapidly and had to find space in the existing shelves and rooms. However, the floor and ceilings were designed to withstand limited loads, so staff and construction professionals found cracks and fissures that were superficially closed. After a temporary closure of large areas of the entrance room, the reading rooms and the storage rooms, the state building authority arranged for structural repair and reinforcement of the structure. The danger of a catastrophe was averted.

During the Second World War , over 500,000 volumes were lost despite the relocation of stocks. The building itself was 85 percent destroyed. In 1946, the reconstruction of the library building and the repatriation of the relocated holdings began. First of all, a spatial, but not organizational, merger with the almost completely destroyed University Library in Munich was considered; However, resistance from the university ended this consideration in 1956. That is why the State Library planned a modern extension in which contemporary facilities would be accommodated. The extension on the east side based on plans by Hans Döllgast and Sep Ruf was completed in 1966. This extension, which also houses the general reading room, received the BDA Bavaria Prize in 1967 . The inauguration of the restored south wing in 1970 decided the reconstruction. In 1988 the Garching storage library was put into operation.

In 2007, the colorful wall paintings on the window sides and on the east side of the stairwell were restored according to plans by Friedrich von Gärtner . The vault above remains white for the time being.


Staircase with the wall paintings partially restored in 2007
Aerial photograph
Book magazine (7th floor)
Telelift book
conveyor belt (7th floor)


Library manager:

The directorate also includes the director's office, the personal assistant, the legal department and the press and public relations and information technology departments.

Central administration

As a cross-sectional department, the central administration handles general administration; it is also a service provider for all areas and employees of the library. She oversees the areas of “finances”, “personnel” and “internal services, construction”. The department is also responsible for the “ FaMI training”.

Main departments

Inventory development and development

Media of all kinds are acquired in this department (access types are gift, purchase, licensing, mandatory delivery and exchange) and cataloged both formally and factually. The department is divided into two departments: BEE 1 (country and specialist presentations, monographs, media budget) and BEE 2 (periodicals, licenses, electronic publishing).


The user services department mediates the library's holdings and services. The department is subdivided into the areas of information services and local lending, reading rooms, document delivery and electronic user services as well as document management.

Digital library and Bavarica

The Digital Library and Bavarica Department is divided into two sections: Munich Digitization Center (MDZ) / Digital Library and Bavarica (including bavarikon ).

The MDZ is the central innovation and production unit of the Bavarian State Library for the development, testing and commissioning of new products and processes related to the multi-faceted major topic of "digital library". The MDZ has its own scan center with high-quality scanning systems (including scanning robots and 3D scanners) for digital production. The main areas of activity are digitization as well as the presentation and long-term archiving of digital content. The Bavarica department is responsible for the library's collection focus of the same name; it operates u. a. the Bavarian literature portal, the Bayerische Landesbibliothek Online portal and is responsible for the technical implementation and project management of the “ bavarikon ” cultural portal . In the Bavarica section of the Aventinus reading room, a selection of reference works, monographs, journals and series on Bavaria from all subject areas is freely accessible in a systematic list.

Manuscripts and old prints

The department for manuscripts and old prints is responsible for the library's most valuable historical holdings. This precious legacy is the basis for the worldwide reputation of the Bavarian State Library. The department has a special reading room that is specially equipped for working with old books.

Institute for Conservation and Restoration

The central task of the Institute for Conservation and Restoration (IBR) is to preserve the valuable written cultural heritage of Bavaria's state academic libraries through preventive conservation and restoration. In addition, the IBR (in cooperation with the Technical University of Munich ) is responsible for the study focus “Book and Paper” of the Bachelor's and the consecutive Master’s degree “Restoration, Art Technology and Conservation Science”. In addition, the IBR works actively in numerous national and international specialist bodies.

Special departments

Music department

The quantity and quality of its historical holdings as well as the wide acquisition profile make the music department an internationally important music library of the first order. Its beginnings go back to the 16th century. The main focus of the German Research Foundation's “Musicology” collection is managed in this department. Together with the Maps and Pictures section, the department has its own reading room.

Orient and Asia department

The oriental holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek comprise more than 260,000 volumes in Arabic, Armenian, Georgian, Hebrew, Yiddish, Mongolian, Persian, Tibetan and in Indian languages. The Asian holdings include over 310,000 volumes in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese. The holdings are accessible together with those of the Eastern Europe Department in the East Reading Room.

Eastern Europe Department

The Eastern Europe Department is the largest special department of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek with around one million volumes to and from Eastern Europe from the early modern period to the 21st century. In addition to the Eastern European region in the narrower sense, it also deals with East Central and Southeastern Europe and the Asian part of Russia. The holdings of the department are housed in the east reading room of the library.

Maps and Pictures Department

The Maps & Pictures Department, which was formerly part of the Department of Manuscripts and Old Prints, has been a separate department since March 2019. This manages printed maps from 1500 to today, atlases, cartographic literature and the library's image archive with holdings from the Heinrich Hoffmann , Bernhard Johannes and Felicitas Timpe photo archives . With more than 400,000 individual maps and 13,000 atlases, it looks after the second largest map collection in Germany. The image archive comprised around 2.3 million individual images up to 2018. At the beginning of 2019, the Hamburg magazine “ Stern ” donated its analogue picture archive to the Bavarian State Library with 15 million negatives, slides and paper prints from the period between 1948 and 2001. In July 2019, the transfer of the archive holdings was completed. The donation agreement between the publisher and the BSB regulates the preservation of the archive holdings, as well as digitization and clarification of copyrights and the conditions of use for the image material. Agreements have been made with more than half of the photographers that allow the BSB to show the images on the Internet. With the takeover of the analogue star picture archive with around 11 million negatives and 4 million positives, the BSB houses one of the largest picture archives in a public facility in the German-speaking area with 17.3 million individual pictures.

Departments with network-wide tasks

The Bavarian Library Academy , the State Department for Public Libraries and the Central Office of the Bavarian Library Association are primarily responsible for state tasks .

State regional libraries

The Bamberg State Library in the New Residence on Domplatz is the largest of all ten regional

The regional state libraries are part of the academic library system in Bavaria. Organizationally, they are subordinate to the Bavarian State Library. They include the following institutions:


The large reading room
Smaller reading room
Social Area PLAZA (2018)


Borrowing books at the BSB is generally free of charge, both to take home and to use in the reading rooms of the BSB. Fees are charged for reservations, for interlibrary loan and for copying and scanning. To order and borrow the books, a user ID is required, which is issued to everyone resident in Germany upon presentation of an identity card or passport. It is assumed that the library is used for academic purposes, professional work or further training.


At the end of 2019, the library had 78,600 registered, active users and 1,173,000 loans in 2019. The various reading rooms are used by around 4,000 people every day. In the general reading room, which is open daily from 8 a.m. to midnight, around 111,000 volumes, mostly reference works , are freely accessible. Around 18,000 current issues of current magazines are on display in the magazine reading room. The manuscripts and old prints , maps and pictures , music and Eastern Europe, Orient and Asia departments maintain their own reading rooms with open access holdings. Around 1500 volumes from the magazines are made available for use in the general reading room every day. In 2010 a new research reading room with a focus on history and Bavarica was set up (Aventinus reading room).

Social area

At the end of 2018, the library created a new area called the Plaza . There are various seating and work options available on 400 square meters, with seating areas for reading, for conversations, but also for retiring in cubes or two-seater sofas with a sound-absorbing roof.


  • Klaus Ceynowa, Martin Hermann (Ed.): Libraries: Innovation from Tradition; Rolf Griebel on his 65th birthday . De Gruyter Saur, Berlin [et al.] 2014, ISBN 978-3-11-031041-2 .
  • Rolf Griebel, Klaus Ceynowa: The Bavarian State Library. A determination of the position on the 450th anniversary of the foundation . Munich 2009.
  • Rolf Griebel, Klaus Ceynowa: Information - Innovation - Inspiration. 450 years of the Bavarian State Library. Walter de Gruyter, 2008.
  • Rupert Hacker (Ed.): Contributions to the history of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (=  Bayerische Staatsbibliothek - series of publications . Volume 1 ). Saur, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-598-24060-0 .
  • Cornelia Jahn (Ed.): Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: a self-portrait . Munich 1997, ISBN 3-9802700-2-5 .
  • Klaus Haller: The Bavarian State Library in historical descriptions . Saur, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-598-11149-5 .
  • Karl Dachs: Thesaurus librorum: 425 years of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek exhibition, Munich, August 18 - October 1, 1983 . Reichert, Wiesbaden 1983, ISBN 3-88226-169-2 .
  • Carolyn Krebber: The building of the Bavarian State Library in Munich by Friedrich von Gärtner (=  writings from the Institute for Art History of the University of Munich . Volume 15 ). tuduv-Verlag, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-88073-232-9 .
  • Franz Georg Kaltwasser : Bavarian State Library: 1972–1992. In: Journal of Librarianship and Bibliography . - 40.1993. - pp. 117-134.
  • Franz Georg Kaltwasser: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: changing understanding of roles over the centuries . Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2006, ISBN 3-447-05322-4 .
  • Franz Georg Kaltwasser: The library as a museum: From the Renaissance to today, illustrated using the example of the Bavarian State Library . Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1999, ISBN 3-447-03863-2 .
  • Franz Georg Kaltwasser: Library work: Selected essays . Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2007, ISBN 978-3-447-05627-4 (with a list of publications 1953-2007, foreword by Wolfgang Frühwald).
  • Court and State Library in Munich . In: Handbuch der Bibliothekwissenschaft . 2nd, presumably and improved edition, 3rd volume, 2nd half. History of the libraries. Wiesbaden 1957, pp. 370-379.
  • Cornelia Jahn and Dieter Kudorfer: Living book legacy. Secularization, mediatization and the Bavarian State Library. Bavarian State Library. Exhibition catalog No. 74, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-9807702-3-0 .
  • Claudia Fabian: Cultural Cosmos of the Renaissance. The establishment of the Bavarian State Library. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, exhibition catalog No. 79, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-447-05672-4 .

Web links

Commons : Bayerische Staatsbibliothek  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in numbers - 2019. BSB, accessed on June 8, 2020 .
  2. .
  3. Christa Sigg: The "Stern" picture archive is coming to Munich., August 7, 2019, accessed on August 8, 2019 .
  4. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: Nibelungenlied manuscripts from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek , October 5, 2011.
  5. ^ Bavarian State Library Projects , accessed on July 31, 2019
  6. United Nations Depository Libraries in Germany , accessed December 23, 2016
  7. "Google digitized in Bavaria: With hybrid drive into the network" , FAZ , March 8, 2007.
  8. Press release of June 18, 2008 .
  9. ^ Otto Hartig: The establishment of the Munich court library by Albrecht V and Johann Jakob Fugger (=  treatises of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, phil.-hist. Class. 27.3). Munich 1917.
  10. Uwe Jochum: Small Library History (=  Reclams Universal Library . No. 17667 ). 3. Edition. Reclam, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-15-017667-2 , pp. 93 .
  11. ^ Franz-Georg Kaltwasser: From Munich to Burghausen. The escape of the Munich court library from the Swedes in 1632. In: Literatur in Bayern , Volume 63, 2001, pp. 14–30.
  12. a b The Münhen State Library in danger? in Vossische Zeitung , February 2, 1928, p. 6.
  13. library building. Retrieved September 15, 2019 .
  14. ^ Bavarian State Government: Report from the cabinet meeting on February 24, 2015 .
  15. Bavarian State Library Online .
  16. a b 15 million images for eternity. The star donates its photo archive to the Bavarian State Library. Press release from the Bavarian State Library on January 30, 2019.
  17. Press release, photo archive arrived in Munich., August 6, 2019, accessed on August 8, 2019 .
  18. Evelyn Vogel: 15 million moments for eternity., August 7, 2019, accessed on August 8, 2019 .
  19. Klaus Ceynowa : “There was nothing better back then!” In: Library magazine . No. 1 , 2020, p. 13–22 ( [PDF]).
  20. Standard registration in the BSB., accessed on December 10, 2018 .
  21. Sabine Buchwald: State Library: To study on the red sofa., November 9, 2018, accessed December 10, 2018 .
  22. More space for studies and science., November 8, 2018, accessed December 10, 2018 .