Zwickau Council School Library

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Building of the former King Albert Museum in Zwickau

The Ratsschulbibliothek in Zwickau is a public academic library . It is one of the oldest public academic libraries in Germany.


The library goes back to the library of the municipal Latin School, today the West Saxon University of Zwickau . The oldest donation note is dated from 1498. It had its first heyday in the wake of the Reformation . In 1546 it received from the estate of Zwickau's chief town clerk and councilor Stephan Roth his library with 6,000 volumes, a unique collection of writings from the Reformation period. With the school, the library moved to the Zwickau farmyard of the abolished Grünhain monastery in 1548 and was housed in the Grünhain chapel , which is now used as a restaurant . It served both as a school library and as a bibliotheca publica (public library).

Their holdings also grew in the 17th century, among other things through the purchase and donation of scholarly libraries. In the 18th and 19th centuries the Latin library sank into insignificance and has hardly been maintained since a German school library was established next to it in 1815 . The Zwickauer Altertumsverein, newly founded in 1885, recognized the importance of the holdings and suggested cataloging and reorganizing them; When the König-Albert-Museum was rebuilt , later the City Museum , today the Zwickau Art Collections - Max-Pechstein-Museum , the council school library was given its east wing as a new home. She has been housed here since May 1, 1914. It was temporarily connected to the city library (1921–1923), the city archive (1939–1950) and the city museum (1950–1963). The Council School Library has been independent again since 1963.


The inventory currently comprises around 250,000 manuscripts and prints. The Ratsschulbibliothek is considered to be the most important library collection in Western Saxony . Your old stock is of national importance because of the number of units and especially the unique items . The Ratsschulbibliothek is therefore also a project partner in the directory of printed books from the 16th (VD 16) and 17th centuries published in the German language area .

The writings of the Reformation era were made accessible for research mainly by Otto Clemen , who headed the library from 1923 to 1939. He also published other treasures in the council school library as Zwickau facsimile prints .

Other special collections are the private library and the correspondence of the polymath and rector Christian Daum , the estate of the composer Georg Göhler , a portrait collection (2090 portraits of 1903 people) and the nationally important inventory of music from the 16th and 17th centuries, including Italian madrigals from the Estate of the district physician Dr. Peter Poach (1549–1622), who had studied in Italy.

In 1913, the oldest map of the Margraviate of Meißen was discovered by Job Magdeburg in the library . The map from 1560 only exists in one copy.


  • Reinhard Vollhardt: Bibliography of the music works in the council school library in Zwickau. ( Monthly books for music history. Supplement) Breitkopf & Härtel, Leipzig 1896.
Digitized from the University of Virginia copy
  • Otto Clemen: Contributions to the history of the Reformation from books and manuscripts in the Zwickau Ratsschulbibliothek. CA Schwetschke, Berlin 1900.
Digitized from Harvard University copy
  • Holger Nickel: The incunabula of the Zwickau Council School Library: Origin, history and holdings of the collection. Dissertation. Social Sciences Faculty A of the Humboldt University, Berlin 1976.
  • Renate Schipke: The medieval manuscripts of the Zwickau council school library. (German State Library: Manuscript Inventories 13) DSB, Berlin 1990, ISBN 9783736100602 .
Digitized at Manuscripta Mediaevalia
  • Reiner Groß et al .: 500 years of the Zwickau Council School Library: 1498–1998. Ratsschulbibliothek, Zwickau 1998, ISBN 3-933282-00-4 .
  • Eberhard Möller: Music from the Zwickau Council School Library: Additions to Reinhard Vollhardt's bibliography. Schröder, Leipzig 2008, ISBN 978-3-926196-52-1 .
  • Post The Reformer's Rock. The Zwickau Ratsschule library is half a millennium old. During this time a unique collection was created - with a few curiosities . In: thirteen. City beauties of Saxony , issue 1, Dresden 2013, published by Tourismus Marketing Gesellschaft Sachsen mbH, pp. 38–39.

Web links

Commons : Ratsschulbibliothek Zwickau  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Zwickau Council School Library
  2. Sächsische Heimat, communications from the federal state team of Saxony, Stuttgart, June / 1978 issue, p. 186
  3. Archived copy ( memento of the original from October 29, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

Coordinates: 50 ° 43 ′ 32.9 "  N , 12 ° 29 ′ 23"  E