Bamberg State Library

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Bamberg State Library
Bamberg State Library in the New Residence on Domplatz
Bamberg State Library in the New Residence on Domplatz

founding September 9, 1803
Duration approx. 556,000 media units
Library type Scientific library , regional library
place Bamberg
operator Free State of Bavaria
management Bettina Wagner

The Bamberg State Library is a scientific library with a focus on the humanities in the Upper Franconian city ​​of Bamberg ; Today it is housed in the premises of the New Residence on Domplatz . The Free State of Bavaria is responsible for the library .


The Bamberg State Library is a general library with a focus on the humanities. It serves to supply the city and region with literature and is open to everyone free of charge for academic purposes, professional work and personal training. It continuously supplements its historically grown holdings with new acquisitions from all specialist areas . The main collection areas are interdisciplinary literature, (Upper) Franconian history and regional studies , art history and manuscript and book studies .

She works closely with the Bamberg University Library in the areas of acquisition , cataloging and use . Her regional tasks include collecting documentary material from and about personalities who are connected to the region through birth or work, and the development of this literature in a regional bibliography (monographic basic work Bibliography on the history of the city and monastery of Bamberg 1945-1975 , from 1976 until 1995 in four five-year volumes as literature on the history of the city and monastery of Bamberg as well as the peripheral areas , since 1996 extended to all of Upper Franconia and as part of the database Bavarian Bibliography ). In addition, it has been the deposit copy library for Upper Franconia since 1987 : it receives one of the two copies of the publications published in Upper Franconia for permanent storage from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich.

They kept the libraries of the Historical Society of Bamberg , the Natural History Society of Bamberg , the ETA Hoffmann Society and the Bamberger group of francs Federal .

The Bamberg State Library owes its reputation as a research library of international standing to the holdings of the former monasteries and monasteries of the Bamberg Monastery and the old University of Bamberg . Two of her magnificent Reichenau manuscripts from the first millennium from the former Bamberg Cathedral Treasury were included in UNESCO 's list of World Heritage Sites (Memory of the World) in 2003:

In 2013, the one written around 800 and from the Bamberg Cathedral Library also became

declared a world document heritage.


Entrance to the State Library

The roots of the Bamberg State Library lie in the secularization of 1802/1803, when the monasteries and monasteries belonging to the former Bamberg monastery were dissolved and the University of Bamberg was dissolved. The libraries of these institutions were brought together in the Electoral Library, founded in 1803, the name of which changed with the political situation: from 1806 it was called the Royal Library, from 1918 the State Library, before it was renamed the Bamberg State Library in 1966.

The first home of the library was in the midst of the Bamberg island city: It was the Kollegienhaus the Jesuits , which had served as headquarters of the Academia Ottoniana (from 1773 Universitas Ottoniano-Fridericiana) since 1648th The first head of the library was the former Cistercian from Langheim Abbey, Heinrich Joachim Jaeck (1777–1847), who managed to create a usable library from the mass of books that had flowed together.

Since the library initially had no acquisition budget, it was dependent on the income from duplicate sales and donations to expand its holdings . Some of the large collections from the 19th century were set up separately and their provenance can still be seen in the signatures . With the Bipontina inventory, a significant part of the book collection of the Wittelsbach Duke Karl II. August von Pfalz-Zweibrücken (ruled 1775–1795), brother of the first Bavarian King Max I Joseph , was taken over in 1807/1808 . His court library from Karlsberg Castle near Homburg , with more than 11,000 volumes currently displayed, is also an excellent collection thanks to the splendid bindings . Another complex, which can still be recognized in its entirety today, is the Joseph Heller Collection with the signature beginning “JH”. Joseph Heller (1798–1849) was an early one about the graphic arts as well as Lucas Cranach the Elder and Albrecht Dürer Honored art historian and collector and with his legacy laid the foundation for the graphic collection of the Bamberg State Library. This includes a comprehensive inventory of portraits and topographical sheets of the region (especially on Franconian Switzerland ), which is still maintained today , as well as a library of around 6,000 volumes that is tailored to this. The beginning of the signature “MvO” marks the estate of Emil Marschalk von Ostheim (1841–1903), a baron interested in genealogical , heraldic and local historical research. Among other things, it contains a collection of even remote small fonts relating to the revolution of 1848 and became known through the catalog published in 1912 . The more than 10,000 volumes that the royal Prussian personal physician and professor of medicine Johann Lukas Schönlein (1793–1864) from Bamberg gradually turned to the library have been incorporated into the general collection . One focus of these donations is on geographical works from around the world. At the end of the 19th century, the library was given the bibliophile collection of the Scot Thomas Dempster Gordon (born 1811 in Bath , died 1894 in Bamberg), formerly Captain of the Royal Navy . Among the more than 3,000 volumes that were also included in the entire inventory, works of world literature predominate in editions in the original language, including numerous rare first editions , many in gold-decorated bindings from England and France .

The last quarter of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century represent a period of consolidation in the history of the library. The publication of the still exemplary manuscript catalog by the two library directors Friedrich Leitschuh and Hans Fischer falls during this period . During the Second World War , the building was spared damage, and very few volumes were lost. In 1965, Fridolin Dreßler moved from the Jesuit college to the New Residence on Domberg. The growth of the library inventory made it necessary to purchase an external magazine in 2014 .

Library manager


Miniature from the Bamberg Apocalypse (Msc.Bibl.140, fol. 24v): the sixth trumpet of the Apocalypse, in the lower half of the picture three ominous riders ride on fire- and ash-spitting horses over corpses

The focus of the holdings of the Bamberg State Library is the collection of around 1,000 medieval manuscripts. Among these are those that Emperor Heinrich II. Gradually turned to the Bamberg diocese , which he founded, between 1007 and 1024 . They are a mirror of book illumination , which flourished around the turn of the millennium, and of early medieval science. Today's most famous miniature manuscript , the Bamberg Apocalypse (Msc.Bibl.140) from the scriptorium of the Reichenau monastery , was not donated by the emperor and his wife Kunigunde to the cathedral monastery , but to the collegiate monastery of St. Stephan in Bamberg. A more recent, hardly less well-known manuscript is the illuminated Bamberg Psalter that was created between 1230 and 1240 (Msc Bibl. 48). Its possible place of manufacture Bamberg is controversial in recent research; Regensburg is now being considered .

However, in the course of secularization in 1803, six outstanding early medieval manuscripts were not assigned to the Bamberg library, but to the then Munich Court Library (now the Bavarian State Library ). There are five manuscripts from the former Bamberg Cathedral Treasury:

as well as a manuscript from the Bamberg Cathedral Library:

Even if the earliest book printing - from around 1460 closely associated with Bamberg as the early printing location - is only represented in fragments in the incunabulum collection, the approx.3,550 incunabulae in the State Library contain a broad spectrum of all the well-known people and places who made the printing history of the 15th century. Century has to offer.

Among the special collections, the ongoing special collection on the multi-talented artist ETA Hoffmann , who stayed in Bamberg from 1808 to 1813, stands out.

Stock figures at a glance

Kaiser Heinrich Library

The aim of the Kaiser Heinrich Library digitization project is to make those manuscripts and manuscript fragments from the Bamberg State Library that can be proven or very likely to go back to Emperor Heinrich II accessible to a larger group of users and to research the individual manuscripts and the entire ensemble facilitate. In close cooperation with the Bavarian State Library in Munich and with financial support from the Oberfrankenstiftung , the Bamberg State Library makes these 165 manuscripts and fragments of manuscripts available digitally and free of charge on its website. Additional added value is created by enriching the digital copies with structural data, catalog descriptions and data from the research documentation.


The library mainly occupies the east wing of the Bamberg New Residence , which Johann Leonhard Dientzenhofer created 1697–1703 for the then Prince-Bishop Lothar Franz von Schönborn (ruled 1693–1729). The prince-bishop's administration was originally located in this wing of the building; Two archive rooms, which are still stocked with the original shelves and archive chests and can be viewed as part of special tours, go back to this function .

The so-called Dominican rooms, the name of which is derived from their furnishings with the bookshelves of the Bamberg Dominican monastery , which was dissolved during the secularization , also belong to the not generally accessible showrooms of the library . One of the Dominican rooms houses the 11,000-volume book collection of the Wittelsbach Duke Karl II. August von Pfalz-Zweibrücken (ruled 1775–1795), whose uniform Rococo covers are a prime example of a representative royal library of the 18th century.

The internal rooms also include the fourteen saints pavilion on the third floor, which served the prince-bishop as a library room and whose walls were decorated with pseudo-paintings in the Pompeian style in 1843, and the former wine cellar under the reading room, which has been used as a compact magazine since 1978 .

The entrance hall is generally accessible. Stained glass from the 16th and 17th centuries, which are valuable in terms of cultural history , and whose possession the library owes to one of its sponsors, the art historian and collector Joseph Heller , is presented there.

The reading room is accessible from the entrance hall . This consists of the original audience room and the former summer room of the prince-bishop, which Balthasar Neumann put together in 1731 by redesigning the partition wall to form a triple arch opening. The reading room offers a fascinating view of the rose garden .

Bamberg State Library, Garden or Scagliola Hall

During the irregular special exhibitions in the library, the star vault and the former garden room, also known as the Scagliola room, can be visited. The walls of the Scagliola Hall are adorned with stucco marble and blue-green decorative elements in Scagliola technique, the ceiling painting shows, among other things, Apollo on the sun chariot and the fall of Phaethon .


  • Karin Dengler-Schreiber : The manuscripts of the Historical Society Bamberg in the Bamberg State Library . 1985, urn : nbn: de: bvb: 22-dtl-0000025068 .
  • Franziska Ehrl, Eveliina Juntunen: Joseph Heller and the art of collecting. A legacy in the heart of Bamberg . 2020, urn : nbn: de: bvb: 22-heller2020-3 (interactive e-book, 15.1 MB).
  • Hans Fischer: Catalog of the library of Freiherr Emil Marschalk von Ostheim . 3 departments (1911-1912). ( Digitized section 1 , digitized section 2 and digitized section 3 ).
  • Heinrich Joachim Jaeck: Complete description of the Bamberg public library . ( Digitized 1st part , digitized 2nd part , digitized 3rd part, 1st department and digitalized 3rd part, 2nd department - 1831–1835).
  • Friedrich Leitschuh, Hans Fischer, Fridolin Dreßler: Catalog of the manuscripts of the Royal Library and Bamberg State Library . 4 volumes (1887–1966). ( Overview of the digital catalogs ).
  • Karl-Georg Pfändtner, Stefanie Westphal, Gude Suckale-Redlefsen: Catalog of the illuminated manuscripts of the Bamberg State Library, Volume 3: The manuscripts of the 13th and 14th centuries of the Bamberg State Library. With additions to manuscripts and fragments from the 10th to 12th centuries. Part 1: Texts . 2015, urn : nbn: de: bvb: 22-dtl-0000098185 .
  • Karl-Georg Pfändtner, Stefanie Westphal, Gude Suckale-Redlefsen: Catalog of the illuminated manuscripts of the Bamberg State Library, Volume 3: The manuscripts of the 13th and 14th centuries of the Bamberg State Library. With additions to manuscripts and fragments from the 10th to 12th centuries. Part 2: illustrations . 2015, urn : nbn: de: bvb: 22-dtl-0000098201 .
  • Bernhard Schemmel: The ETA Hoffmann Collection of the Bamberg State Library . In: Bavarian Library Forum . tape 6 , 1978, p. 167–187 (continued in: Mitteilungen der ETA Hoffmann-Gesellschaft 32 (1986), pp. 12–19 and in: ETA Hoffmann-Jahrbuch 2 (1994), pp. 7–16 and 10 (2002), pp. 10– 30).
  • Bernhard Schemmel: Exquisite writing images. To a collection of scribes in the Bamberg State Library . In: Festschrift for Otto Schäfer on his 75th birthday on June 29, 1987 . 1987, p. 131-161 .
  • Bernhard Schemmel: Bamberg State Library. Manuscripts, book printing around 1500 in Bamberg, ETA Hoffmann . 1990, urn : nbn: de: bvb: 22-dtl-0000025049 .
  • Wilhelm Schleicher, Bernhard Schemmel: Heinrich Joachim Jaeck and the Kgl. Bamberg library. Biographical sketch and exhibition . 1977.
  • Hans Striedl: The "Bamberg Siddur" (Msc.Add.43 of the Bamberg State Library) . 1993.
  • Gude Suckale-Redlefsen: Catalog of the illuminated manuscripts of the Bamberg State Library, Volume 1: The manuscripts of the 8th to 11th centuries of the Bamberg State Library. 1st part: texts . 2004, urn : nbn: de: bvb: 22-dtl-0000025236 .
  • Gude Suckale-Redlefsen: Catalog of the illuminated manuscripts of the Bamberg State Library, Volume 1: The manuscripts of the 8th to 11th centuries of the Bamberg State Library. 2nd part: illustrations . 2004, urn : nbn: de: bvb: 22-dtl-0000026503 .
  • Gude Suckale-Redlefsen: Catalog of the illuminated manuscripts of the Bamberg State Library, Volume 2: The manuscripts of the 12th century of the Bamberg State Library . 1995, urn : nbn: de: bvb: 22-dtl-0000025249 .
  • Werner Taegert, Bernhard Schemmel: The Carlsberg Library in the Bamberg State Library . In: Art treasures from Carlsberg Castle . 1989, p. 247-416 .
  • Werner Taegert: Counting, measuring, calculating. 1000 years of mathematics in manuscripts and early prints . 2008.

Web links

Commons : Bamberg State Library  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. State Library in Figures. Website of the Bamberg State Library. Accessed May 31, 2020.

Coordinates: 49 ° 53 '29.8 "  N , 10 ° 52' 55.6"  E