Thuringian University and State Library

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Thuringian University and State Library
ThULB 2011.jpg

ThULB in April 2011

founding 1549
Duration 4.01 million (2013)
Library type University and State Library
place Jena coordinates: 50 ° 55 ′ 49.6 ″  N , 11 ° 35 ′ 16 ″  EWorld icon
ISIL DE-27 (Thuringian University and State Library)
management Michael Loerzer

The Thuringian University and State Library ( ThULB for short ) is the central university library of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena .

As a scientific universal library, its task is to supply literature to the University of Jena and the city itself. The ThULB is the largest library in Thuringia and, as a state library, takes on more extensive bibliographic tasks such as securing historical holdings and collecting specimen copies . As a research library, it maintains numerous relationships with other institutions.

The director of the library has been Michael Lörzer, who previously temporarily headed ThULB, since May 1, 2020. In his work he is subordinate to the President of the University.


ThULB at the Fürstengraben in Jena
Entrance area of ​​the ThULB
ThULB entrance area from inside
Economics branch library

From the beginning to the 19th century

The Thuringian University and State Library emerged from the library collection Bibliotheca Electoralis of the Saxon Elector Friedrich the Wise and his successors. This library was originally used by the Wittenberg University and came to Jena via Weimar in 1549 , as it was counted as the personal property of Elector Johann Friedrich and could be carried by him when the spa district around Wittenberg was lost.

In the course of the 17th century the library benefited from numerous increases in holdings, including many medieval incunabula from scholarly libraries . The Bibliotheca Bosiana was also acquired in the last third of the century . This scholarly library of the polyhistorian Johann Andreas Bose , who was appointed professor of history at the Salana in 1656, contained important philological and historical works and 47, in some cases extremely valuable, manuscripts, for example the 12th-century copy of Otto von Freising's world chronicle , a Latin gospel book (around 850) and a Central German martyrology from the 13th century. Since then it has been one of the largest libraries in Germany.

In 1817, Goethe, as the minister responsible, was given the task of reviving the “stagnant nature” of the library in Jena. He brought about a comprehensive conversion to an academic utility library in the spirit of the Enlightenment. Towards the end of the century, Carl Zeiss and Ernst Abbe established the from now on characteristic link between industry and university. In 1858 the library was given a central new building in the style of the Italian early Renaissance , which was destroyed in the Second World War.

20th century

The last major acquisition during the Empire in 1917/19 was the library of the Berlin economist Gustav von Schmoller as a step towards the "further development of the subject of economics, commercial science and social policy".

In 1935 the library received the right to deposit copies for Thuringia. At the same time, the development of a Thuringian central catalog began. The years of National Socialism were overshadowed by financial and political restrictions on acquisitions, segregation and war preparations. In 1942 the library had a holdings of 429,648 volumes, 347,650 small letters, 49 linear meters of incunabula and 2300 manuscripts. With great effort, the library staff succeeded in moving the most valuable collections to places less endangered by air raids. The medieval manuscripts, incunabula and other cymelia survived the air raids on Jena in spring 1945 unscathed in bank vaults; over 80,000 volumes stored outside of Jena were also preserved.

The library building was completely destroyed down to the basement in an American bombing raid on February 9, 1945. The library director Prof. Theodor Lockemann and 11 of his employees died under the rubble. The reading room inventory, catalogs and over 10,000 volumes were lost.

After the Second World War, the library opened its lending facility on August 1, 1945 under makeshift conditions. In the winter of 1945/46, the library was given a small hotel on the Fürstengraben opposite the main university building as its administrative headquarters. With the destruction of its building, a difficult phase began for the library that lasted more than five decades, characterized by decentralized temporary arrangements and numerous relocations. The right to deposit copies came to the Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar in 1954 . Despite the numerous segregation of National Socialist literature, the library's holdings grew to 635,000 volumes by 1950. The central catalog , which was interrupted by the war, was continued in Jena in 1955.

The legal deposit was returned to Jena in 1983. At the same time, the Jena library took on the editing of the Thuringia bibliography, which has been published since 1972. The concept of a unified socialist education system also included the library. In the seventies, on central instruction, the conversion to a single-layer library system was started, in which the use of EDP was already taken into account. The model was designed so flexibly that in 1990, after a few modifications, computer-aided work could be started without delay at the originally intended deployment points.

Since 1990

In 1991 the library in Jena became the Thuringian University and State Library (ThULB). Substantial gaps in the inventory were closed by additional acquisition funds from the federal and state governments; between 1990 and 1997 alone, 750,000 existing units were acquired. During this time an extensive restructuring process took place, the single-layer system from GDR times was taken over and completed with the help of modern IT. At the end of 1997 the stock was 3.61 million units. After a competition in 1995, a new, large main library building was created in 1996 by the Stuttgart architects' partnership Heckmann. Kristel. Built young . The new building, which also houses the humanities branch library with administration wing, was opened in December 2001.

From 1998 to 2009, ThULB was responsible for the special collection areas Romanian Philology and Folklore as well as Moldavian, Albanian Philology and Folklore and the regional focus on New Greece as part of the program for the supraregional literature supply of the DFG . Since 2012 the library has been working on a project to digitize rare Jena prints from the 17th century.


Existence and use

The Jena song manuscript from 1330/50
Flemish parchment drawing from the 15th century

The Thuringian University and State Library has a stock of around 3.96 million units and around 4,419 current journals. In addition to the book inventory of 3.54 million (including approx. 641,000 old prints up to the end of the 19th century), ThULB has 5,988 manuscripts , 99 bequests , 38,473 other printed works along with 342,736 other non-electronic media (as of 2011). In 2011, 46,628 active users made 566,581 loans. The library had 1.67 million visitors that year.

The holdings are made available at a total of 18 locations, divided into the four large sub-libraries of humanities, medicine, natural sciences as well as law, economics and social sciences. These are partly subdivided into further locations. The total usable area is 24,640 m². The library has 1,727 user workstations, including 350 computer workstations. The annual budget is around € 13.39 million.

Historical collections

The ThULB's most valuable holdings are around 3,400 manuscripts (around a tenth of it medieval), 130 bequests , 2,500 autographs , 1,200 incunabula and over 640,000 historical printed works. Particularly noteworthy are:

  • Bibliotheca Electoralis (Electoral Library): With the “Bibliotheca Electoralis”, the library holds one of the most important collections of the Reformation period. It includes around 1,500 prints from the 15th and 16th centuries. Century as well as about 150 medieval manuscripts and forms the original inventory of the ThULB. Elector Friedrich the Wise began building this library in Wittenberg around 1500 , which initially served as the electoral palace library for courtly representation. In 1512 Georg Spalatin was commissioned to systematically expand it as the study library of the Wittenberg University , whereupon it developed into a store of knowledge for humanism and the reformers. Johann the Steadfast and Johann Friedrich I let them increase further. After the defeat of the Schmalkaldic League in 1547, the Wittenberg surrender regulated that the Ernestines were allowed to keep their movable goods, including the Bibliotheca Electoralis. After a stopover in Weimar, she came to the dissolved Dominican monastery of St. Pauli in Jena in 1549. The collection was used by the protagonists of the Reformation, including Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon , whose annotations can be found in the inventory. Her most valuable manuscripts are the Jenaer Liederhandschrift (Ms. El. F. 101; around 1330), a Quedlinburg Gospel Book (Ms. El. F. 3; around 1000), the Jena Martyrology (Ms. Bos. Q. 3; around 1275 ), the festival evangelist and festival epistolar Frederick the Wise (Ms. El. f. 1–2; 1507), 13 magnificently illuminated French codices of the 14th and 15th centuries. (Ms. El. F. 87 from the library of Jean de Berry ) and eleven large choir books from the workshop of Petrus Alamire (early 16th century). From 2007 to 2012, the ThULB ran a project for the scientific processing, digitization and presentation of the "Electoralis" within the framework of the Universal Multimedia Electronic Library of Jena (UrMEL). The "Electoralis" was converted into a modern, digital access system.
  • 35 manuscripts and three prints from the previous possession of Georg Rörer , one of Martin Luther's closest companions : Copies and transcripts of works and statements by Luther and other reformers as well as two hand copies of the Old and New Testament in German (Ms. App. 24-25; Wittenberg 1539/40) with Luther's and Rörer's corrections for the 1541 edition. Rörer's note in Ms. App. 25 is possibly the earliest source of the Wittenberg theses posting ( ).
  • Materials on the history of the University of Jena, v. a. the deed of foundation from 1557 signed by Ferdinand I. , the first statutes, the matriculation and student albums, approx. 160 family books and approx. 10,000 printed university programs.
  • Copy of the 36-line Bible (B 36) from the previous possession of Johann Andreas Danz , four copies of Hartmann Schedel's World Chronicle , parchment copy of Johann Friedrich I's Luther Bible from 1541.

Branch libraries

  • Main library building with the humanities branch library
  • Law, economics and social sciences branch library
  • Science branch library
    • Beutenberg
    • chemistry
    • Herbarium Haussknecht (special botany)
    • Physics (with astronomy / university observatory)
  • Medical branch library
    • Clinical medicine
    • psychiatry
    • Sports science
    • Preclinical medicine, law and dentistry


  • Sabine Wefers: Conceptual for the State Library in the Information Age, in: Erland Kolding Nielson, Klaus G. Saur, Klaus Ceynowa (eds.): The innovative library , Munich 2005, pp. 261–270, ISBN 3-598-11731-0

Web links

Commons : Thuringian University and State Library  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Archived copy ( memento of the original from September 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. ThULB Jena - library management, secretariat, training. Retrieved January 26, 2019 .
  3. a b Clio Online, description ThULB
  4. Friedrich Schiller University Jena // Thuringian University and State Library (ThULB)