Giessen University Library

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Giessen University Library
Justus-liebig-universitaet universitaetsbibliothek20070805.jpg

founding 1612
Duration 3.7 million volumes
Library type University library
place to water
Visitor address Otto-Behaghel-Strasse 8
ISIL DE-26 (Giessen University Library)
management Peter Reuter

The Giessen University Library is a central facility of the Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU). As a single-layer library system with 112 permanent employees, it is intended to ensure the supply of literature to over 36,000 active users (as of 2018) and offers supporting services. The main location of the university library on Campus Philosophikum I is the central and humanities library. With over 2 million volumes, it is the largest library location at the Justus Liebig University. Together with four branch libraries, seven specialist libraries and in some cases several smaller locations, it coordinates the supply of literature to the university. Around 1,800 reading and computer workstations are available throughout the library system.


The library was founded by the 19th century

After Landgrave Ludwig V of Hessen-Darmstadt founded a high school in Gießen in 1607, from which the later Justus Liebig University emerged, in 1612 he acquired 1,000 works in around 1,200 volumes for the university in Strasbourg, which marked the beginning of the university library marked. The volumes were housed in an area of ​​the newly built college building on Brandplatz. In the course of the Marburg inheritance dispute between Wilhelm V of Kassel and Georg II of Darmstadt and the suspension of the University of Giessen, they were temporarily deposited in the Marburg Barefoot Monastery between 1625 and 1650 . In the following years, the holdings of the library u. a. can be expanded through valuable gifts and legacies. In particular, the manuscripts and incunabula of the brothers and sisters in Butzbach, which were transferred to the library in 1771, as well as the private libraries bequeathed to the university by Johann Heinrich May the Elder, should be mentioned. J. (1732: 3,300 volumes and coin collection), Christoph Ludwig Koch (1756: 2,622 volumes) and Renatus Karl von Senckenberg , (1800: 6,000 volumes, mainly of legal and historical literature, over 900 manuscripts and a collection of documents), which according to the hereditary requirements are separate had to be set up. In the 1820s, the university library was able to move into the rooms of a former barracks in Liebigstrasse.

In the course of the 19th century, the library developed into a utility library. Under Johann Valentin Adrian , who was the first librarian in Giessen between 1830 and 1864, the library was groundbreaking restructured. In 1837 he succeeded in uniting the so-called “old” university library with the May'schen, Koch'schen and Senckenberg library under the name of the United University and Senckenberg Library and merging it into a catalog system. In addition, he achieved an increase in the regular budget and in 1837 the first institutionally organized loan system in Hesse was started between Gießen and the Darmstadt court library . In 1845 the library contained around 100,000 volumes and was open every weekday between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

In 1880, due to a lack of space, the library again moved into a college building, which had been built on Brandplatz in 1838/39 and had previously housed the university.

The library in the 20th century

Library building 1904–1944 (contemporary postcard)

The library finally received its first own new building in 1904, which was also structurally designed for the functional needs of the library. In 1942, the library housed 522,543 volumes and 302,800 dissertations. The Art Nouveau building, which was centrally located on the corner of Bismarckstrasse and Keplerstrasse, burned down almost completely after an Allied bombing raid on December 11, 1944. Over 90% of the stocks were lost. The valuable old stocks have been preserved as they had been relocated during the war. Between 1945 and 1956 a provisional library operation took place in the basement and ground floor of the administration wing, consisting of a makeshift book store and a bookbindery. In 1959, a new building was inaugurated on Bismarckstrasse, the architecture of which is optically based on the building of the UN headquarters in New York. The last move of the university library to a new building took place in 1983, which is located on the philosophical campus. In the main building of the library there are two works of art from the Giessen Art Trail .

The library in the 21st century

In accordance with the Hessian Higher Education Act of July 31, 2000, which specifies the functional single-layer structure as an organizational structure, the Giessen University Library has been a single-layer library system since 2002, made up of several locations:

  • The university library is the central and humanities main library. It houses over 2 million volumes in open access and magazine layout and around 587 workstations. Except for public holidays, it is open Monday to Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
  • The branch library in Philosophikum II, as a specialist library for educational science, theology, political science, sociology, applied theater studies, musicology, art education and the didactics of natural and social sciences, houses 290,000 volumes in open access and offers 116 reading spaces. With the exception of public holidays, it is open Monday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • The Law and Economics branch library is the specialist library for law and economics and houses 248,000 volumes and 304 workstations. open from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • The branch library of natural and life sciences (ZNL) (former name: Branch Library in Chemikum (ZiC) / Ludwig Schunk Library) is the specialist library for human, veterinary and dental medicine, chemistry, physics and nutritional science. It comprises 137,000 volumes and 185 reading spaces. With the exception of public holidays, it is open Monday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • The branch library in the armory (armory library) is the specialist library for geography, economic and social sciences in agriculture and household science and houses 120,000 volumes and 51 workplaces. With the exception of public holidays, it is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • There are currently seven smaller decentralized specialist libraries: English studies, German studies, history and cultural studies, mathematics and computer science, medicine, Romance studies, veterinary medicine.

Currently (2020) an extension is being prepared according to the designs of the Max Dudler architectural office .


Individual evidence

  2. Library regulations of November 8, 1837: § 44: “The professors of the university, which books from the grand heart. If you wish to borrow the Hofbibliothek zu Darmstadt, please inform the librarian of the title of the library [...], who must ensure that it is sent back at the University's expense. The time of the return is determined by the chief librarian der Grossherz. Court library. As soon as he should request the return delivery earlier, the borrowed must be handed over immediately. "
  3. ^ Petzholdt, Julius: Address book of German libraries. Second, quite improved edition. Dresden 1846, pp. 61-62.