Heidelberg University Library

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Heidelberg University Library
Logo of the Heidelberg University Library

founding 1386
Duration 6.2 million volumes in total (3.2 million volumes in the UB)
Library type University library
place Heidelberg
management Veit Probst
Website http://www.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/
Heidelberg University Library, main building Old Town

The Heidelberg University Library is the central library in the library system of the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg . As a scientific universal library , its task is to provide comprehensive literature and information to members of the University of Heidelberg ( Baden-Württemberg ). At the same time, it provides literature and information for other universities in Heidelberg ( University of Education , University of Jewish Studies ) and for the residents of the city and the region. She participates in German and international interlibrary loan.


The university library seen from S / W, with a view of the entrance to the underground car park in Sandgasse and the portal of the library, the main entrance, opposite the Peterskirche
Heidelberg University Library, inner courtyard, top floor
University library, the east facade along Grabengasse
The Heidelberg University Library from a bird's eye view, also grants a view of the Old University and St. Peter's Church
Heidelberg University Library, triplex reading room

The Heidelberg University Library is the oldest university library in Germany. It dates back to the year Heidelberg University was founded in 1386. As early as the late 14th and early 15th centuries, three libraries were built in the area of ​​the university: the book collection of the artist faculty , that of the higher faculties and that of the collegiate church ( Heiliggeistkirche ). The foundation of the faculty libraries was made up almost exclusively of the bequests of professors . The library of the collegiate church was also available for scientific studies. It owes its decisive expansion to Elector Ottheinrich (1556–1559). He had the books placed in the castle brought to the Heiliggeistkirche and in his will determined the final unification of the holdings at this location. In doing so, he laid the foundation stone for the Bibliotheca Palatina , which - supplemented by Ulrich Fugger's extensive library - achieved world fame within a few decades.

After Tilly conquered Heidelberg in September 1622 during the Thirty Years' War , the victorious Duke Maximilian I of Bavaria gave the Bibliotheca Palatina to Pope Gregory XV . More than 3,500 manuscripts and approximately 13,000 printed matter were brought to the Vatican in Rome. The resurgence of the university library began with the reorganization of the university at the beginning of the 19th century. The allocation of libraries to secularized monasteries (Salem and Petershausen) laid the foundation for this. Efforts to reclaim the Bibliotheca Palatina led to a partial success in 1816: 847 German manuscripts from the Vatican and some Latin and Greek works that had meanwhile been delivered to Paris came back to Heidelberg. 1888 a swap also returned the roundabout way in the under Royal Library in Paris came Manesse back to Heidelberg.

Main building in the old town

At the end of the 19th century, the library was for the first time under the direction of a professional librarian : Karl Zangemeister (1837–1902). The construction of the new library began during his tenure. The building was opened in 1905 and is used to this day. The architect was the Karlsruhe chief building director Joseph Durm (1837–1919). The figurative and ornamental work on the facades was carried out by the Karlsruhe sculptors Hermann Volz (1847–1941) and Hermann Binz (1876–1946) with the participation of Conrad Keller from Wiesloch and other sculptors. The large, four-winged complex surrounding an open inner courtyard was provided with richly structured facades made of sandstone . Due to the large amount of space required, Durm divided the system into two separate functional units , the storage area with relatively simple facades and the architecturally richly designed, castle-like administration wing . With its renaissance-like decoration, this takes up the fragmented nature of Heidelberg's old town architecture. The mighty round corner tower at the southeast corner, once covered with a copper helmet, is a reference to the castle above the city .

The building is characterized by the stylistic pluralism of late historicism . Elements of the German and French Renaissance are associated with the formal language of Art Nouveau . These include a depiction of Prometheus with the eagle to the left of the main entrance and a veiled virgin to the right of it. The Palatinate lion with the inscription University Library is emblazoned above the wrought-iron door . The central gable of the main facade is adorned with a head sculpture by Pallas Athene , on the gable of the west facade there is a representation of the world spirit , above whose main foliage, a globe and nine stars are arranged.

In May 1971 the building was listed as a historical monument .

New buildings and extensions

A branch of the university library in Neuenheimer Feld has been supplying the natural science and medical institutes there since 1978 . It was expanded in the 1990s. In 1988 the main old town library was partially renovated. In 1991, the depth magazine for around 2 million books was completed under the courtyard of the New University.

Since 2009, the construction project to expand the university library to the north has been carried out in the adjacent building complex, the so-called triplex building. The construction work was completed in April 2015. The new triplex reading room was opened in July 2015.

Senior librarians and (since 1912) directors of the Heidelberg University Library

Library system

With the university library (main library in the old town and branch in Neuenheimer Feld ) and the decentralized libraries, the Heidelberg library system comprises a total of 45 libraries and around 179 staff. The system is structured according to the principle of functional single-layeredness. The coordination and organization of the decentralized libraries lies with the university library as the central library. The total inventory of the library system comprises around 6.2 million media; of which approx. 6,900 continuously kept printed newspapers and magazines, approx. 116,000 full-text e-journals , approx. 3,300 databases and 798,600 e-books in the university network (figures from 2017).

Existence and use

The Heidelberg University Library has a holdings of 3.2 million media, including approx. 980,000 volumes of old printed material published up to 1900, around 6,800 manuscripts and over 490,000 non-book materials. Annual access is around 40,000 media. In 2017, a total of around 35,000 active users made over 1.25 million loans from the holdings of the Heidelberg University Library. The university library provides around 1,100 reading and workplaces in the main library in the old town and around 320 reading and workplaces in the branch in Neuenheimer Feld; including many computer workstations and research stations equipped with PCs. There is extensive WiFi available.

Manuscripts, old prints and rarities

Codex Manesse, Konrad von Altstetten

Heidelberg University Library has a rare collection with 6,800 manuscripts , 1,800 incunabula , 110,500 autographs and a collection of old maps, graphic sheets, drawings and photographs. The origins of the Bibliotheca Palatina with manuscripts from the 9th to 17th centuries Century go back to the year the university was founded in 1386. The Codex Manesse (Cod. Pal. Germ. 848) stands out among the manuscripts . The Great Heidelberg Song Manuscript was created between 1300 and 1340 in Zurich and is the most extensive collection of Middle High German song and saying poetry . On 426 sheets of parchment the codex contains almost 6,000 stanzas by 140 poets. A full-page miniature is dedicated to 137 singers .

The predominantly Latin manuscripts of the 10th-18th centuries are still in the collection. Century from the monastery libraries Salem and Petershausen , the so-called Heidelberg manuscripts (mainly modern manuscripts as well as a large number of autographs and legacies ), manuscripts from the legacy of the London bookseller Nikolaus Trübner (Trübner collection) as well as documents, incunabula and old prints. The graphic collection contains views and portraits in drawings, woodcuts, copper and steel engravings, etchings and photographs.

The special collections are made accessible through detailed descriptions in special catalogs. In addition, many manuscripts, incunabula and rarities are available in digitized form on the Internet.

Electronic library

At lunchtime in front of the university library

The electronic library comprises over 116,000 full-text e-journals, approx. 3,300 databases and 800,000 e-books . A large part of the around 6.2 million media in the library system is recorded in the HEIDI online catalog. HEIDI is based on the open source framework Lucene and is specially tailored to the requirements of a library catalog .

The Heidelberg University Library operates a digitization center. Parts of the historical inventory are digitized on specially made book tables ( Graz book table ). All 848 German-language Palatina manuscripts and all 2,030 Latin Palatina manuscripts in the Bibliotheca Palatina are available as online digital copies on the Internet. The digitization of the German and Latin codes of the Bibliotheca Palatina was funded by the Manfred Lautenschläger Foundation . A branch of the Heidelberg digitization center is located in Rome, Vatican. The Heidelberg University Library and the Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana are working together on the digitization of the entire Bibliotheca Palatina. One sub-project was the virtual reconstruction of the Lorsch monastery library.

The Heidelberg document server heiDOK is an open access platform that offers members of the university and the college of education the opportunity to publish free of charge on the web. The multimedia archive, which is based on the EPrints system , is DINI certified. On the basis of the Open Journal Systems software, Heidelberg University employees can also create and manage e-journals. With HeidICON, the university library provides a central image database for the University of Heidelberg. It serves as a "virtual slide library " for the university's institutes and facilities. The HeiBIB university bibliography lists the scientific publications of the members of Heidelberg University as the central publication record .

Specialized information services

Staircase of the university library

As part of the cooperative system of supraregional literature and information supply funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) , the Heidelberg University Library looks after the specialist information services (FID) Egyptology , Classical Archeology , European Art History up to 1945 and General Art Studies as well as South Asia . The library's task is to collect the German and foreign academic literature as completely as possible for the departments it is responsible for, to make it accessible and to make it available via interlibrary loan.

The aim of the DFG-funded specialist information services is to provide evidence of scientific specialist information without media discontinuity - and, if possible, direct access to it. One element is the meta search using specialist catalogs and databases. The specialist information guides open up professionally relevant and high quality internet sources. Historical collections are gradually being digitized and freely offered via the specialist portals. All three virtual specialist libraries offer specialist publication platforms.

The portal of the university library, the two monumental sculptures to the right and left of the columns, which optically frame the two wrought-iron door wings, are the work of the sculptor Conrad Keller , they depict Prometheus with the eagle tied to the left column and wisdom leaning against the right column , embodied in a veiled virgin figure, teaching the boy resting at her feet


Permanent exhibition:

  • Scriptorium: The working techniques in medieval scriptoriums (writing rooms), the extraction of dyes and binding agents, the writing implements used and the manufacture of parchment are shown in clearly designed showcases and display boards.

Current exhibition:

"Pure painting" between impressionism and abstraction. An exhibition on the 100th anniversary of death '


  • Joseph Durm : The new university library in Heidelberg . In: Zeitschrift für Bauwesen 62, 1912, pp. 533-544. (Digitized version of the tape : urn : nbn: de: kobv: 109-opus-91740 , plus images in the picture atlas urn : nbn: de: kobv: 109-opus-91782 ).
  • Dagmar Drüll, Heidelberger Gelehrtenlexikon 1803-1932, Berlin / Heidelberg 1986.
  • Hildegard Müller: The Heidelberg University Library in the Third Reich . In: Ingo Toussaint (ed.): The university libraries Heidelberg, Jena and Cologne under National Socialism . Saur, Munich 1989. (Contributions to library theory and library history, 3) pp. 11–89. ISBN 3-598-10858-3 .
  • From the vaults of the oldest German university library. Building history of the library, Heidelberg in old city views, facsimiles, original manuscripts and prints. An exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Durm library building in Plöck in connection with the 800th anniversary of the city of Heidelberg. Booklet accompanying the exhibition from November 7th, 1995 to August 31st, 1996 . Heidelberg 1995. (Heidelberger Bibliotheksschriften, 51) ISBN 3-927705-20-9 .
  • Maria Effinger, Karin Zimmermann. Heidelberg University Library , 32 pages, 2009, ISBN 978-3-89870-602-5
Exhibition catalogs
  • Learn to draw! Techniques between art and science 1525–1925 Maria Heilmann / Nino Nanobashvili / Ulrich Pfisterer / Tobias Teutenberg (eds.) Passau: Dietmar Klinger Verlag 2015 ISBN 978-3-86328-134-2 .
  • “With beautiful figures” - book art in the German south-west . An exhibition by the Heidelberg University Library and the Württemberg State Library in Stuttgart, edited by Maria Effinger and Kerstin Losert. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2014 (publications of the Heidelberg University Library, Volume 15) ISBN 978-3-8253-6310-9 .
  • It's been a wonderful time that I'm living now '- The Heidelberg scholar Marie Luise Gothein (1863–1931) . Edited by Maria Effinger in collaboration with Karin Seeber. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2014 (publications of the Heidelberg University Library, Volume 14) ISBN 978-3-8253-6307-9 .
  • Here death rejoices in helping life. Anatomy in Heidelberg yesterday and today. Edited by Maria Effinger and Joachim Kirsch with the collaboration of Sara Doll, Wolfgang U. Eckart, Margit Krenn, Maike Rotzoll and Karin Zimmermann. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2013 (publications of the Heidelberg University Library, Volume 13) ISBN 978-3-82536-135-8 .
  • Images of gods and idolaters in the early modern age - Europe's view of foreign religions Edited by Maria Effinger, Cornelia Logemann and Ulrich Pfisterer with the assistance of Margit Krenn Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2012 (Writings of the Heidelberg University Library, Volume 12) ISBN 978-3-8253 -5966-9 .
  • Prometheus tied up at the entrance to the university library
    The Codex Manesse and the discovery of love . Edited by Maria Effinger, Carla Meyer and Christian Schneider with the collaboration of Andrea Briechle, Margit Krenn and Karin Zimmermann. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2010 (publications of the Heidelberg University Library, Volume 11) ISBN 978-3-8253-5826-6 .
  • Heavenly things in books. Astronomical writings and instruments from six centuries . Edited by Maria Effinger and Joachim Wambsganß. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2009 (publications of the Heidelberg University Library, Volume 10) ISBN 978-3-8253-5681-1 .
  • Lions, lovage and lying stones: illustrated nature books since Konrad von Megenberg . Edited by Maria Effinger and Karin Zimmermann with the assistance of Margit Krenn. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2009 (publications of the Heidelberg University Library, Volume 9) ISBN 978-3-8253-5591-3 .
  • Rituals and the order of the world : Representations from Heidelberg manuscripts and prints from the 12th to 18th centuries Ed. By Carla Meyer, Gerald Schwedler and Karin Zimmermann, Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2008 (Writings from the Heidelberg University Library, Volume 8) ISBN 978- 3-8253-5529-6 .
  • K : Supplement to the Franz Kafka exhibition 1883–2008 in the Heidelberg University Library. Edited by Roland Reuss a. Peter Staengle, Heidelberg, Ubstadt-Weiher, Basel: Verlag Regionalkultur, 2008 ISBN 978-3-89735-548-4
  • A boy on a fast horse : the romanticism in Heidelberg. Edit v. Armin Schlechter with the assistance of Martina Rebmann, Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2006 (publications of the Heidelberg University Library, Volume 7) ISBN 3-8253-5202-1 .
  • The fine art of truckerey . Selected incunabula from the Heidelberg University Library. Edit v. Armin Schlechter, Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2005 (publications of the Heidelberg University Library, Volume 6) ISBN 3-8253-5059-2 .
  • From Lake Constance to the Neckar . Book treasures from the library of the Cistercian monastery Salem in the Heidelberg University Library. Articles by Ulrich Knapp / Bernd Konrad, arr. by Armin Schlechter, Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2003 (publications of the Heidelberg University Library, Volume 5) ISBN 3-8253-1547-9 .
  • The virgin, wrapped in a tunic, shares her knowledge with the naked youth at her feet.  It symbolizes the truth that reveals itself to the researcher
    Virgin with boys at the entrance to the university library
    From Ottheinrich to Carl Theodor . Magnificent bindings from three centuries. Edited by Armin Schlechter / Matthias Miller / Karin Zimmermann, Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2003 (publications of the Heidelberg University Library, Volume 4) ISBN 3-8253-1525-8 .
  • Treasures of Collected History . Heidelberg and the Palatinate in certificates from the university library. Edited by Armin Schlechter. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 1999 (publications of the Heidelberg University Library, Volume 1) ISBN 3-8253-0862-6 .
  • Codex Manesse. Catalog for the exhibition from June 12 to October 4, 1988 . Edited by Elmar Mittler and Wilfried Werner. Heidelberg 1988 (Heidelberger Bibliotheksschriften 30) ISBN 978-3-925835-20-9 .
  • Bibliotheca Palatina. Catalog for the exhibition from July 8 to November 2, 1986, Heiliggeistkirche Heidelberg . Edited by Elmar Mittler. Heidelberg 1986 (Heidelberger Bibliotheksschriften 24) ISBN 978-3-921524-88-6 .

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. http://www.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/allg/profil/Zahlenotal.html
  2. Maria Effinger, Karin Zimmermann. Heidelberg University Library , 2009, ISBN 978-3-89870-602-5 , p. 7.
  3. Maria Effinger, Karin Zimmermann. Heidelberg University Library , 2009, ISBN 978-3-89870-602-5 , p. 8 f.
  4. Maria Effinger, Karin Zimmermann. Heidelberg University Library , 2009, ISBN 978-3-89870-602-5 , p. 16
  5. The information can be updated on the Heidelberg University Library website . Last accessed on March 16, 2017.
  6. Information about the exhibition

Coordinates: 49 ° 24 ′ 35 ″  N , 8 ° 42 ′ 21 ″  E