Bamberg State Library

Bamberg State Library in the New Residence on Cathedral Square

The Bamberg State Library is an academic library with a humanities focus in the Upper Franconian town of Bamberg; it is now housed in the premises of the New Residence on Cathedral Square. Support of the library is the Free State of Bavaria.


The Bamberg State Library is a general library with a humanities focus. Its purpose is to provide literature of the city and region and is free of charge each open for scientific purposes, professional work and personal training. Your historically grown stocks they continuously supplemented by new acquisitions from all subject areas. Main collections of these were the interdisciplinary literature (above ) Frankish history and geography, art history, as well as the manuscripts and library science.

In the areas of acquisition, cataloging and use it cooperates closely with the University Library Bamberg. Its regional responsibilities include collecting documentary material by and about individuals who are connected by birth or interaction with the region, and the opening up of this literature in a Regionalbibliografie ( monographic base Bibliography on the History of the City and Bishopric of Bamberg from 1945 to 1975, from 1976 to 1995 in four five-year volumes than writings on the history of the city and bishopric of Bamberg, and the peripheral areas since 1996 extended to the whole of upper Franconia and as part of the database Bavarian bibliography). In addition, it is legal deposit library for Upper Franconia, ie it receives from the Bavarian State Library in Munich, one of the two copies of the deliverable there appeared in Upper Franconia publications for permanent storage.

It also keeps the libraries of the Historical Society of Bamberg, the Natural History Society of Bamberg, the Kunstverein Bamberg, the E. T. A. Hoffmann Company and the Bamberg group of francs Federal.

Your reputation as a research library of international stature owes the Bamberg State Library held by the former abbeys and monasteries of the Bishopric of Bamberg and the old University of Bamberg. Two of her Reichenauer magnificent manuscripts of the first millennium of the former Bamberg Cathedral in 2003 in the list of world cultural heritage list ( Memory of the World ) of UNESCO was added: the Bamberg Apocalypse ( Msc.Bibl.140 ) and the commentary on the Song of Songs to the Proverbs of Solomon and the book of Daniel ( Msc.Bibl.22 ). 2013, the 795 written Lorsch pharmacopoeia ( Msc.Med.1 ) from the former Cathedral Library was declared a world heritage documents.

Inventory figures

  • Approximately 515,000 units in total media
  • Some 80,000 graphics and photo sheets
  • Approximately 3,500 incunabula ( early printed books )
  • 6,200 manuscripts and autographs total
  • Approximately 1,000 manuscripts of the Middle Ages
  • 1,700 current periodicals


The roots of the Bamberg State Library lie in the secularization of 1802/1803, when the former Bishopric of Bamberg belonging Monasteries dissolved and the Bamberg University were canceled. The libraries of these institutions are founded in 1803 ushered in the Electoral library, with which the name is changed with the political situation: in 1806 it was named the Royal Library, State Library from 1918, before it was finally renamed in 1966 in Bamberg State Library.

The first home of the library lay in the middle of the island town of Bamberg: It was the house of the Jesuit colleges that had served since 1648 as the seat of Academia Ottoniana (from 1773 Universitas Ottoniano - Fridericiana ). First library director was the former Cistercian monks from the Klosterlangheim Heinrich Joachim Jaeck (1777-1847), who succeeded to form from the flocked together masses of books a usable library.

Because the library initially had no acquisitions budget, they had to rely on revenue from sales and donations duplicates to expand their holdings. Most of the major legacies of the 19th century were placed separately and can still recognize their provenance in the signatures. With the Bipontina inventory is an essential part of the collection of books wittelsbacher Duke Charles was 1807/1808 II Augustus of Palatinate -Zweibrücken (reigned 1775-1795 ), the brother of the first Bavarian King Max I Joseph assumed. His court library of the castle Karlberg at Homburg is today with more than 11,000 closed established an excellent volumes by the magnificent bindings inventory. Risen contrast, in the general collection are the some 10,000 volumes of the native of Bamberg, royal Prussian court physician and professor of medicine Johann Lukas Schönlein ( 1793-1864 ). End of the 19th century gave the bibliophile bulkheads and former Captain of the Royal Navy Thomas Dempster Gordon (born 1811 in Bath, died in 1894 in Bamberg ) of the library bequeathed his valuable collection of more than 3,000 volumes, mostly quality fully illustrated works of world literature. There are mainly original linguistic Single spanning three centuries, including many rare first editions, often in gilded bindings from England and France. Another patron of the 19th century is Joseph Heller ( 1798-1849 ), an early to the graphic arts as well as by Lucas Cranach the Elder. and Albrecht Dürer deserved art historian and collector. He lay with his donation to the foundation for the graphic collection (now about 80,000 leaves), under which there is a comprehensive, yet now discontinued inventory of portraits and topographical sheets of the region. The estate of Emil Marschalks Ostheims (1841-1903), one interested in genealogy, heraldic and local history research baron, involves including a collection of remote and small fonts to the revolution of 1848; he is subject indexed by a printed catalog.

The last quarter of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century are a period of consolidation in the history of the library dar. In this time, the publication of the still exemplary manuscript catalog drops through the two library director Friedrich guide shoe ( 1874-1898 ) and Hans Fischer ( 1898-1924 ). In 1965 took place under Fridolin Dressler (Director 1958-1967 ) the removal from the Jesuit College in the New Residence on Cathedral Hill.

The holdings

The focus of the holdings of the Bamberg State Library is the collection of medieval manuscripts. However, in 1803 six most outstanding pieces from the collection of the former Bishopric were (now the Bavarian State Library ) not transferred into Bamberger library, but in the former Imperial Library of Munich, where they are kept to this day. Specifically, it is the pericope book, Book of the Gospels and the Sacramentary of Emperor Henry II, a Carolingian Gospel Book to the Gospel Book of Emperor Otto III. and to the so-called Heliand. But are also remaining in Bamberg around 1,000 manuscripts of the Middle Ages qualitatively and quantitatively of international standing. These especially those manuscripts that Emperor Henry II donated generously to the cathedral chapter in the founding of the Diocese of Bamberg in 1007: You are a reflection of the flowering around the millennium illuminated manuscripts and the early medieval science. Today's most famous miniature manuscript, the Bamberg Apocalypse ( Msc.Bibl.140 ) from the scriptorium of the monastery of Reichenau, the emperor and his wife Gwendolyn gave but not the cathedral chapter, but the collegiate St Stephen's in Bamberg. A more recent, but no less well-known handwriting is the illuminated Psalter Bamberger ( Msc.Bibl.48 ), which arose 1220-1230, its possible manufacture Bamberg but is controversial in recent research. Although the earliest letterpress - 1460 closely related to Bamberg as a second print location to Mainz - is represented only fragmentarily in the collection of incunabula, the over 3,500 incunabula of the State Library contain a broad spectrum of well-known people and places that the pressure history of the 15th century has to offer.

Among the special collections protrudes the ongoing continuing special collection to the multi-talented artist ETA Hoffmann, who was in Bamberg from 1808 to 1813.

The building

The Bamberg State Library occupied mainly the eastern wing of Bamberg Neue Residenz, the Johann Dietzenhofer 1697-1703 created for the then Prince-Bishop Lothar Franz von Schönborn (reigned 1693-1729 ). In this section of the building itself was originally the prince-bishop's administration; go to this function returns two archive rooms, which are equipped still with the original shelves and chests Archives and can be viewed in the context of special tours.

Among the non-public exhibition rooms of the library also includes the Dominican spaces whose name derives from its equipment with the bookshelves of the Bamberg Dominican monastery, which was dissolved during the secularisation. One of the Dominican rooms will accommodate a 11,000 -volume collection of books wittelsbacher Charles II, Duke August von Pfalz- Zweibrücken (reigned 1775-1795 ), representing the uniform Rococo covers a prime example of a representative library prince of the 18th century.

The internal space of the State Library also includes the Vierzehnheiligen pavilion on the third floor, which served the Prince-Bishop as a library room and its walls were in 1843 decorated with sparkle paintings in the Pompeian style, and the former wine cellar under the reading room, which is used as a compact magazine since 1978.

Generally available, however, is the entrance hall. There culturally and historically valuable stained glass of the 16th and 17th century are presented whose possession the library one of their sponsors, the art historian and collector Joseph Heller owes.

From the entrance hall there is access to the reading room. This consists of the original audience room and the former summer hall of the prince-bishop in 1731 put together by Balthasar Neumann transformation of the partition to a triple arch opening. The reading room offers a fascinating view of the rose garden, the plant also goes back to the Prince-Bishop Lothar Franz von Schönborn.

During the several times the annual exhibitions of the library can also use the stellar vault and the former garden hall - be seen - also called Scagliolasaal. The walls of the Scagliolasaals are decorated with stucco marble and blue green decorative elements in Scagliolatechnik, the ceiling painting shows, among other Apollo on the chariot of the sun and the Fall of Phaeton.