Bavarian State Library

Logo of the Bavarian State Library

The Bavarian State Library (BSB) in Munich is the central national library of the Free State of Bavaria and one of Europe's most important universal libraries. She enjoys as an international research library world ranking. Their population is approximately 9.93 million volumes (as of 2012). In addition, she has in her old stock on one of the most important manuscript collections in the world, the most extensive collection of incunabula in Germany, as well as numerous other significant special collections.

Since 1663 a legal deposit, which means that two copies must be delivered to the Bavarian State Library by each appearing in Bavaria printing unit exists. This also applies unchanged to this day. In addition, the Bavarian State Library is the second largest magazine library in Europe (after the British Library ). The BSB is the journal Library Forum Bavaria and - together with the Berlin State Library - since 2007 the library magazine out.

  • 4.1 Directorate
  • 4.2 Main departments 4.2.1 Central department
  • 4.2.2 Collection Development and Cataloguing
  • 4.2.3 User Services
  • 4.3.1 Department maps and images
  • 4.3.2 Department of Music
  • 4.3.3 Orient and Asia Department
  • 4.3.4 Eastern Europe Department


  • Universal library for science, research and teaching
  • Land and Archive Library
  • Collection of regional deposit copies and Bavarica
  • Part of the virtual National Library of Germany - together with the German National Library (DNB ) and the Berlin State Library
  • Seat of the Munich Digitisation Centre
  • Care of special collections of the DFG
  • Assisting in the management of the Common Body Authority File ( GKD ) and the Name Authority File (PND )


Counted the end of 2012 the library 75,000 registered, active users and 1,970,000 items borrowed. The reading rooms of the Bavarian State Library are used daily by about 3000 people. In general, reading room, which is open daily 8-24 clock, are approximately 111,000 volumes, mainly reference books, freely accessible. In the periodicals reading room are from approximately 18,000 current notebooks running magazines. The departments of Manuscripts and Early Printed Books, maps and pictures, music, and Eastern Europe, Middle East and East Asia have their own reading rooms with free hand held. From the magazines around 1500 volumes will be provided for use in the general reading room daily. 2010, a new research reading room was set up with a focus on historical studies and Bavarica ( Aventinus Reading Room).


  • About 9.93 million volumes
  • Approximately 95,900 manuscripts. eg the Codex aureus
  • Two manuscripts of the Nibelungenlied ( Manuscript A and D)
  • The Gospel Book of Otto III.
  • The prayer book of Otto III. , formerly Pommersfelden, Counts Schönbornsche Library, ms 2490
  • The Carmina Burana
  • The Freising Manuscripts
  • The Egberti Henry II
  • The Babylonian Talmud
  • Choir Books by Orlando di Lasso

The special collections

  • History, General
  • Pre-and Early History
  • Byzantium
  • Classical Studies including Ancient History. Central and Latin Philology
  • History of Germany, Austria and Switzerland
  • History of France and Italy
  • Romania
  • Romanian Language and Literature
  • Albanian Language and Literature
  • East Central and Southeastern Europe ( in particular: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo)
  • Modern-day Greece (including language and literature)
  • Musicology
  • Information science and librarianship



General of the Bavarian State Library is Rolf Griebel, Deputy Director General Klaus Ceynowa. For Directorate also includes the director's office, the Directorate Unit and the staff presentations public relations and information technology.

Former library director:


Central Department

The central department handles the general administration, also it is a service provider for all areas of the library. She is responsible for task areas " budget ", " staff " and " Internal Services, Building ".

Collection Development and Cataloguing

Media of all kinds be purchased in this department ( access types are gift, purchase, licensing, legal deposit and exchange) and cataloged both formally and objectively. The department is divided into three department strings: BA / ES 1 (monographs, specialized portals, media budget ), BA / ES 2 ( Periodicals, licenses, Electronic Publishing ) and BA / ES 3 ( Munich Digitization Center; preservation; Bavarian State Library Online; conservation ). The area conservation is responsible for the protection of library materials in 1850 from damage and decay.

User Services

The Department of User Services provides the resources and services of the library. The department is subdivided into the areas of document delivery, document management, document delivery and information and reading room services.

The Department of Manuscripts and Early Printed Books is responsible for the most valuable historical collections of the library. This precious heritage founded the worldwide reputation of the Bavarian State Library. The department has a special reading room, which is especially equipped for working with old books.

Special departments

Department of Maps and Images

This department manages printed cards from 1500 to today, atlases, cartographic literature and the Archive of the Bavarian State Library. For image archive also includes part of the archives Heinrich Hoffmann, Bernhard Johannes and Felicitas Timpe. The department has maps and pictures together with the music department of a private reading room.

Department of Music

Quantity and quality of their historical collections and the broad acquisition profile make the music department at a major international music library first order. Its origins date back to the 16th century. The emphasis of the collection " Musicology " of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is managed in this department. Users have the reading room music, maps and pictures.

Oriental and Asian Department

The oriental holdings of the Bavarian State Library include over 260,000 volumes in Arabic, Armenian, Georgian, Hebrew, Yiddish, Mongolian, Persian, Tibetan and Indian languages. Asian stocks close over 310,000 volumes in the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese. The hand stocks are available, along with those of the Eastern Division in the East Reading Room.

Eastern Europe Department

The Eastern Division is the largest Special Collections of the Bavarian State Library with around one million volumes to and from Eastern Europe from the early modern period to the 21st century. It is concerned in addition to the Eastern European region in the narrow sense, with Central and Southeastern Europe and the Asian part of Russia. The hand of the Research Unit is housed in the East Reading Room of the library.

Mostly entrusted with tasks country departments

Mainly responsible for the country tasks are the library Academy of Bavaria, the country's Federal Service for the public library system as well as the Head Office of the Bavarian Library Network.

State Regional Libraries

The regional state libraries are part of the scientific librarianship in Bavaria. Organizationally, they are subordinate to the Bavarian State Library. They include the following State libraries:

  • Provincial Library Amberg (State Library Amberg )
  • State Library Ansbach ( castle library )
  • Hofbibliothek Aschaffenburg
  • State and City Library of Augsburg (since December 2012)
  • Bamberg State Library
  • State Library of Coburg
  • Study Library Dillingen
  • State Library Neuburg an der Donau
  • State Library of Passau
  • State Library of Regensburg


Was founded the library in 1558 in the firm vault at the Alter Hof in Munich as court library of Duke Albrecht V through the purchase of two collections: one of the estate of the Austrian lawyers, orientalist and imperial chancellor Johann Albrecht Widmanstetter the classic of oriental manuscripts and prints, spending authors and works from the fields of theology, philosophy and law consisted, on the other hand the collection of the Augsburg patrician Johann Jakob Fugger, who was acquired in 1571. Fugger had hired agents to collect volumes of manuscripts and printed in Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. This, more than 10,000 volumes. At the same time he had it copied in Venice manuscripts. In addition, Fugger 1552 acquired the manuscripts and incunabula collections of the physician and humanist Hartmann Schedel, one of the most humanistic private libraries was north of the Alps. Oversees and organizes the Fugger collection of the Antwerp physician Samuel Quiccheberg had initially ( 1529-1567 ). He had taken on the installation order of the court library of Augsburg. Later, the collection was supervised by the librarian Wolfgang Prommer, who had cataloged this alphabetically as well as by keyword. The Nuremberg Aegidius Oertel 1561 was the first librarian. The main users of the library was the 1559 fetched to Munich Jesuits.

William V led the collection with further acquisitions continued:

  • Spanish prints from the estate of the Tyrolean knight Anselm Stiletto ( 1583 )
  • Humanist library of the Augsburg and Eichstätt canon Johann Georg von Will Stein ( 1592)

In 1600, the backlog amounted to 17,000 volumes.

With the secularization of Bavaria and the transfer of the Electoral Palatinate Court Library, the library was 1803, an increase of about 550,000 volumes and 18,600 manuscripts. 1827 Friedrich von Gärtner was awarded the contract to design a representative building for the Court and State Library. The construction should be established first in the Ludwig Strasse 1. 1828 should then be compared with the sculpture gallery on the Place Royal, the location; but in the same year the Ludwig Street was earmarked as the site again. 1831 the designs were completed. Due to lack of funds, the foundation stone was laid only on 8 July 1832. Was built, the State Library, as the entire northern part of the Ludwig street, in 1834 bis 1839. The elongated structure enclosing two courtyards and is based on the palace architecture of the early Italian Renaissance. The original Greek scholar seated figures on the staircase were created by Ludwig von Schwanthalerstraße. Due to the severe damage in the Second World War are the current figures of Aristotle, Homer, Thucydides and Hippocrates, on the stairs of the main entrance, recreations of various artists.

Since 1919, the library is called the Bavarian State Library. During the Second World War occurred despite removal of stocks in the loss of over 500,000 volumes. The building itself was destroyed to 85%. 1946 began the reconstruction of the library building and the repatriation of outsourced stocks. First, a spatial, but not organizational merger has been considered with the almost completely destroyed, University Library of Munich, the University of resistance ended this consideration but 1956. Therefore, the State Library was planning a modern extension, in the contemporary facilities would accommodate. The extension on the east side, designed by Hans Döllgast and Sep Ruf was completed in 1966. This extension, which contains the general reading room, among other things, was in 1967 awarded the BDA award Bavaria. The reconstruction was completed in 1970 with the inauguration of the south wing restored. In 1988, the storage library Garching was put into operation.

The Bavarian State Library has also initiated extensive Internet projects. 1997 saw the establishment of the Munich Digitisation Centre and the creation of an Internet presence with your own website. With the provision of the converted sheet catalog 1841-1952 and 1450-1500 Inkunabelkatalogs today the entire document the Bavarian State Library is available online. In Digitisation on Demand, a project currently thirteen libraries from several European countries, million eBooks will be available on request. On 7 March 2007, announced by Director General Rolf Griebel, that Google Book Search will digitize the inventory for the State Library to the extent it is not subject to copyright. In 2008, the 450th year of its existence, the Bavarian State Library was awarded the German Library Association as a library of the year.

Pictures of Bavarian State Library