Bavarian State Library
The Bavarian State Library in Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 is the central "Landesbibliothek", i. e. the state library
In a traditional sense, a library is a large collection of books, and can refer to the place in which the collection is housed. Today, the term can refer to any collection, including digital sources, resources, and services...

 of the Free State of Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 and one of Europe's most important universal libraries. With its collections currently comprising around 9.39 million books, it ranks among the best research libraries worldwide. Moreover, its historical stock encompasses one of the most important manuscript collections of the world, the largest collection of incunabula worldwide, as well as numerous further important special collections.

The legal deposit law has been in force since 1663, regulating that two copies of every printed work published in Bavaria have to be submitted to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. This law is still applicable today. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek furthermore is Europe's second-largest journals library (after the British Library
British Library
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom, and is the world's largest library in terms of total number of items. The library is a major research library, holding over 150 million items from every country in the world, in virtually all known languages and in many formats,...

). The BSB publishes the specialist journal Bibliotheksforum Bayern and has been publishing the Bibliotheksmagazin together with the Berlin State Library since 2007. Its building is situated in the Ludwigstrasse.


  • General and research library
  • Central state and repository library of the Free State of Bavaria
  • Collection of regional legal deposits and publications related to Bavaria
  • Part of Germany's virtual national library in cooperation with the German National Library and the Berlin State Library
  • Runs the Munich Digitization Center
    Munich Digitization Center
    Munich Digitization Center is an institution dedicated to digitalization, Online publication and the long-term archival preservation of the holdings of the Bavarian State Library and other cultural heritage institutions. It was founded in 1997 under the leadership of Mark Brantl...

  • Responsibility for special subject collections of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)
  • Collaboration on the Corporate Body Authority File (Gemeinsame Körperschaftsdatei, GKD) and the Name Authority File (Personennamendatei, PND)


The reading rooms of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek are used by around 3000 readers every day. In the general reading room, open daily from 8 AM to 12 PM, approximately 111,000 volumes, primarily reference works, are freely accessible. In the periodicals reading room around 18,000 topical issues of current periodicals are available. The departments of manuscripts and early printed books, maps and images, music, as well as Eastern Europe, Orient and East Asia have their own reading rooms with open-access collections. Every day approximately 1500 volumes are collected from the repositories and provided for use in the general reading room.
In 2010 a new research reading room was opened, focusing on Historical Sciences and Bavarian History and Culture (Aventinus Reading Room).


  • c. 9.53 million books
  • c. 93,000 manuscripts; the catalogue is the work of librarian Johann Andreas Schmeller
    Johann Andreas Schmeller
    Johann Andreas Schmeller was a German philologist who initially studied the Bavarian dialect. From 1828 until his death he taught in the University of Munich. He died in 1852.-Biography:...


  • Latin (Codices latini monacenses – Clm), c. 17,000 items.
    • Breviarium Alarici (Clm 22501), 6th century
    • Purple Evangeliary (Clm 23631), 9th century
    • Codex Aureus of St. Emmeram
      Codex Aureus of St. Emmeram
      The Codex Aureus of St. Emmeram is a 9th century illuminated Gospel Book. It is named after Emmeram of Regensburg and lavishly illuminated.-History:...

       (Clm 14000), c. 870
    • Evangeliary of Otto III (Clm 4453), c. 1000
    • Pericopes of Henry II
      Pericopes of Henry II
      The Pericopes of Henry II is a luxurious medieval illuminated manuscript made for Henry II, the last Ottonian Holy Roman Emperor, made c. 1002 – 1012 AD...

       (Clm 4452)
    • Sacramentary of Henry II (Clm 4456)
    • Uta Codex (Clm 13601), c. 1025
    • Ruodlieb
      Ruodlieb is a fragmentary romance in Latin verse written by an unknown southern German poet who flourished about 1030. He was almost certainly a monk of the Bavarian abbey of Tegernsee....

       romance fragments (Clm 19486), c. 1050
    • Scheyerer Matutinalbuch
      Scheyern Abbey
      Scheyern Abbey, formerly also Scheyern Priory is a house of the Benedictine Order in Scheyern in Bavaria.-First foundation:...

       (Clm 17401)
    • Carmina Burana
      Carmina Burana
      Carmina Burana , Latin for "Songs from Beuern" , is the name given to a manuscript of 254 poems and dramatic texts mostly from the 11th or 12th century, although some are from the 13th century. The pieces were written principally in Medieval Latin; a few in Middle High German, and some with traces...

       (Clm 4660)
    • prayer book of Maximilian I of Bavaria
      Maximilian I of Bavaria
      Maximilian I was duke of Zweibrücken from 1795 to 1799, prince-elector of Bavaria from 1799 to 1805, king of Bavaria from 1806 to 1825...

       (Clm 23640)
    • the "Munich Manual of Demonic Magic" (Clm 849)

  • German (Codices germanici monacenses – Cgm), c. 10,500 items
    • Manuscript A of the Nibelungenlied
      The Nibelungenlied, translated as The Song of the Nibelungs, is an epic poem in Middle High German. The story tells of dragon-slayer Siegfried at the court of the Burgundians, how he was murdered, and of his wife Kriemhild's revenge....

       (Cgm 34); which was inscribed on UNESCO
      The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

      ’s Memory of the World Register in 2009
    • Freising manuscripts
      Freising manuscripts
      The Freising Manuscripts are the first Latin-script continuous text in a Slavic language and the oldest document in Slovene.The monuments consisting of three texts in the oldest Slovene dialect were discovered bound into a Latin codex...

    • Wessobrunn Prayer
      Wessobrunn Prayer
      The Wessobrunn Prayer, sometimes called the Wessobrunn Creation Poem , believed to date from c790, is among the earliest known poetic works in Old High German.-Origins:...

       (Clm 22053)
    • Muspilli
      Muspilli is one of but two surviving pieces of Old High German epic poetry , dating to around 870. One large fragment of the text has survived in the margins and empty pages of a codex marked as the possession of Louis the German and now in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek . The beginning and end of...

       (Clm 14098)
    • Parzival
      Percival or Perceval is one of King Arthur's legendary Knights of the Round Table. In Welsh literature his story is allotted to the historical Peredur...

       by Wolfram von Eschenbach
      Wolfram von Eschenbach
      Wolfram von Eschenbach was a German knight and poet, regarded as one of the greatest epic poets of his time. As a Minnesinger, he also wrote lyric poetry.-Life:...

       (Cgm 19)
    • Tristan
      Tristan is one of the main characters of the Tristan and Iseult story, a Cornish hero and one of the Knights of the Round Table featuring in the Matter of Britain...

       by Gottfried von Strassburg
      Gottfried von Strassburg
      Gottfried von Strassburg is the author of the Middle High German courtly romance Tristan and Isolt, an adaptation of the 12th-century Tristan and Iseult legend. Gottfried's work is regarded, alongside Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival and the Nibelungenlied, as one of the great narrative...

       (Cgm 51)

  • Greek (Codices graeci – Cod.graec.), 645 items

  • Slavic (Codices slavici, Cod.slav.), c. 100 items

  • Music manuscripts, c. 37,500 items

  • Illustrated manuscripts (Codices iconographici), c. 550 items
    • Fechtbuch
      Martial arts manuals are instructions, with or without illustrations, detailing specific techniques of martial arts.Prose descriptions of martial arts techniques appear late within the history of literature, due to the inherent difficulties of describing a technique rather than just demonstrating...

       of Paulus Hector Mair
      Paulus Hector Mair
      Paulus Hector Mair was an Augsburg civil servant, and active in the martial arts of his time. He collected Fechtbücher and undertook to compile all knowledge of the art of fencing in a compendium surpassing all earlier books...

       (Cod. icon. 393)
    • choir books by Orlando di Lasso (Mus. ms. A I+II)
    • Illuminated manuscripts from the Ottonian period produced in the monastery of Reichenau (Lake Constance), which were inscribed on UNESCO's
      The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

       Memory of the World Register in 2003

  • c. 55.000 current periodicals (print and electronic ; Europe's second largest holding)

  • 19,900 incunabula (the world's largest holding) of around 9,660 incunabula, among them
    • a Gutenberg Bible
      Gutenberg Bible
      The Gutenberg Bible was the first major book printed with a movable type printing press, and marked the start of the "Gutenberg Revolution" and the age of the printed book. Widely praised for its high aesthetic and artistic qualities, the book has an iconic status...

  • c. 450.000 digitized volumes

Areas of emphasis

  • History, general
  • Pre-history and early history
  • Byzantium
  • Classical studies, incl. ancient history Medieval—and new Latin philology
  • History of Germany, Austria and Switzerland
  • History of France and Italy
  • Romania
  • Romanian language and literature
  • Albanian language and literature
  • Eastern-, eastern central and south-eastern Europe (in detail: Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, Moldavia, Poland, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo
  • Modern-age Greece (including language and literature)
  • Musicology
  • Information science, book studies and library science


The Director General of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is Dr. Rolf Griebel; the Deputy Director General is Dr. Klaus Ceynowa. Furthermore, also the head office, the direction department and the public relations department form part of the directorate.

Former library directors:
  • 1882-1909 Georg von Laubmann
  • 1909-1929 Hans Schnorr von Carolsfeld
  • 1929-1935 Georg Reismüller
  • 1935-1945 Rudolf Buttmann
  • 1948-1966 Gustav Hofmann
  • 1967-1972 Hans Striedl
  • 1972-1992 Franz Georg Kaltwasser
  • 1992-2004 Hermann Leskien

Central Administration

The central administration is in charge of general administrative management; moreover, it acts as a service provider for all areas of the library. The department is responsible for the areas "budget", "human resources" and "internal services, construction".

Collection Development and Cataloguing

This department acquires all types of media (in the form or by way of presents, purchase, licensing, deposit copies and swapping items), and catalogues and indexes them both formally and according to subject. The Munich Digitisation Centre is a section of the department. It handles the digitisation and online publication of the cultural heritage preserved by the Bavarian State Library and by other institutions. It provides one of the largest and fastest growing digital collections in Germany.

User Services

The user services department acts as an agent of the collections and services of the library. The department consists of the divisions of document provision, document administration, document delivery and information- and reading-room services.

Manuscripts and Early Printed Books

The department of manuscripts and early printed books is responsible for the most valuable historical collections of the library. The worldwide renown of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is founded on this precious heritage. The department has a separate reading room that is specially equipped for working with old books.

Conservation and Collection Care

The department of conservation and collection care protects the media owned by the library against damage and decay and secures their long-term availability. (The department is in charge of media published from the year 1850 onward.)

Map Collection and Image Archive

This department administrates printed maps from the year 1500 up to the present, atlases, cartographic material and the image archive of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. The image archive also includes parts of the archives of Heinrich Hoffmann
Heinrich Hoffmann
Heinrich Hoffmann was a German photographer best known for his many published photographs of Adolf Hitler.-Early life and career:...

, Bernhard Johannes and Felicitas Timpe. The Map Collection and Image Archive also have - together with the department of music -their own reading room.

Department of Music

The Department of Music ranks among the world's leading music libraries, due to both the quantity and quality of its historical collections and its broad acquisition profile. Its beginnings date back to the 16th century. The area of collection emphasis "musicology" of the German Research Foundation is overseen by this department. A special reading room für music, maps and images is provided for the library users.

Oriental and East Asia Department

The oriental collections of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek comprise 260,000 volumes in Arabic, Armenian, Georgian, Hebrew, Yiddish, Mongolian, Persian, Tibetan and Indian languages. The East-Asian collections comprise more than 310,000 volumes in the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese languages. Users can avail themselves of the open-access collections in the east reading room occupied together with the department of Eastern Europe.

Department of Eastern Europe (Osteuropaabteilung)

The department of Eastern Europe is the largest special department of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, holding around one million books about and from Eastern Europe, from early modern times up to the 21st century. In addition to the eastern European area, it also addresses eastern central and south-eastern Europe as well as the Asian part of Russia. The open-access collection of the department is accommodated in the library's east reading room.

Departments in Charge of Predominantly Regional-Level Tasks

The departments in charge of tasks predominantly allocated to a regional level are the Bayerische Bibliotheksschule (Bavarian School of Library and Information Science), the Landesfachstelle für das öffentliche Bibliothekswesen (Consulting Centre for Public Libraries) as well as the head office of the Bibliotheksverbund Bayern (Bavarian Library Network).

State-Funded Bavarian Regional Libraries

The Bavarian regional state-funded libraries form part of Bavaria's academic library system. They are subordinated to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in the organisation structure. Among these libraries are the state libraries of Amberg
Amberg is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It is located in the Upper Palatinate, roughly halfway between Regensburg and Bayreuth. Population: 44,756 .- History :...

, Ansbach
Ansbach, originally Onolzbach, is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It is the capital of the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Ansbach is situated southwest of Nuremberg and north of Munich, on the Fränkische Rezat, a tributary of the Main river. As of 2004, its population was 40,723.Ansbach...

, Neuburg an der Donau
Neuburg an der Donau
Neuburg an der Donau, literally Neuburg on the Danube River, is a town which is the capital of the Neuburg-Schrobenhausen district in the state of Bavaria in Germany.-Divisions:The municipality has 16 divisions:-History:...

, Passau
Passau is a town in Lower Bavaria, Germany. It is also known as the Dreiflüssestadt or "City of Three Rivers," because the Danube is joined at Passau by the Inn from the south and the Ilz from the north....

 and Regensburg
Regensburg is a city in Bavaria, Germany, located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, at the northernmost bend in the Danube. To the east lies the Bavarian Forest. Regensburg is the capital of the Bavarian administrative region Upper Palatinate...

, the Studienbibliothek Dillingen
Dillingen, Bavaria
Dillingen, or Dillingen an der Donau is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It is the administrative center of the district of Dillingen....

, the Landesbibliothek Coburg
Coburg is a town located on the Itz River in Bavaria, Germany. Its 2005 population was 42,015. Long one of the Thuringian states of the Wettin line, it joined with Bavaria by popular vote in 1920...

, the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg
Bamberg State Library
The Bamberg State Library is a combined universal, regional and research library with priority given to the humanities. Today it is housed in the New Residence, the former prince-bishop's new palace...

 as well as the Hofbibliothek Aschaffenburg
Aschaffenburg is a city in northwest Bavaria, Germany. The town of Aschaffenburg is not considered part of the district of Aschaffenburg, but is the administrative seat.Aschaffenburg is known as the Tor zum Spessart or "gate to the Spessart"...



The library was founded in the year 1558 as the court library of Duke Albrecht V
Albert V, Duke of Bavaria
Albert V was Duke of Bavaria from 1550 until his death. He was born in Munich to William IV and Marie Jacobaea of Baden.-Early life:Albert was educated at Ingolstadt under good Catholic teachers...

, and was originally located in the vaulted chamber of the Alter Hof (old court) of the Munich residence. Initially, two book collections were acquired: on the one hand the personal papers of the Austrian jurist, orientalist and imperial chancellor Johann Albrecht Widmannstetter
Johann Albrecht Widmannstetter
Johann Albrecht Widmannstetter , was a German humanist, orientalist, philologist, and theologian.-Life:...

, consisting of oriental manuscripts and prints, editions of classic authors and works from the areas of theology, philosophy und jurisprudence, and on the other hand the collection of the Augsburg patrician Johann Jakob Fugger, which was acquired in 1571. Fugger
The Fugger family was a historically prominent group of European bankers, members of the fifteenth and sixteenth-century mercantile patriciate of Augsburg, international mercantile bankers, and venture capitalists like the Welser and the Höchstetter families. This banking family replaced the de'...

 had commissioned agents to collect volumes of manuscripts and printed works in Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. In the end the works collected in this way amounted to more than 10,000 volumes. At the same time, he had had manuscripts copied in Venice.

Apart from this, in 1552 Fugger had purchased the collection of manuscripts and incunabula of the physician and humanist Hartmann Schedel
Hartmann Schedel
Hartmann Schedel was a German physician, humanist, historian, and one of the first cartographers to use the printing press. He was born in Nuremberg...

, representing one of the richest humanistic private libraries
Private library
A private library is a library under the care of private ownership, as compared to that of a public institution, and is usually only established for the use of a small number of people, or even a single person. As with public libraries, some people use stamps, stickers, or embossing to show...

 north of the Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

. The Fugger collection was first administrated and organised by the physician Samuel Quichelberg from Antwerp. He had adopted the shelving system of the Augsburg court library. Later the collection was administered by the librarian Wolfgang Prommer, who had catalogued the collection both alphabetically and according to keywords. Aegidius Oertel from Nuremberg became the first librarian in 1561. The main users of the library were the Jesuits, who had been invited to Munich in 1559.

William V
William V, Duke of Bavaria
William V, Duke of Bavaria , called the Pious, was Duke of Bavaria from 1579 to 1597.- Education and early life :...

 continued the collection, making further purchases:
  • Spanish prints from the personal papers of the Tyrolean knight Anselm Stöckel (1583)
  • The collection of the Augsburg councillor Johann Heinrich Herwarth von Hohenberg comprising numerous music prints (1585)
  • Humanistic library of the canon of Augsburg and Eichstätt Johann Georg von Werdenstein
    Johann Georg von Werdenstein
    Johann Georg von Werdenstein , canon of Augsburg and Eichstätt, was the owner of a very substantial library consisting of tens of thousands of books.Werdenstein came from an aristocratic family and entered the Catholic Church, becoming a canon of...


In the year 1600 the collection comprised 17,000 volumes.

The secularization of Bavaria and the transfer of the court library of the Electoral Palatinate around the year 1803 added approximately 550,000 volumes and 18,600 manuscripts to the library's holdings. In 1827 Friedrich von Gärtner
Friedrich von Gärtner
Friedrich von Gärtner was a German architect.Gärtner and Leo von Klenze are the most well known architects of Bavaria during the reign of Ludwig I. His architecture was generally in the Romanesque style and much to the king's taste...

 was commissioned to plan a representative building for the court- and state library. The original plan was to erect the building at Ludwigstrasse 1. In 1828 the plot opposite the Glyptothek
The Glyptothek is a museum in Munich, Germany, which was commissioned by the Bavarian King Ludwig I to house his collection of Greek and Roman sculptures . It was designed by Leo von Klenze in the Neoclassical style, and built from 1816 to 1830...

 on Königsplatz was chosen as location, but later in the same year the planners switched back again to Ludwigstrasse. The blueprints were completed in 1831. For lack of funds the laying of the foundation stone had to be postponed to 8 July 1832. The construction work on the building planned by Gärtner was concluded in 1843. In 1919 the library received the name that it still bears today: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. During the Second World War more than 500,000 volumes were lost, although the collections were partly evacuated from the building. Of the building itself 85% were destroyed. The reconstruction of the library building and the reintegration of evacuated holdings started in 1946. The inauguration of the restored south wing of the building in the year 1970 marked the conclusion of the reconstruction work on the building. The Speicherbibliothek Garching (book repository) was inaugurated in 1988.

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has also initiated large-scale internet projects. In 1997 the Munich Digitisation Centre took up work and the BSB started developing its internet presence, including its own web site. The card catalogue 1841-1952 and the catalogue of incunabula 1450-1500 were converted, thus making the complete holdings of printed materials of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek available online. The service "Digitisation on Demand", offered by a network of several European libraries, makes millions of books published between 1500 and 1900 available in digital form.

On 7 March 2007 Director General Rolf Griebel announced that Google Book Search
Google Book Search
Google Books is a service from Google that searches the full text of books that Google has scanned, converted to text using optical character recognition, and stored in its digital database. The service was formerly known as Google Print when it was introduced at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October...

 will take over the digitisation of the copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

-free holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. In 2008, the year of its 450th anniversary, the Deutscher Bibliotheksverband (German Library Association) awarded the title of Bibliothek des Jahres (Library of the year) to the BSB.

See also

  • Berlin State Library
    Berlin State Library
    The Berlin State Library is a library in Berlin, Germany and a property of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.-Buildings:The State Library runs several premises, three of which are open for users, namely House 1 in Unter den Linden 8, House 2 in Potsdamer Straße 33 and the newspaper archive...

  • German National Library
    German National Library
    The German National Library is the central archival library and national bibliographic centre for the Federal Republic of Germany...

  • Google Books Library Project
    Google Books Library Project
    The Google Books Library Project is an effort by Google to scan and make searchable the collections of several major research libraries. The project, along with Google's Partner Program, comprise Google Books . Along with bibliographic information, snippets of text from a book are often viewable...

  • Virtual Library of Musicology
    Virtual Library of Musicology
    The Virtual Library of Musicology or VifaMusik is funded by the German Research Foundation to provide sources and materials for music and musicology...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.