Mercator, Copernicus and Cellarius. The Staatsbibliothek continues its tripartite exhibition “God, the World and Bavaria” with cartographic and scholarly masterpieces

As of 21 January 2019, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek shows books, maps and globes of the 16th and 17th century in the second part of its exhibition “God, the World and Bavaria”. Titled “From the Orient and the Occident”, a number of outstanding pieces are shown, such as two globes of Gerhard Mercator, the celestial atlas of Andreas Cellarius, “De Revolutionibus” of Nicolaus Copernicus and a coat of arms of Lucas Cranach the Elder.

The view of the world widened at the start of the early modern age. New sea routes and unknown continents were discovered and charted in maps and globes. The fragment of a map of the world produced for the trading house of the Welser family in Augsburg in 1530 shows that the merchants were quick to understand the impact of these new discoveries. The exhibits also include splendidly designed covers of works about unfamiliar worlds and cultures from the private libraries of humanistically educated scholars and rulers. The 16th century was also a century of scientific departures: Nicolaus Copernicus’ treatise “De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium” about the ground-breaking finding that the sun, not the earth, is at the centre of the universe known at the time, is showcased just like the splendidly illustrated celestial atlas by Andreas Cellarius or Gerhard Mercator’s highly detailed terrestrial and celestial globes (1541).

From 17 October 2018 to 7 July 2019, the exhibition “God, the World and Bavaria – 100 treasures from the regional State Libraries of Bavaria” presents one hundred highlights from the collections of the ten regional State Libraries of Bavaria, for the first time all brought together in one place.

The ten regional State Libraries of Bavaria are directly subordinated to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich. They are the State Libraries of Amberg, Ansbach, Neuburg an der Donau, Passau and Regensburg, the Court Library Aschaffenburg, the State and City Library of Augsburg, the State Library of Bamberg, the Regional State Library Coburg and the College Library Dillingen. As academic libraries, they serve to provide their regions with information and literature, and to secure, conserve and maintain valuable historical holdings. The libraries safeguard valuable manuscripts and early printed works, outstanding special collections and important collections of personal papers. By being responsible for a particular region, collecting as comprehensively as possible publications that are created there or are related to the region with regard to content, and by making these materials available to the public, the libraries thus fulfil a substantial cultural-political function.

17 October 2018 – 13 January 2019
Medieval manuscripts and printed works up to the Reformation

21 January 2019 – 7 April 2019
From the Orient and the Occident. Books, maps, globes of the 16th and 17th century

15 April 2019 – 7 July 2019
War and peace, joy and sorrow. Collection objects of the 17th to the 20th century

Information about the exhibition, guided tours and the supporting programme:

Opening hours
Monday through Friday 11:00 – 18:00, Sunday 13:00 – 17:00
Closed on bank holidays

Admission free

On the occasion of the exhibition a catalogue has been published, which can be purchased for € 19.00 (sales price on site, at the exhibition).
With the kind support of the association Förderer und Freunde der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek e. V.

Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Ludwigstrasse 16, 80539 Munich
Underground lines U3/ U6, bus lines 58/ 68/ 153/ 154, station Universität
Bus lines 100/ 153, station Von-der-Tann-Strasse

Reproducible press images can be downloaded here:
Photo credits/ all rights: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

Press release for download
Press release  (PDF, 218 KB)

Contact persons

Dr. Bettina Wagner
State Library of Bamberg
Phone:  +49 951 95503-112

Dr. Bernhard Lübbers
State Library of Regensburg
Phone:  +49 941 630806-0

Peter Schnitzlein
Press and Public Relations, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Phone:  +49 89 28638-2429


About the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek:
Founded in 1558 by Duke Albrecht V, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is an international research library of world renown. With more than 10.6 million volumes, around 58,000 current journals in electronic and printed form and almost 136,000 manuscripts, the library ranks among the world's most important centers of knowledge and heritage institutions. With more than 2.3 million digitized works, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek holds the largest digital data stock of all German libraries. The library offers a broad range of services in the field of innovative digital use scenarios.