Reconstruction concluded: Re-opening of the East European, Oriental and Asian Reading Room designed by Sep Ruf with a new concept of use

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has concluded the renovation of its East European, Oriental and Asian Reading Room. Designed by the well-known architect Sep Ruf, the reading room now offers around 50 modern, barrier-free workplaces with high-performance WLAN and a comfortable reading corner. The reconstruction also involves a new concept of use. The East European, Oriental and Asian Reading Room is opened to the public again on 15 July.

The reconstruction included the energy-oriented restoration of the windows and of the roof and a completely new design of the area of use. Particular value was set by preserving the elements designed by Sep Ruf (1908 – 1982), such as the windows, the banisters and wall shelves. The star architect from Munich had designed the East European, Oriental and Asian Reading Room on the third floor of the library in the course of the reconstruction of the library after the Second World War.

The reading room is accessible to scholarly experts such as Slavicists, historians of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, Sinologists, Arabists and Indologists and other users with an interest in these regions. The extensive reference library, encompassing over 40,000 volumes, and the access to digital research media and databases offer optimum working conditions. Besides extended opening hours, the new concept of use includes the improved technical equipment of the workplaces, a reading corner and leasable lockers for users who wish to leave their working materials in the library. Furthermore, new event formats are planned, such as so-called "coffee lectures", which are brief lectures on scholarly work and the library, while enjoying a cup of coffee.

The reconstruction of the East European, Oriental and Asian Reading Room forms part of the continuous structural service improvements of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. The new, 400 m² big "PLAZA" on the ground floor, which offers 130 workplaces, was already opened in the autumn of 2018.

Dr. Dorothea Sommer, Deputy Director General of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: "We endeavour to provide our users with a modern, up-to-date working environment at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. The continuous structural improvements substantially increase the attractiveness of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek as a place for learning and as a service provider for scholarship."

Press release for download
Press release  (PDF, 184 KB)  (in German)


Dr. Gudrun Wirtz
Department of Eastern Europe
Phone:  +49 89 28638-2992

Ulrike Rehusch
Press and Public Relations
Phone:  +49 89 28638-2057


About the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek:
Founded in 1558 by Duke Albrecht V, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is an international research library of world renown. Holding around 33 million media, the library forms part of the most important heritage institutions worldwide. 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 variety of services in the field of innovative digital use scenarios.