Sammlung Deutscher Drucke

Collection of German Printed Literature

The programme "Sammlung Deutscher Drucke" is a joint venture reaching far into both the past and the future. The project was created to reduce the considerable gaps in the German libraries' collections of printed literature published in the past in the German-language area.

In 1989 five libraries – which are today responsible for the collection period of 1450 to 1912 – joined forces to ensure that the acquisition of works of the German language and cultural area missing in their collections took place in a coordinated way. During the first five years, the funding was provided by the Volkswagen Stiftung (Vokswagen Foundation), since then, it has been taken over by the regular funding agencies. Since 1995, also the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek has been participating in the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sammlung Deutscher Drucke within the framework of its legal collection mandate.

Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sammlung Deutscher Drucke

Volkswagen Stiftung

The experience gathered so far shows that the concept of a decentralised, chronologically ordered collection has proven itself. The concerted acquisition policy of the libraries and modern information and communication technology permit the setup of a virtual national library.

The participating libraries are responsible for the following time segments:

1450 – 1600Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München
1601 – 1700Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel
1701 – 1800Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen
1801 – 1870Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
1871 – 1912Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz
1913 ff.Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main

With its responsibility for the period from 1450 to 1600 (music prints up to 1800) the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is in charge of the earliest, longest and most costly period within the project. The available funds consequently have to be used in a very targeted manner, according to the degree of rarity of the printed works on offer. Those titles are given priority which so far do not form part of any public collection, followed by works which do not form part of the collection of a German or Bavarian library. Another important criterion is that the acquired works should form a representative cross section of a broad variety of subject areas and literary genres.