Portrait

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek – Information for excellence

As a treasure trove of cultural heritage, a multimedia information service provider for scholarly research and as an innovative force in the field of digital services, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is one of the prime national and international addresses for researchers, students and all those seeking information.

Founded in 1558 as the court library of the house of Wittelsbach, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is the largest academic universal library of Germany and one of the most important research libraries on a worldwide scale. It forms Germany's virtual national library together with other libraries. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is also the central state library and repository library of the Free State of Bavaria. Its total collection amounts to around 34 million media units, among these almost 10.9 million books, over 54,000 current periodicals in electronic and printed form and 140,000 manuscripts. Every year approximately 125,000 volumes are added, which are selected and catalogued systematically according to scholarly criteria.

The library's unique collection profile is characterised by extremely precious manuscripts, rare printed books and comprehensive special collections from thousands of years of cultural heritage. But at the same time, the library rises to the challenges of the future: The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is continuously enhancing its digital and Internet-based services, for example in the areas of electronic journals, mass digitization of its collections and the development of innovative digitization technologies. With more than 2,5 million digitized works, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek holds the largest digital data stock of all German libraries. A large variety of services is offered in the field of innovative digital use scenarios. With the takeover of the analogue photographic archive of the magazine STERN in the year 2019 and total holdings now amounting to around 17.5 million images, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek holds the largest image archive maintained by any public-sector institution in Germany.

Annual report 2019  (in German)  (PDF, 5.8 MB)

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