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 heritage institutions on a worldwide scale. It is the central regional and repository library of the Free State of Bavaria and assumes a broad variety of national information provision tasks.
The internationally unique collection profile of the library is characterized by precious manuscripts, rare printed books and comprehensively compiled special collections from thousands of years of cultural heritage. Its total collection amounts to around 37.2 million media units, composed of approximately 11.2 million printed volumes, 53,400 current journals in electronic and printed form and 145,000 manuscripts. Every year approximately 123,000 volumes are added, which are selected and catalogued systematically according to scholarly criteria. With around 4 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 photo archive of the magazine stern in the year 2019 and total holdings amounting to around 19.4 million pictures, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek holds the largest image archive maintained by any public-sector institution in Germany.
Around 73,000 active users benefit from the services and facilities of the library, including six reading rooms.
The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek runs several competence centers, among them the Munich Digitization Center, which has been digitizing the extensive holdings of the library since 1997. It is the central innovation and also production unit for developing, testing and implementing new products and processes related to the multifaceted, far-ranging subject of the "digital library", particularly in the fields of digitization and long-time archiving. The library has an internationally renowned competence center for the conservation of the written cultural heritage in the form of the Institute of Conservation. The institute stands for the consistent connection between practical restoration and material-scientific research with state-of-the-art art-technological equipment.
The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has been committed for many years to the setting up and operation of four specialised information services for scholarship (Historical Studies; East, Central and Southeast European Studies, Musicology; Classics). In addition, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek acts as the technical and editorial head office of the Bavarian cultural portal bavarikon and of the Literaturportal Bayern and as the technical operator of the announcement platform of the Free State.
Annual report 2022 (in German) (PDF, 4.5 MB)