Bavarica among the early printed books


The majority of Bavarica from the 16th and 17th century are printed works. Most of them have been entered in BSB DISCOVER! and there are additional special catalogues, such as the incunabula catalogue for printed works from 1450 – 1500.

BSB-Ink online

Further information about the collection "Historical printed works"

Collection of "Totenroteln"

In the middle ages, the so-called "Totenroteln" were parchment scrolls which were transferred from one monastery to the other in order to inform about deceased fellow brothers. As of the late 16th century, data and information were increasingly sent to the monasteries on printed sheets. The monasteries started corresponding collections of sheets. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek holds 15 volumes (Res/2 Bavar. 980) with around 2,900 such Totenroteln from the monasteries of Attel, Tegernsee, Indersdorf, Dietramszell and Dießen. Chronologically, the emphasis of the collection of Totenroteln is on the 18th century.

The collection of "Totenroteln" of the Benedictine monastery of Ensdorf, held by the provincial library of Amberg
The collection of "Totenroteln" of the former Benedictine monastery of St. Emmeram

Early modern broadsides

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek holds an important collection of early modern broadsides. All broadsides have been entered in BSB DISCOVER!, digitized and provided with descriptions.

The collection also encompasses important holdings of Bavarica:

  • From the collection of the judge Franz Joseph von Kloeckel, there are 200 volumes containing around 1,850 Bavarian ordinance sheets from the 16th to the 18th century (Kloeckeliana).
  • Journeymen's "Kundschaften" from the collection Stopp (Slg.Stopp): The collection contains certificates of work accomplished by travelling journeymen from the years 1760 – 1810.
  • Collection of zoological broadsides, predominantly from the 17th century, flyers and small printed matters from the possessions of the zoologist Ingrid Faust (Res/Slg.Faust).

Repertory of broadsides, broadside calendars and playing cards of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich  (Cbm Cat. 274 a)
Digital Collections – Early modern broadsides

Block books from Bavarian collections

A disproportionately large number of block books have been preserved in Bavaria. On the one hand, this is owed to the fact that many of them were produced in the region, on the other hand, this is owed to the very late onset of the secularisation of church possessions in comparison to Protestant regions. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek preserves a collection of 49 block books (including fragments), thus representing one of the largest collections internationally.

All block books from Bavarian collections were catalogued, digitized and described in a DFG project.

Block books from Bavarian collections
Block books at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek – Xylogr.  (collection on bavarikon)

Collection of book bindings

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek holds a large collection of book bindings of the 15th and 16th century. Most of the book bindings were crafted in Bavarian bookbinders' workshops, for example by Ambrosius Keller in Augsburg, Anton Schweller in Munich or Aloys Attenkofer in Ingolstadt. They formed part of the possessions of the Bavarian monastery libraries, whose collections were transferred to the court library in the course of the secularisation.

The collection includes around 4,150 sheets with over 7,600 rubbings of front cover brasses of late Gothic bindings and numerous further rubbings, frequently of complete book bindings. The collection has been catalogued in the book-bindings database.

Einbanddatenbank  (Bindings database)

Exlibris collection

With around 40,000 specimens, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek owns the third largest collection of exlibris in Germany. In addition to exlibris separated from library holdings, the collection encompasses several private collections, above all the voluminous collection of the doctor and exlibris-expert Josef Klüber (1873 – 1936). The collection includes also around 600 exlibris from Bavarian monasteries. The monastery exlibris are accessible in digital form. The collection of exlibris is classified in accordance with the previous provenances and for the most part has been entered in a card catalogue, which can be consulted in the Reading Room for Manuscripts and Rare Books.

Overview of digitized exlibris from monasteries