The Latin term "exlibris" ("from the books") designates graphically printed sheets of mostly small format, which were stuck in books to indicate the owner, and which contained the name, the monogram or coat of arms of the owner or a pictorial representation referring to him or her. The earliest exlibris are from the 15th century.

With over 39,500 sheets in 19 individual collections, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek owns Germany's third-largest collection of printed book ownership marks (exlibris). In addition to the exlibris detached from books held by the library in the 19th and the early 20th century, the collection encompasses several private collections acquired by the library at a later time, among them the personal papers of the physician Josef Klüber (1873 – 1936) and the librarian Ernst Freys (1863 – 1956) as well as the collections of Rudolf Baron von Hoschek (1887 – 1960), Hans Wanger (1900 – 1983 at the earliest), Emil Sulger-Gebing (1863 – 1923) and Aloys Fischer (1880 – 1937).

The collection of exlibris is classified in accordance with the previous provenances and for the most part has been entered in a card catalogue of exlibris owners and artists, which can be consulted in the Reading Room for Manuscripts and Rare Books.

Structure of the exlibris collection  (PDF, 57 KB)
Digital Collections


Meussgeier, Georg; Zwingmann, Tobias: Süddeutsche Kloster-Exlibris des 15. bis 20. Jahrhunderts aus bayerischen und fränkischen Klöstern: mit über 300 Abbildungen historischer Exlibris: aus den Beständen der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München, des Germanischen Nationalmuseums Nürnberg, des Archivs der Diözese Würzburg, der privaten Sammlung von Georg Meussgeier Kronach. Neustadt bei Coburg: Zwingmann, 2015.

Kudorfer, Dieter: Das Exlibris als privates Sammelgut und die Exlibris-Sammlung der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek. In: Bibliotheksforum Bayern 11 (1983), p. 64-76.