Rare and precious prints from the early collection groups have been protected by separating them from the general collection groups already as of the 19th century.
Initially, the collection group of "Rariora" (Rar.) was limited to the particularly important manuscripts, incunabula and valuable printed works from the special collections, which were provided with the additional shelf mark Cimelia (Cim.). From 1843 to 1914, these works formed part of the permanent exhibition presented in the Zimeliensaal (hall of treasures) and as of around 1898 in the Fürstensaal. At the end of the 19th century, the collection group included merely around 100 volumes.
At the start of the 20th century, the collection group was extended by adding particularly rare and valuable printed works, unique copies and first editions of famous books. Today, the collection group of Rariora includes over 4,300 volumes.
With respect to content, the collection includes all areas of scholarship and art. In addition to precious printed works of the early modern era, also a collection of pamphlets from the year 1848 is included. Chronologically, the spectrum ranges from the onset of book printing to first editions from the first quarter of the 20th century, the focus being on printed matter from the 15th and 16th century.
The collection group was discontinued in 1990. It was replaced by the collection group "Reserve seltener Drucke" (reserve of rare printed works), for which no new classification marks needed to be assigned. The printed works have kept their classification marks and merely the shelf mark "Res" was added.
Kaltwasser, Franz Georg: Die Bibliothek als Museum. Wiesbaden, 1999. Beiträge zum Buch- und Bibliothekswesen. 38.
Dachs, Karl: Eine "Reserve seltener Drucke" für die Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. In: Bibliotheksforum Bayern 4 (1978), p. 175-190.