Document delivery "Altes Buch"

Digitization | © BSB
Digitization | © BSB

What does this service offer?

The digitization and photographic reproductions service of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek produces individual copies or scans or complete digital copies of manuscripts, old, rare printed works and newspapers within the framework of the document delivery service "Altes Buch" on demand and against a fee. The major part of the holdings, also special materials such as maps, personal papers, printed sheet music, etc. is available using this service.

Reproductions can be made of copyright-free works only.

The service is also available to non-registered users.

Placing a reproduction order

Reproduction orders can be generated with the aid of the electronic reproduction order tool ERaTo.

Prepare a reproduction order online using ERaTo

Please send us a signed printout of the fully filled-in form either by fax, by post or in the form of an e-mail attachment – in each case to only one of the contacts of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek listed in the following.

  • To the specialised department in question:
    You can also place your order in writing with the specialised department in question, sending your order conventionally by post or by e-mail or using the online information service. In case you have any questions or problems, please contact the specialist department directly.
    Online inquiry service
  • On the premises:
    In the library, orders for reproductions can also be placed in person, presenting the object at the information counter in the General Reading Room or, in case reproductions are required from the specialised departments' holdings, in the individual reading rooms.

Scope of service and fees

Quality levels

Digital copies can be produced on two different quality levels:

  • Digital copies for general use are usually produced with a resolution of 150 ppi, in the JPG format and without contained colour profile.

  • High-quality, reproducible copies are made in the form of coloured digital copies with a resolution of 400 ppi, in the TIFF format and with ICC colour profile. In addition, digital copies in 256 grey scale-quality can be produced on this basis. However, the files are converted to the sRGB colour space prior to this, conserving the original colouring.
    In case you require high-quality, reproducible copies, please let us know upon placing your order. This is the only way to ensure that digital copies are delivered which fulfil all typographic requirements.

The products are delivered without post-processing. However, it is possible to post-process them, predominantly in the case of reproducible coloured digital copies. For post-processing, please contact a copy shop of your choice.

Complementary information about colour management will follow below.

Scope of service and price lists

For details of the scope of service and the costs please consult the current price list.
Fees for copies

A publication, that is the reproduction of copies, is usually subject to approval and the payment of a fee. The purpose of use must always be stated.
For further information please see the list of reproduction fees.

Delivery

The copies are delivered in the form of paper copies or files on a USB stick, a DVD or as an Internet download.

Delivery cannot always be guaranteed and cannot be made at guaranteed times, since aspects of conservation are of great importance concerning the works in question. Nonetheless, delivery is made as fast as possible, usually within 4 weeks after receipt of the order/ payment.

Charges for photographic work

Valid as of 1 September 2007

The fees are charged on the basis of Art. 12 paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Allgemeine Benuetzungsordnung der Bayerischen Staatlichen Bibliotheken (General Regulations for the Use of the Bavarian State Libraries – ABOB) of 18 August 1993 (GVBl [Law and Ordinance Gazette] p. 635). The fee regulations concern copies which are ordered from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

The invoiced charges are made up of the following individual fees:
A. Prices for digital copies and other types of reproductions (if applicable, express delivery surcharge)
B. Provision fees and shipping fees

For the publication (reproduction, reprint, etc.) of image reproductions from manuscripts and special collections further fees may be charged. Such copies are subject to special regulations.
Reproduction fees (see Art. 25 ABOB)

Prices for digital copies and other types of reproductions

  • The listed prices are charged for each individual page of the copied original.
    (In the case that, due to the format or condition of the original, it is expedient to prepare double-page copies, such a double page is invoiced as a single page by way of exception.)

  • A basic fee of € 6,00 is charged per order. Provision fees and shipping fees are added.
    Hence the minimum cost for a domestic order of a digital copy is € 14,00.

  • An order is defined as the request of e.g. one article, one book or parts of one book. The request of several pages from different volumes in one form/ letter is treated as several orders. Analogously, the order of different products (e.g. colour and black-and-white digital copies of one original) can only be processed as several orders.

  • For technical and conservational reasons it is not always possible to deliver all products on offer. In the case that digital copies of manuscripts or special collections are made of the original, generally only digital colour copies can be ordered. We will inform you accordingly in the case that the requested product is not available.

  • In the event that a desired product is not offered, we recommend to order a digital copy. You can place your order with any copy shop of your choice. In case of doubt please contact the respective speciality department of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

  • Please note that the quality of the digital copies may vary in dependency of the quality of the original. The products are delivered as mere copies without any further processing. However, further processing is possible, in particular if delivery is made in the form of a reproducible digital colour copy. ICC colour profiles are stored together with the digital copy. If you wish to have your copy further processed, you can contact any copy shop of your choice.

  • In the case of special requests, complex work or difficulties arising from the object to be copied (e.g. enlargements of image details, heterogeneous modern papers or originals which can only be processed with the aid of a restorer), the fee payable consists of the regular price of the product plus a fee depending on the time needed to complete the order. The hourly rate is € 50,00. In such a case you will be informed accordingly before any work is taken up.

  • The digital copies are prepared by scanning at standard-quality settings. In the case that facsimile quality is required, individual standards and prices have to be agreed upon beforehand.

Express delivery surcharge

The minimum fee per express order is € 30,00. The prices listed under section A are doubled. For processing reasons there are some types of orders which cannot be treated as express orders, i.e. be completed within a guaranteed processing time of a maximum of three working days.

Provision fees and shipping fees

Provision fees and shipping fees are charged in addition to the prices for the digital copies and other types of reproductions.

Statement of the purpose of use

If reproductions of manuscripts, music manuscripts, printed music, maps, images or photographs are ordered, the purpose of use must always be stated.
The same is valid for all orders of reproducible images.

Advice concerning the use of reproductions

The reproductions may only serve the purchaser's own private or scholarly use. Any other use (e.g. for commercial purposes) is subject to an extra agreement. Reproductions may not be forwarded to third persons without the prior approval of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.
Please note that the purchaser is responsible for the protection of third-party rights (e.g. personal rights, copyrights) when using the reproductions.
In information about the document the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Munich and the shelf mark of the work in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek have to be mentioned without exception. The prior written approval of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is necessary for any reproduction of image reproductions from manuscripts and special collections in a publication. The fees possibly charged in this context are subject to special regulations (see Art. 25 ABOB).

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek reserves the right to offer the images produced upon corresponding requests by users on the Internet at a reduced quality, in particular works digitized in their entirety. These sites can be linked up free of charge with a persistent URL. Moreover, a free-of-charge PDF download can be made available.

A. Prices for digital copies and other types of reproductions

Basic fee: € 6,00 (express delivery € 30,00)

1. Digital copies

1.1. Originals up to DIN A3 format

The quality of the digital copies may vary in dependency on the copied original. The products are delivered as mere copies without any further processing.

In the case of collections held by the Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books (including the reserve), rare items from the music collection or from the oriental collection, digital copies for customers are only prepared in black and white or grey scales provided that a microfilm is already available. If copies are made from the original, such copies are without exception colour copies and are also invoiced as such.

The quantity discount of 10 % for customer digital copies is granted from 20 copies and is applicable to all types of copies.

  Standard-quality digital copy
(150 dpi, JPEG)
Remark Reproducible digital copy
(at least 300 dpi, TIFF *)
Black and white € 0,40 It is up to the discretion of the library wether black-and-white or grey-scale copies are delivered. € 2,00
Grey scale € 0,40 It is up to the discretion of the library wether black-and-white or grey-scale copies are delivered. € 4,00
Colour € 1,50  / € 6,00 *

* Reproducible digital colour copies are delivered with ICC colour profiles, which have to be consulted for a printout with accurate colours.
* Digital colour copies are also prepared of slides or ektachromes.

1.2 Originals larger than DIN A3 Format (42 x 29,5 cm)

Per page of the original   € 12,00

For conductors' scores and other printed works that are somewhat broader than the narrow side of the DIN A3 format, but not as high as DIN A3, the fees applicable to the DIN A3 format will be charged.

2. Paper copies

For some types of originals we currently cannot offer a paper printout or printout on reproducible special paper. Please note that to have paper printouts produced from a (reproducible) digital copy you can contact any copy shop of your choice.

2.1. Originals up to DIN A3 format

In the case of collections held by the Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books (including the reserve), rare items from the music collection or from the oriental collection, digital copies for customers are only prepared in black and white or grey scales provided that a microfilm is already available. If copies are made from the original, such copies are without exception colour copies and are also invoiced as such.

Type of paperFormatColourPrice
Normal paper *A4Black and white
or grey scale ***
€ 0,50
Normal paper *A3Black and white
or grey scale ***
€ 0,70
Normal paper *A4Grey scale€ 0,50
Normal paper *A3Grey scale€ 0,70
Normal paper *A4Colour€ 2,50
Normal paper *A3Colour€ 4,00
Reproducible special paper **A4Grey scale€ 8,00
Reproducible special paper **A3Grey scale€ 13,00
Reproducible special paper **A4Colour€ 21,00
Reproducible special paper **A3Colour€ 31,00

* The paper printouts of digital black and white or grey scale copies are generally of a quality of at least 150 dpi, those of digital colour copies are of a quality of at least 300 dpi.
** This fee does not encompass the checking of the quality of the colour printout and the balancing of colours in comparison to the original. Such works are carried out after consultion with the customer and are charged at an hourly rate. However, the ICC colour profiles are stored along with the digital copies (see section 1.1), which need to be ordered independently if required.
*** In the case that holdings of the Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books (incl. the reserve), rare music items and rare items from the oriental collection are copied, insofar as no microfilm is available, the price per black-and-white or grey-scale print increases by € 1,50.

2.2 Formats larger than DIN A3

Upon request

3. Microfilm, positive

€ 0,50
Depending on the original, a black-and-white or halftone copy is delivered.
Microfilms are only produced of the entire original, not of parts thereof, and only on condition that master films are already available. The maximum price for the film duplicate of a reel is € 125,00.

4. Special requests

Images of details (e.g. initial, book clasp)   € 20,00
Images of exteriors (book edge, book spine, oblique perspective)   € 30,00
For other special request, e.g. a different resolution or a special format, the hourly rate is charged on top of the product price, the minimum fee for one image being € 30,00.

B. Provision fees and shipping fees

The provision fees and shipping fees are charged in addition to the production costs. Usually each order will be provided and invoiced individually. If several orders can be shipped under the same cover, only one shipping flat rate is invoiced.

1. Provision

USB stick per item * € 5,00
DVD per item * € 7,00
Internet download (provision, administration) ** (per 500 MB) € 10,00

* In case you select delivery on USB stick/ DVD, you will receive a USB stick up to a data volume of 1 GB. In case the data volume is larger, delivery will be made on DVD.
** Download upon notification by e-mail/ telephone informing of the URL

2. Delivery per mail

Within Germany € 3,00
To other countries € 5,00

Air mail

Up to 500 g (100 pages) € 10,00
Up to 1000 g (200 pages) € 20,00
Up to 2000 g (400 pages) € 30,00
From 2000 g (200 pages) Mail price

Fees for reproductions

Version: 1 January 2017

In case you wish to publish image reproductions from manuscripts, early printed works, maps, images, sheet music or other special collections, no matter whether this takes place in printed works or electronic publications of any kind or in the form of an Internet publication, the prior approval of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is required in accordance with Art. 25 para. 1 ABOB (General Regulations on the Use of Bavarian State Libraries).
Art. 25 para. 1 ABOB

Exception CC license: No approval is required when you wish to use a digital copy for publication that has already been made available by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek within the scope of its digital services, under a CC license that permits a publication. Please check this. In most cases publication is admissible unless the publication serves for commercial purposes.

The use of images from the Image Archive is subject to special conditions of use and is likewise subject to approval and usually the payment of a fee.
Image Archive


Commercial purposes
In case you are planning a publication for commercial purposes (e.g. reprints, facsimiles, postcards, etc.), an extra agreement is required in each case (Art. 9 para. 4 ABOB).
§ 9 Abs. 4 ABOB
Please contact us:
Inquiry service

Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Document Delivery Service "Altes Buch"
80328 Munich
Fax + 49 89 2809284
Academic or other non-commercial use
In cases where no corresponding digital copy has been made available under a CC license yet, you need the approval of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek for publishing the image also when the publication serves academic or other non-commercial purposes. Approval always has to be obtained prior to the publication. Please contact us to make a corresponding request, specifying the type of publication, number of images used and the print run:
Inquiry service

Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Document Delivery Service "Altes Buch"
80328 Munich
Fax + 49 89 2809284


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • The grant of approval for publication is usually subject to a fee. Approval is granted exclusively for the agreed purpose of use in each case. The BSB's approval has to be sought again for any new edition, increase of the print run, translation or additional publication.
  • The requester undertakes to observe third-party rights by himself (e.g. personal rights, copyrights) when using the image material.
  • Each publication of the image has to be provided with the following credits (Art. 25 para. 1 clause 2 ABOB):
    „Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München, classification number of the work
    Art. 25 para. 1 clause 2 ABOB
  • The amount of the fee charged for the approval of publication is determined by the fees outlined in the register of costs (BayVGBl. [Bavarian Law and Ordinance Gazette] no. 28/2000, BayRS-1-2-F [Compilation of Bavarian Laws], standard rate no. 3.III.2/10.2) and lies between € 12.50 and € 400.00.
  • In accordance with Art. 4, para. 1 KG [Cost Law], the legal entities listed there (e.g. the Free State of Bavaria, Bavarian municipalities, etc.) are exempt from payment of the fee .
  • The fees depend on what type of publication is intended (monographs, newspapers, journals in the form of printed publications or electronic publications including web services or combined publications) and the print run and size and position of the image. Approval has to be sought for each individual image. In case several images are required from one original, the fees may be reduced.

Brief information about colour management/ profiles

What is colour management?

Colour management is a standardised method for storing and reproducing colour information in digital photography. It ensures that a copy of an original produced by means of a scanner or a camera can be reproduced as an exact match of the original when displayed on a monitor or printed out. When all components interact ideally during the production of the copy, the copy generated will have the same brightness and the same colouring under similar lighting conditions as the original during the recording of the copy.

In practice, colour management is based on a so-called colour profile which contains the colour information and is stored together with each file. When the copy is displayed on a monitor or printed out, the information of the colour profile is converted to different colour spaces using conversion tables, in order to reproduce the original colour conditions.

Four important rules for handling digital images

  1. Quality assessment and post-processing only with professional graphical software
    Only high-quality scanners or cameras and professional graphical software (e.g. Photoshop) support colour management, but not less complex, freely available image viewing software such as IrfanView or the Windows image viewer. The image profiles will be lost when the image files are processed and stored using software without colour management!

  2. Quality assessment and post-processing only with calibrated monitor
    Only a calibrated monitor with brightness and colour settings that are adjusted to the ambient light will allow a reliable assessment of the quality of a digital copy! Viewing by means of an uncalibrated monitor will possibly result in a completely wrong impression. The monitors at almost all computer work places at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek are not calibrated.

  3. Always also take account of the current lighting conditions
    When comparing the original to the monitor display or to a printout, the influence of the ambient light must always be taken into account. The lighting conditions during the scanning differ strongly from those below a desk light or in sunlight.

  4. Use a calibrated printer and the appropriate type of paper
    Only a calibrated printer can output a copy which optically matches the scan and the original. Before printing, the system needs to read out the information contained in the colour profile and convert it to the printing colour space. It should also be taken into account that different types of paper will absorb printing inks differently and reflect light differently. The printed image can be strongly impaired by using an unsuitable type of paper.
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