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Sammlung deutscher Drucke (Collection of German Printed Literature)

The programme "Sammlung Deutscher Drucke" is a joint venture reaching far into both the past and the future. The project was created to reduce the considerable gaps in the German libraries' collections of printed literature published in the past in the German-language area.
In 1989 five libraries - which are today responsible for the collection period of 1450 to 1912 - joined forces to ensure that the acquisition of works of the German language and cultural area missing in their collections took place in a coordinated way. During the first five years, the funding was provided by the  Volkswagen Stiftung (Vokswagen Foundation), since then, it has been taken over by the regular funding agencies. Since 1995, also the Deutsche Bibliothek has been participating in the  Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sammlung Deutscher Drucke within the framework of its legal collection mandate.
The experience gathered so far shows that the concept of a decentralised, chronologically ordered collection has proven itself. The concerted acquisition policy of the libraries and modern information and communication technology permit the setup of a virtual national library.
The participating libraries are responsible for the following time segments:
1450 - 1600
1601 - 1700
1701 - 1800
1801 - 1870
1871 - 1912
1913 ff.
With its responsibility for the period from 1450 to 1600 (music prints up to 1800) the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is in charge of the earliest, longest and most costly period within the project. The available funds consequently have to be used in a very targeted manner, according to the degree of rarity of the printed works on offer. Those titles are given priority which so far do not form part of any public collection, followed by works which do not form part of the collection of a German or Bavarian library. Another important criterion is that the acquired works should form a representative cross section of a broad variety of subject areas and literary genres.