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Department of Early Printed Books

  • Rara- und Musik-Lesesaal | Foto: K. Thöns

  • Rara- und Musik-Lesesaal | Foto: K. Thöns

  • Rara- und Musik-Lesesaal | Foto: K. Thöns

  • Rara- und Musik-Lesesaal | Foto: K. Thöns

  • Rara- und Musik-Lesesaal | Foto: K. Thöns

  • Rara- und Musiklesesaal | Foto: K. Thöns


The Early Printed Books Department has in its care collections of rare and valuable historical printed works and preserves them for future generations. Comprising around 265 000 volumes, the collection is the most comprehensive collection of its kind in German libraries. The department is also responsible for the acquisition and cataloguing of historical printed material published between 1501 and 1912.

Through its involvement in relevant projects, the department contributes to the compilation of a retrospective German national bibliography (VD 16/ VD 17/ VD18) as well as to the creation of a virtual German National Library.