Department of Early Printed Books

The „Sammlung Deutscher Drucke“ – a cooperative collection development programme

Six major German libraries have been working together in the consortium “Sammlung Deutscher Drucke” in order

  • to create a collection as complete as possible of printed books published in the German cultural area,
  • to catalogue them appropriately,
  • to make them available to the public and
  • to preserve and to safeguard them for future generations.

In the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin the library’s activities concerning this project are coordinated by the Department of Early Printed Books. Complementary acquisitions of books published in the German speaking area between 1871 and 1912 fall within its responsibility. The Department is also in charge of cataloguing these materials.
Children’s books and juvenile literature from this period are taken care of by the Kinder- und Jugendbuchabteilung.
The Kartenabteilung collects maps and globes from 1801 to 1912, while the Musikabteilung is responsible for printed music published between 1801 and 1945.

Since 1990, when the project started, the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin has acquired more than 50.000 books which until then had not been part of its extensive collections and often enough cannot be found in any other German library. Publications of (industrial) companies, pamphlets and various occasional writings, rare editions of the literary output of those days as well as many specimens from the field of book art have been collected with special emphasis.