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Map Department


75 years after its division (the  end of World War II was the turning point) and 30 years after German reunification, the map department was the last of the special departments to be reunited in the refurbished site Unter den Linden.

In the maps reading room, which is back at its traditional place, there is a rich potential for research in holdings of more than 1.2 million maps, ca. 250,000 electronic maps, 155,000 views, 34,000 atlases and 800 globes.

Reference literature in the maps reading room offers direct access to specialist publications which are shelved according to a regional and subject classification. 

Dear readers,

since 1 November 2019 the building Unter den Linden is closed for many months.

During the closure time the map department will be concentrated in the building Unter den Linden. Unfortunately, it will not be possible for readers to use any collection items during this time – neither from Unter den Linden nor from Potsdamer Straße. Holdings of the maps reading room located at Potsdamer Straße will also move to Unter den Linden and will therefore not be available.

When the historical maps reading room reopens in Winter 2021 we will be very glad to again support your research. We are looking forward to being able to provide convenient access to all holdings of the map department in one single location.

Kind regards

Dr. Markus Heinz
Deputy head of the map department

Schmettau maps freely accessible online – seamless and georeferenced

On 22 March 2013 the Schmettau map series covering Brandenburg was officially launched at an event organized by the Landesvermessung und Geobasisinformation Brandenburg (State office for survey and geoinformation in Brandenburg) and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. The event took place in the Haus der Brandenburgisch-Preußischen Geschichte (House of the history of Brandenburg-Prussia).

World atlas of Gerardus Mercator

Facsimile-Edition of the „Editio Principissima“
5 March 2012 marked the 500th anniversary of the birth of the famous cosmographer, cartographer, and philosopher Gerardus Mercator.
To celebrate the occasion the publishing house Faksimile, in close cooperation with the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, presented a reproduction in facsimile of the „Editio Principissima“ (shelfmark 2° Kart. B 180/3), the famous world atlas. The atlas was handed over to the Director General of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Ms. Barbara Schneider-Kempf, on 14 June 2012 at a ceremony which took place in the maps reading room of the Staatsbibliothek (Haus Unter den Linden 8). Press release

Reprint of the Mercator-Hondius-Atlas

Special edition:
On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Gerardus Mercator and the 400th anniversary of the death of Jodocus Hondius the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - in cooperation with the Reprint-Verlag, Leipzig - republished maps of the Mercator-Hondius Atlas taken from the coloured German language edition held by the map department of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.