The Staatsbibliothek possesses a large universal stock of books and numerous valuable special collections. Thanks to a far-sighted and wide-ranging acquisition policy, the library has obtained many treasures of world renown into its care, including scores by Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, bequests by Herder and Chamisso, the Decamerone by Boccaccio, hand-drawn maps from China and Japan and a fragment of an Egyptian Book of the Dead dated to the New Dynasty in the 12th century BC.
Today, our library holds over 10 million prints, 125,000 manuscripts, 318,000 autographs, 1 million maps, views, globes and atlases, 1,400 bequests and archives, 450,000 music prints, 180,000 historical newspaper volumes and much more. Every year, these numbers are augmented by some 100,000 volumes and thousands of digital publications. As one of the great archive libraries in Germany, the library bears the permanent responsibility for each and every document in our cultural heritage that finds its way into the particularly high-quality collections.
The outstandingly trained specialist staff of the Department for Stock Conservation are constantly engaged in detecting and repairing damage to books and other objects. They are, however, unable to cope with the enormous volume of cases of damage arising in the course of time due to intensive use and chemical processes by their own efforts:
Acid decay, war damage, mould, broken book blocks and torn pages are typical symptoms of the kind of damage, which demands in each case specific approaches for restoring and repairing the objects in the collections. Particular skills are needed by the restorers and book binders in dealing with the various materials such as vellum manuscripts, hand-drawn maps or leather bindings with metal clasps.
No other library in Germany invests so much money in conservation as the Berlin State Library, yet it still cannot prevent the ever widening gap between conservation and decay in our stocks. If the loss of valuable documents is to be prevented, then the pace and extent of the restoration work must be markedly increased. For this purpose we need your assistance.
What can you do?
If you want to support the Berlin State Library in its efforts to secure its valuable stocks, you can assume a sponsorship for a damaged book or other object. Your donation will be a factor in enabling needed restoration work to be out-sourced to small and medium sized companies. The State Library carefully selects restoration specialist companies on the basis of its high quality requirements. The sponsorship programme is organised by the Friends of the Berlin state Library e.V. with grateful acknowledgement.
Please select one or more items from the current lists, depicting the works in urgent need of restoring – refer to the column on the right-hand side. Besides books, letters, manuscripts, scores, maps, historical newspapers and other material are also listed. The restoration costs are specified in Euros.
What kind of thanks will you receive?
The restored work will receive an ex libris containing the name of its sponsor. The titles saved by book sponsorships in the given preceding year will be listed at the New Year’s receptions of the State Library and its Friends. – You will, of course, receive a corresponding donation certificate for your records and for presenting to your tax office.