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Facts and Figures

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

  • is one of the most important libraries worldwide,
  • was founded in 1661,
  • is jointly financed by the federal and state governments and belongs to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation,
  • collects scientifically relevant literature from all languages, all time periods and all countries of the world (focusing on humanities and social sciences),
  • has a large general collection of over 11 million books, which increases by about 100.000 items each year,
  • has extensive special collections of national and world cultural heritage (see “Collections”), including:

    • 66.700 music autographs (including 80% of all music autographs by J.S. Bach, the world’s largest Mozart collection, the scores of Beethoven’s famous symphonies No. 4, 5, 8 and 9 – the latter is part of UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme),

    • 42.170 oriental manuscripts, including the largest Hebrew parchment Bible and the largest Torah scroll,

    • 18.500 western manuscripts, including three of the nine fully preserved manuscripts of the Nibelungenlied (The Song of the Nibelungs),

    • 321.000 autographs (e.g. Lessing, Goethe, Kleist),

    • more than 1.600 estates and personal papers (e.g. Herder, Eichendorff, Hauptmann, Bonhoeffer, Gründgens, Furtwängler),

    • the archive of the Mendelssohn family,

    • about 4.600 incunabula, including one of the first books printed with movable type, the Gutenberg Bible of 1454/55, a brilliantly illuminated, two volume parchment edition,

    • more than 200.000 rare prints (e.g. early Ming period prints; the oldest print in the world, Buddhist Spells from Japan 764/770),

    • an exquisite collection of historical book covers,

    • 1.1 million maps, atlases and globes, including the world’s largest bound atlas,

  • is constantly expanding its digital library with its digitised collections, electronic journals, extensive databases, hundreds of thousands of e-book licenses etc.,
  • is a centre of national and international literature supply, thanks to the worldwide acclaimed quality of its collections,
  • has representatives in numerous national and international expert committees and thus actively contributes to the development of libraries,
  • provides extensive national services, responsible for the national records of journals, autographs, estates and personal papers, incunabula, cartographic literature,
  • provides access to several reading rooms in its two large listed buildings (cultural heritage) in the centre of Berlin:

    • Haus Unter den Linden 8, 10117 Berlin,
    • Haus Potsdamer Straße 33, 10785 Berlin,

  • has an additional reading room for two special departments (Newspaper Department and Children’s and Young People’s Book Department) - temporarily located in Westhafen,
  • operates an off-site storage facility in Friedrichshagen,
  • is open from Monday to Saturday, 69 hours/week,
  • the library's services are available to any person over 16 years of age.

General Conditions of use

  • Reading rooms open from Monday to Saturday
  • Open 69 hours per week
  • Library cards are available for either a month or a year for persons who are at least 16 years old
  • Wide range of services (on site and electronically)
  • Services for non-resident users and for people with disabilities
  • Starting points for your research

A Library with two locations