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Collection World War I

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Contents, structure, and size of the collection

{cellType=header}Contents Literature related to World War I, published between 1914 and 1955
{cellType=header}Size more than 40,000 volumes
{cellType=header} Catalogues complete record in StaBiKat: Online subject catalogue ARK-online-classification searchable in the catalogue section on history: > Geschichte. Ethnographie. Geographie > Krieg 1914
{cellType=header}Shelf marks Krieg 1914/1 to Krieg 1914/35205
{cellType=header}Use May be consulted in the reading room, can be ordered electronically
{cellType=header}Contact Dr. Jens Prellwitz, Tel.: ++49 / (0)30 / 266 - 433142

Description of Collection

This special collection of World War I was created shortly after the beginning of the fighting. The then "Königliche Bibliothek Berlin" (Royal Library Berlin) made an appeal to the public to send to the library all publications related to the war which had only just begun. The material thus acquired was incorporated into a special war collection and was assigned the shelf mark "Krieg 1914 plus sequential number". The last shelf mark assigned was “Krieg1914-35.205”. The quantity of volumes has to be estimated at twice the number, as multi-volume works, journals and serials were given only one shelf mark. In spite of the losses during the removals in World War II, the library still holds some 40,000 volumes (items). This collection is very valuable because it does not only comprise publications from Germany and the states allied with the German Reich. Special agents were in charge of buying such documents on a large scale from neutral and enemy states. The easy and simultaneous access to documents of the belligerent powers relating to the same events is the main reason why the collection is of such a great value for research.

Cataloguing and indexing 

In the course of the years the collection was classified and subject-indexed. There is a separate card catalogue with 737 subject codes for the various titles. In order to make them distinguishable from the shelf marks, the subject codes consist of the abbreviation Weltkr. followed by a number (Weltkr.= Weltkrieg= World War). A list of subject codes with an index of approximately 3,430 subject headings was published in 1929. As a consequence of World War II parts of the holdings were lost and the subject catalogue destroyed. In the period from 1993 to 1998 the remaining literature was catalogued on the basis of the subject code classification system, which once again has become a helpful tool for research. In February and March 1999 after the termination of the new cataloguing project the collection was presented in an exhibition. The State Library endeavours to replace the losses and complement the collection. The subject catalogue of the Sammlung Krieg 1914 is searchable in the ARK-Online-classification (subject search 1501-1955) in the section History


Aufruf der Königlichen Bibliothek Berlin zur Einrichtung einer "Sammlung aller den gegenwärtigen Krieg betreffenden Druckschriften" vom August 1914
Registratur (Archiv) der SBB, Nachlass Schwenke
Auch publiziert am 20.10.1914 in Berliner Tageblatt / Abendausgabe und Vossische Zeitung / Abendausgabe

Preußische Staatsbibliothek <Berlin>:Schlagwortrepertorium zum Katalog der Weltkriegs-Sammlung / Preussische Staatsbibliothek. - Berlin : de Gruyter, 1929. - V, 57 S.

"Krieg 1914" : eine Sondersammlung der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin ; Katalog zur Ausstellung, 17. Februar bis 27. März 1999 / [Ausstellung und Katalog: Olaf Hamann. Mit einem Beitr. von Wolfram Wojtecki]. - Berlin : Staatsbibliothek, 1999. - 86 S. : Ill.
Enth. u.a.: 1. Die Sammlung "Krieg 1914" / Olaf Hamann.
2. Kriegsalltag an der Front und in der Heimat / Wolfram Wojtecki.