Department of Early Printed Books

The Luther Collection

The unequalled Luther collection of the Prussian State Library, which most particularly contained contemporary single prints in all their varieties, had a number of provenances. A small collection of books from Luther’s estate, which his grandchildren had sold, already belonged to the library’s initial collection. To that came selective acquisitions of specialized theological collections, such as those of Johann Karl Friedrich Knaake or William Jackson, and also the Kirchenministerialbibliothek in Celle.

In respect to quality and quantity, the Luther collection of the Prussian State Library with its 5,641 printings counted as the largest in the world. After its evacuation during the Second World War its fate is still unknown today. Regrettably, reconstruction of this part of the collection from Luther’s times in this form will never again be possible. In the context of its extensive holdings concerning the history of the Reformation, the State Library has, nevertheless, taken on the task, of acquiring once more Luther publications of special relevance and of making these available to researchers. In the meantime the collection has grown again to encompass more than 900 printings.

The Luther collection was indexed in the old subject catalogue Alter Realkatalog (ARK). Now subject-related search is possible in the ARK-Online-Catalogue.

Listed in

SBB16 - Drucke des 16. Jahrhunderts im Bestand der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin


Abteilung Historische Drucke / Rara-Lesesaal


Abteilung Historische Drucke / Andreas Wittenberg
Abteilung Historische Drucke / Michaela Scheibe


Blog Bibel - Thesen - Propaganda

Luther- und Reformatorensammlung (Bilder)

Sammlung Lynar

News feed 07.11.2006: Ausstellung"Von dem weyt erschollen Namen Luther"

News feed 19.12.2016: Ausstellung "BIBEL - THESEN - PROPAGANDA"