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Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin: Institution Main


About the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin:

Founded in 1661, the Staatsbibliothek is the most prominent library in the German-speaking world. It houses extensive collections of printed texts, manuscripts, historical prints, media and cultural works from all fields of knowledge, written in different languages, and covering all countries of the world. It provides an ideal environment for academic and research purposes, but it also welcomes general readers with less specialised interests.

The Library houses over 10 million books -- amongst which 4,400 incunabula, 18,400 occidental manuscripts, 41,700 oriental manuscripts and numerous other rare items -- as well as 25,000 subscription periodicals and publication series, 22,000 licensed electronic newspapers and periodicals, 180,000 newspaper volumes, 350 subscription newspapers, 2,7 million microfiches/microfilms and over 13 million images at the picture agency.

The development of the Library was interrupted by World War II, when almost 3 million books and other material had to be relocated to safe areas, such as monasteries and castles. After the war, only parts of the original collections were returned to "Unter den Linden" in Berlin (the original building located in the East part of Berlin) and, during the '70s, other portions of the collections were stored in the newly built "Potsdamer Straße Building" (West Berlin). Part of the collections is still preserved in Poland.

In 1992, the Library was reunited as Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, and both sites remain active to this day.

More information about the Library can be found here.

Digital Collections, Blogs, etc.


Institution: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin

Founded: 1661

Type: State library

Location: Berlin, DE


Online catalogueStaBiKat


A) Haus Potsdamer Straße
     Potsdamer Straße 33, 10785 Berlin, Germany
B) Haus Unter den Linden
     Unter den Linden 8, 10117 Berlin, Germany

More detailed information can be found here.

Using the Library

Readers must register to access the services offered by the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. Visitors may come to the Library without a library card but are required to own a valid pass if they want to use Library services. Readers can register both in Haus Potsdamer Straße and Unter den Linden (Mon-Fri 9am-3pm).


  • Readers can borrow a maximum of 30 items (to use offsite) and of 20 items for use in the reading rooms. Borrowed books can be returned to the other branches. Books in the Reading Room reference collections (with shelf marks HA, HB, HBS, HsLs, OLS etc.) are not available for loan. Similarly, some restricted items may be available for onsite use only and cannot be borrowed.
  • The initial loan period is 30 days, but it may be extended.
  • The Library offers interlibrary loan service.
  • Readers are liable for any damages and losses of books and other media. Contact the Lending Desk and complete the Loss Statement form.

Imaging and Duplication Services

Readers can request digital images if the copyright, physical condition and size allow it. Fees for this service apply.

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