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