German National Library

The German National Library (German: Deutsche Nationalbibliothek or DNB) is the central archival library and national bibliographic centre for the Federal Republic of Germany. Its task is to collect, permanently archive, comprehensively document and record bibliographically all German and German-language publications since 1913, foreign publications about Germany, translations of German works, and the works of German-speaking emigrants published abroad between 1933 and 1945, and to make them available to the public.[2] The German National Library maintains co-operative external relations on a national and international level. For example, it is the leading partner in developing and maintaining bibliographic rules and standards in Germany and plays a significant role in the development of international library standards. The cooperation with publishers has been regulated by law since 1935 for the Deutsche Bücherei Leipzig and since 1969 for the Deutsche Bibliothek Frankfurt.

Duties are shared between the facilities in Leipzig and Frankfurt, with each center focusing its work in specific specialty areas. A third facility has been the Deutsches Musikarchiv Berlin (founded 1970), which deals with all music-related archiving (both printed and recorded materials). Since 2010 the Deutsches Musikarchiv is also located in Leipzig as an integral part of the facility there.

German National Library
Deutsche Nationalbibliothek
Deutsche bibliothek
The German National Library in Frankfurt
TypeNational library
Reference to legal mandateLaw regarding the German National Library
LocationFrankfurt, Germany
Leipzig, Germany
Berlin, Germany
Coordinates50°7′51.98″N 8°40′59.35″E / 50.1311056°N 8.6831528°E, 51°19′50.5″N 12°23′48.1″E / 51.330694°N 12.396694°E
Items collectedConventional printed works, those in microform, sound recording media and digital publications on physical storage devices and net publications
Size32.7 million items (2016)[1]
Criteria for collectionall publications published in Germany, all German-language publications published abroad, all translations into other languages of German-language works published abroad, all foreign-language publications about Germany published abroad known as "Germanica" written or printed works published between 1933 and 1945 by German-speaking emigrants
Legal deposityes, since 1935
Access and use
Access requirementsUsers must be at least 18 years old and present a valid passport or ID card. Library use is subject to a charge. A valid residence permit for Leipzig or Frankfurt am Main is requested for the application.
Circulation427,278 (2016)[1]
Members188,279 (2016)[1]
Other information
Budget52.3 million (2016)[1]
DirectorElisabeth Niggemann (1999)
Staff626.5 FTE (2016)[1]


During the German revolutions of 1848 various booksellers and publishers offered their works to the Frankfurt Parliament for a parliamentary library. The library, led by Johann Heinrich Plath, was termed the Reichsbibliothek ("Reich library"). After the failure of the revolution the library was abandoned and the stock of books already in existence was stored at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg.[3] In 1912, the town of Leipzig, seat of the annual Leipzig Book Fair, the Kingdom of Saxony and the Börsenverein der Deutschen Buchhändler (Association of German booksellers) agreed to found a German National Library in Leipzig. Starting January 1, 1913, all publications in German were systematically collected (including books from Austria and Switzerland). In the same year, Dr. Gustav Wahl was elected as the first director.

In 1946 Dr. Georg Kurt Schauer, Heinrich Cobet, Vittorio Klostermann and Professor Hanns Wilhelm Eppelsheimer, director of the Frankfurt University Library, initiated the re-establishment of a German archive library based in Frankfurt. The Federal state representatives of the book trade in the American zone agreed to the proposal. The city of Frankfurt agreed to support the planned archive library with personnel and financial resources. The US military government gave its approval. The Library began its work in the tobacco room of the former Rothschild library, which served the bombed university library as accommodation. As a result, there were two libraries in Germany, which assumed the duties and function of a national library for the later GDR and the Federal Republic of Germany, respectively. Two national bibliographic catalogues almost identical in content were published annually.

With the reunification of Germany on 3 October 1990, the Deutsche Bücherei Leipzig and the Deutsche Bibliothek Frankfurt am Main were merged into a new institution, The German Library (Die Deutsche Bibliothek). The "Law regarding the German National Library" came into force on 29 June 2006. The expansion of the collection brief to include online publications set the course for collecting, cataloguing and storing such publications as part of Germany's cultural heritage. The Library's highest management body, the Administrative Council, was expanded to include two MPs from the Bundestag. The law also changed the name of the library and its buildings in Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main and Berlin to "Deutsche Nationalbibliothek" (German National Library).

In July 2000, the DMA also assumed the role as repository for GEMA, Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte, a German music copyright organization. Since then, music publishers only have to submit copies to DMA, which covers both national archiving and copyright registration. The 210,000 works of printed music previously held by GEMA were transferred to DMA.

German Exile Archive and controversy

One of the special activities of the German National Library involves the collection and processing of printed and non-printed documents of German-speaking emigrants and exiles during the period from 1933 to 1945.

The German National Library maintains two exile collections: the Collection of Exile Literature 1933–1945 of the German National Library in Leipzig and the German Exile Archive 1933–1945 of the German National Library in Frankfurt am Main. Both collections contain printed works written or published abroad by German-speaking emigrants as well as leaflets, brochures and other materials produced entirely or in part by German-speaking exiles.

In 1998 the German National Library and the German Research Foundation began a publicly funded project to digitise the “Jewish Periodicals in Nazi Germany” collection of approximately 30,000 pages, which were originally published between 1933 and 1943. Additionally included in the project were 30 German-language emigrant publications "German-language exile journals 1933–1945", consisting of around 100,000 pages. These collections were put online in 2004 and were some of the most frequently visited sites of the German National Library.

In June 2012 the German National Library discontinued access to both collections on its website for legal reasons. The digitised versions are since then available for use in the reading rooms of the German National Library in Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main only, which caused partly harsh criticism.[4] The German National Library cited concerns over copyright as the reason, claiming that although the Library and the German Research Foundation had permission from the owners of the publication to put them online, the ownership of the “orphaned articles”, that is, the individual authors, could not be ascertained as would be necessary because German legislation does not include a "fair use clause".

The Jewish German-language newspaper haGalil called the libraries action "overzealous." Yves Kugelmann, the head of Jüdische Medien AG in Zürich, which owns the rights to Aufbau magazine, one of the Exile Archive's offerings, called the action “completely absurd, confusing, and without merit.” Dr. Anne Lipp of the German Research Foundation concluded that "all projects of the foundation,” which have been paid for by public funding and with the intent of publishing online, “must be made public.”[5]

Dr. Asmus, head of Deutsches Exilarchiv, claims that the ownership of articles from over 13,000 individual authors must first be confirmed and permissions obtained before the 70- to 80-year-old articles may be put online again, despite having had permission from the rightful owners of the publications to put the articles online. Asmus admits that there was not one single complaint of copyright violation.[6] Meanwhile, other German and international institutions such as Compact Memory, the Leo Baeck Institute and have no such compunctions and have begun restoring many of the deleted periodicals to the internet again.[7]

German Music Archive

The Deutsches Musikarchiv (DMA, German Music Archive) is the central collection of printed and recorded music and the music-bibliographic information centre for Germany. It is a Federal agency founded in 1970, tasked with collecting all music published in the country. Its precursor was the Deutsche Musik-Phonothek (1961–1969). The DMA moved to Leipzig in 2010, to be housed in an extension of the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Construction work began in 2006 and was completed in 2009.

Formerly situated in Berlin-Lankwitz, the DMA constitutes a department of the German National Library (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek). Publishers of printed and recorded music in Germany are required by law (since 1973) to deliver two copies of every edition to the archive. One copy is kept at the DMA in Leipzig, the second is deposited in Frankfurt.

Building in Leipzig

Coordinates: 51°19′20.44″N 12°23′48.11″E / 51.3223444°N 12.3966972°E
Deutsche Buecherei Hauptgebaeude mit Buecherturm
The German National Library in Leipzig

The main building of the German National Library in Leipzig was built 1914–1916 after plans of the architect Oskar Pusch. The impressive facade is 160 m long and faces the "Deutscher Platz" (German Plaza). The building was opened on October 19, 1916. The site of the library had been donated by the city of Leipzig, while Friedrich August III, King of Saxony provided the funds for the building. On the facade, the portraits of Otto von Bismarck, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Johannes Gutenberg are displayed. Statues represent Technology, Justice, Philosophy, Medicine etc. The central reading room contains a picture by Ludwig von Hofmann, depicting Arcadia in Art Nouveau-style. The staircase displays a mural showing the founders of the German library. The Library also contains the German Museum of Books and Writing. The latest extension was completed in 2010.

4th extension


  • Total: 34.2 million items[8]
    • books: 15.5 million
    • journals: 5.2 million
    • audio records: 2.1 million
    • electronic publications: 4.5 million

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "Jahresbericht 2016" (in German). 2016. Retrieved 2017-09-24.
  2. ^ Murray, Stuart (2009). The Library: An Illustrated History. New York, NY: Skyhorse Pub.
  3. ^ Fabian, Bernhard, ed. (2003). "Reichsbibliothek von 1848". Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Deutschland. Hildesheim: Olms Neue Medien.
  4. ^ haGalil, 16. July 2012, “Deutsche Nationalbibliothek blendet jüdische Geschichte aus” (“German National Library blinds out Jewish History”), by Jim G. Tobias (in German)
  5. ^ haGalil, 19. July 2012, “Absurd, irreführend und unbegrundet” (Absurd, confusing, and without merit”), by Jim G. Tobias (in German)
  6. ^ Comments in a speech given by Asmus on 29 November 2013 in the Jewish Museum, Berlin for the Zugang Gestalten! conference.
  7. ^ Compare the major internet sources for Holocaust research, such as Yad Vashem, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and countless other institutions and libraries, all of which increase their internet content every year.
  8. ^ Jahresbericht 2017 (in German). Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. 2018. p. 46.

External links

Coordinates: 50°7′51.98″N 8°40′59.35″E / 50.1311056°N 8.6831528°E

20th Century Press Archives

The 20th Century Press Archives comprises about 19 million of newspaper clippings, organized in folders about persons, companies, wares, events and topics.

It originates from the Hamburg Kolonialinstitut (colonial institute) founded in 1908. Within the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA) it turned into a unique public press archives. In 2007 it was absorbed by the German National Library of Economics (ZBW) and merged with the Wirtschaftsarchiv (economics archive) of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), founded in 1914. Article collection was discontinued by end of 2005, but the archive is still open to the public.

Berlin State Library

The Berlin State Library (German: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin; officially abbreviated as SBB, colloquially Stabi) is a universal library in Berlin, Germany and a property of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. It is one of the largest libraries in Europe, and one of the most important academic research libraries in the German-speaking world. It collects texts, media and cultural works from all fields in all languages, from all time periods and all countries of the world, which are of interest for academic and research purposes. Among the more famous items in its collection are the oldest biblical illustrations, in the fifth-century Quedlinburg Itala fragment, a Gutenberg Bible, the main autograph collection of Goethe, the world's largest collection of Johann Sebastian Bach's and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's manuscripts, and the original score of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.


DNB may refer to:

Dance Notation Bureau, a non-profit organization founded to preserve choreographic works

De Nederlandsche Bank, the Dutch central bank

Departure from nucleate boiling, in boiling heat transfer

Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, the German National Library

Deutsches Nachrichtenbüro, a Nazi German news agency administered by Heinz Lorenz

The Dictionary of National Biography, a reference work on notable figures from British history

Diplomate of National Board, an Indian credential for healthcare providers

DNB ASA, a Norwegian financial services group

Den norske Bank (DnB), a former Norwegian bank, now part of DNB ASA

Drum and bass (DnB), an electronic music style

Dun & Bradstreet (ticker code DNB), an American business information company

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (pronounced [ˌdɔʏtʃə ˈfɔɐ̯ʃʊŋsɡəˌmaɪnʃaft], DFG [ˌdeːʔɛfˈɡeː]; English: German Research Foundation) is a German research funding organization.

Fürstenberg China

The Fürstenberg China Factory (German: Porzellanmanufaktur Fürstenberg) was founded on 11 January 1747 in Fürstenberg an der Weser by Johann Georg von Langen at the direction of Duke Charles I of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. It is the second oldest porcelain manufacturer in Germany that still operates on its original site.

From 1888, the operation was turned into a public limited company (Aktiengesellschaft). In 1966, the firm became a limited liability company (GmbH) with its parent company, Braunschweig GmbH, and therefore a 100 per cent subsidiary of NORD/LB. Its current managing director is Stephanie Saalfeld.

German National Library of Economics

The German National Library of Economics (ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics) is the world’s largest research infrastructure for economic literature, online as well as offline. The ZBW is a member of the Leibniz Association and has been a foundation under public law since 2007. Several times the ZBW received the international LIBER award for its innovative work in librarianship. The ZBW allows for access of millions of documents and research on economics, partnering with over 40 research institutions to create a connective Open Access portal and social web of research. Through its EconStor and EconBiz, researchers and students have accessed millions of datasets and thousands of articles. The ZBW also edits two journals: Wirtschaftsdienst and Intereconomics.

German National Library of Medicine

The German National Library of Medicine (German: Deutsche Zentralbibliothek für Medizin), abbreviated ZB MED, is the national library of the Federal Republic of Germany for medicine, health sciences, nutrition, agriculture and the environment. It has two locations: Cologne and Bonn. The library is jointly financed by the Federal Ministry of Health and the 16 States of Germany. It is operated under the auspices of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The medical library was initially formed 1973 through the mergers of several much older institutions. Between 2001 and 2003 it was further expanded to include nutritional, environmental and agricultural sciences. As a result, today ZB MED is the world's largest specialist library in its five subjects and the largest medical library in Europe.

German National Library of Science and Technology

The German National Library of Science and Technology (German: Technische Informationsbibliothek), abbreviated TIB, is the national library of the Federal Republic of Germany for all fields of engineering, technology, and the natural sciences. It is jointly funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the 16 German states. Founded in 1959, the library operates in conjunction with the Leibniz Universität Hannover. In addition to acquiring scientific literature, it also conducts applied research in such areas as the archiving of non-textual materials, data visualization and the future Internet. The library is also involved in a number of open access initiatives. With a collection of over 9 million items in 2017, the TIB is the largest science and technology library in the world.


The online portal Greenpilot is a service provided by the German National Library of Medicine, ZB MED.

The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and gets its technical support from Averbis Ltd. The portal first went online May 29, 2009 and currently runs in the updated beta version. In the context of the 'Germany - Land of Ideas' (Deutschland - Land der Ideen) initiative under the patronage of the President of Germany Horst Köhler the ZB MED was awarded the distinction 'Selected Landmark 2009' (Ausgewählter Ort 2009).

Herbert Fischer (diplomat)

Herbert Fischer (1914–2006) was a German diplomat, indologist and the ambassador of the erstwhile German Democratic Republic to India from 1972 to 1976. Born on 10 April 1914 in Herrnhut, in East Germany to a craftsman, he migrated to western Europe in 1933 where he did his schooling and moved to India in 1936 which gave him the opportunity to get acquainted with Gandhiji. After the Indian independence in 1947, he went back to the German Democratic Republic and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1956. He served as the Chief of East German Trade Mission in the late 1960s before becoming the East German ambassador to India in 1972. He was the author of many Indological books which included Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, a biography of the Indian leader. He was a recipient of the Patriotic Order of Merit III Class. The Government of India awarded him the third highest civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan, in 2003, for his contributions to public affairs.

Integrated Authority File

The Integrated Authority File (German: Gemeinsame Normdatei; also known as the Universal Authority File) or GND is an international authority file for the organisation of personal names, subject headings and corporate bodies from catalogues. It is used mainly for documentation in libraries and increasingly also by archives and museums. The GND is managed by the German National Library (German: Deutsche Nationalbibliothek; DNB) in cooperation with various regional library networks in German-speaking Europe and other partners. The GND falls under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) licence.The GND specification provides a hierarchy of high-level entities and sub-classes, useful in library classification, and an approach to unambiguous identification of single elements. It also comprises an ontology intended for knowledge representation in the semantic web, available in the RDF format.The Integrated Authority File became operational in April 2012 and integrates the content of the following authority files, which have since been discontinued:

Name Authority File (German: Personennamendatei; PND)

Corporate Bodies Authority File (German: Gemeinsame Körperschaftsdatei; GKD)

Subject Headings Authority File (German: Schlagwortnormdatei; SWD)

Uniform Title File of the Deutsches Musikarchiv (German: Einheitssachtitel-Datei des Deutschen Musikarchivs; DMA-EST)At the time of its introduction on 5 April 2012, the GND held 9,493,860 files, including 2,650,000 personalised names.

International Bibliography of Periodical Literature

International Bibliography of Periodical Literature (IBZ: Internationale Bibliographie der Zeitschriftenliteratur) covers the academic journal literature in the humanities, social sciences, and related disciplines. Coverage includes journals from 40 countries and in more than 40 languages. Subject indexing is based on the Subject Headings Authority File (Schlagwortnormdatei) and Name Authority File (Personennamendatei) published by the German National Library. The file size is over 3.3 million records from over 11,000 journals, with 120,000 records added annually. (ISSN 1865-0279; ISBN 978-3-598-69006-8).

List of libraries

This is an alphabetical list of notable libraries around the world. It includes both notable public lending libraries and research libraries.

List of libraries in Germany

This is a list of libraries in the Federal Republic of Germany. There is a much more extensive list available on the German Wikipedia. There are about 6,313 public libraries in Germany.

Medical library

A health or medical library is designed to assist physicians, health professionals, students, patients, consumers, medical researchers, and information specialists in finding health and scientific information to improve, update, assess, or evaluate health care. Medical libraries are typically found in hospitals, medical schools, private industry, and in medical or health associations. A typical health or medical library has access to MEDLINE, a range of electronic resources, print and digital journal collections, and print reference books. The influence of open access (OA) and free searching via Google and PubMed has a major impact on the way medical libraries operate.

The United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) is the largest biomedical library in the world, and collects and provides access to some of the best health information in the world (due to its linkage to the National Institutes of Health). The NLM maintains numerous medical and genomic databases, searchable via its Entrez search system, including MEDLINE (PubMed) and OMIM (a genetic traits database).

The largest medical library in Europe is the German National Library of Medicine (ZB MED), which also has collections in the fields of nutrition, agriculture, and environmental science. ZB MED operates as the official European supplier of full texts in response to searches conducted in the NLM's bibliographic databases such as PubMed, and also operates its own search portals.

Name Authority File

The Name Authority File (German: Personennamendatei or PND) is an authority file of people, which served primarily to access literature in libraries. The PND has been built up between 1995 and 1998 and was published by the German National Library until 2012. For each person there is a record with his or her name, birth and occupation connected with a unique identifier, the PND number.

The PND comprises more than two million entries and is comparable with the Library of Congress Name Authority File (LCNAF). Since April 2012 the PND (which have since been discontinued) is part of the Integrated Authority File (Gemeinsame Normdatei or GND).

Science and technology in Germany

Science and technology in Germany has reached achievements which have been very significant and research and development efforts form an integral part of the country's economy. Germany has been the home of some of the most prominent researchers in various scientific disciplines, notably physics, mathematics, chemistry and engineering. Before World War II, Germany had generated more Nobel laureates in scientific fields than any other nation. It compelled as best country in the natural sciences.Scientific research in the country is supported by industry, by the network of German universities and by scientific state-institutions such as the Max Planck Society and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. The raw output of scientific research from Germany consistently ranks among the world's best. Germany was named the second most innovative country in the world in the 2015 Bloomberg Innovation Index, and consistently manages to be in the top three.

University of Hanover

The University of Hanover, officially the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover, short Leibniz University Hannover, is a public university located in Hannover, Germany. Founded on May 2, 1831, it is one of the largest and oldest science and technology universities in Germany. In the 2014/15 school year it enrolled 25,688 students, of which 2,121 were from foreign countries. It has nine faculties which offer 190 full and part degree programs in 38 fields of study. The University is named after Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the 18th century mathematician and philosopher.

Leibniz University Hannover is a member of TU9, an association of the nine leading Institutes of Technology in Germany. It is also a member of the Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research (CESAER), a non-profit association of leading engineering universities in Europe. The university sponsors the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB), the largest science and technology library in the world.

Virtual International Authority File

The Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).

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