The Bamberg State Library is a regional library for Upper Franconia and one of the main memory institutions in Bavaria. More than half a million volumes are available free of charge to the public for study, research, work, and education purposes. Regular special exhibitions and extensive digital collections provide insights into our precious historical holdings.


Manuscripts and early printed books from the old university and the monasteries of the bishopric of Bamberg, which was dissolved in 1803, as well as extensive book collections acquired from private book collection make the Bamberg State Library a research library of international renown. The most valuable of these collections are more than 1000 medieval manuscripts that date back to the donations of Emperor Henry II (1002–1024), including three items that are part of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme.

The State Library has had a collaboration with the Bamberg University Library since 1975 through which the State Library provides University members with modern research literature.

As a public library with a focus on a range of subjects in the humanities, the State Library plays a central role for the access to literature and information throughout the city and region of Bamberg and is open to all interested parties for research, professional, and personal use.

As a regional library for Upper Franconia, the State Library collects literature from and about Bamberg and Upper Franconia and preserves a substantial part of the written and printed memory of this area. In addition, there is documentary material from and about well-known personalities who are connected to the region through birth or their work.

Our Mission

Through constant acquisition of new publications from Upper Franconia and other areas of specialty, our holdings of literature are constantly expanding, and the cataloguing of both new and historical collections is ongoing. These holdings are available both for reading room use and borrowing locally and through interlibrary loan.

Selected parts of our holding are being catalogued in depth through the course of externally funded research projects. The results are made accessible to the research community through printed catalogues or online portals.

The long-term preservation of our special historical collections, which comprises many unique works, is one of the core tasks of the State Library. Conservation and restoration measures are ongoing.

The successive digitization of manuscripts, old printed books, and graphic prints and drawings serves both the preservation and the access: digital copies can in many cases replace the use of the original and thus contribute to the preservation of valuable documents. At the same time, they enable anyone in the world to virtually view precious and fragile books that are only available locally and in exceptional cases in their original form.

Seminars, during which researchers and students can familiarize themselves with the historical collections of the State Library, are regularly presented at exhibitions inside and outside of the Library. Furthermore, guided tours and other events at the library contribute to the cultural education of the general public.

Focal Points of Our Acquisitions

History of Bamberg and (Upper) Franconia
Mediaeval history
Art history
Book and library history
Manuscript studies
E. T. A. Hoffmann
Jean Paul

 Lists of recent acquisitions

New Acquisitions

The Bamberg State Library is constantly adding to its holdings by acquiring modern literature predominantly in the area of the humanities. Every year, around 5000 new items become part of the collection through purchases, gifts, exchanges, or copyright delivery.

The focal points of these acquisitions stem from the old collections and the tasks of the State Library: they are based on Franconian regional studies, mediaeval history (especially the 10th and 11th centuries), art history (especially printmaking), book history, and librarianship, including manuscript studies as well as works related to E. T. A. Hoffmann and Jean Paul.

In addition, the Bamberg State Library endeavours to supplement its historical special collections with antiquarian acquisitions of manuscripts, old printed books, and fine art prints and drawings. Here, the focus is on Bamberg and Upper Franconia as well as on E. T. A. Hoffmann.

The State Library in Numbers

Total number of books571,000
 New acquisitions per year4,900
 Total number of manuscripts6,400
 Mediaeval manuscripts1,000
Prints from the 15th century (Incunabula)3,600
 Graphic prints and photos80,000
  Current periodicals1,650