When the library was founded in 1803, the book collections of numerous church institutions and abbeys from the former Prince-Bishopric of Bamberg as well as the old University of Bamberg were united. Later acquisitions expanded this regional focus of the collections.
Amongst the historical holdings of the Bamberg State Library, some collections with a particularly distinct connection to Bamberg and (Upper) Franconia stand out. Here, besides the collections of Joseph Heller (manuscripts, printed books, fine art prints and drawings) and Emil Marschalk von Ostheim (mostly printed books, fine art prints and drawings), the collection of the Bamberg Historical Society (manuscripts, printed books, fine art prints and drawings) is especially worth mentioning.
The shelfmark group Res Bambergenses (RB.) comprises handwritten materials and printed books that deal with the history of the city and region. The shelfmark group Franconica (Franc.) contains literature about the whole of Franconia and thus considers Central and Lower Franconia as well as Upper Franconia. Furthermore, there are various Bambergensia and Franconica amongst the holdings of manuscripts and modern papers acquired since 1966 (Msc.Add.).
The comprehensive collection of current and historical newspapers from Bamberg and Franconia can be consulted in the original or on microfilm in the reading room.
Books about regional history as well as about the history of the Federal State of Bavaria are a focus area of the non-lending reference collection in the reading room and can be directly consulted there.