E. T. A. Hoffmann

Second to the Berlin State Library, the Bamberg State Library owns the world's largest collection of books by and about the Romantic writer, draftsman, and composer E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776–1822), who lived in Bamberg from 1808 to 1813.


The basis of the Bamberg collection of Hoffmanniana stems from donations by private collectors and the E.T.A. Hoffmann Society, which was founded in 1938 in Bamberg. The collection of primary sources and secondary research literature in the Bamberg State Library is constantly growing and is available for research. Works showing the reception of Hoffmann, such as drawings and prints created by modern artists, are also being acquired.

Hoffmann's handwritten works and documents were made available online by the Bamberg State Library. This includes numerous letters from and to Hoffmann; 16 original drawings (three of them on letters); five manuscripts and parts of manuscripts; three death notices for his fictitious tomcat, Murr; and an autograph score and two transcriptions of Hoffmann's musical works. In addition, the library preserves some archival documents: a publishing contract; a diary fragment and a job application; three dedications in books; a signature in the piano score of Mozart's opera "Don Giovanni"; and the only surviving book from Hoffmann's library. Furthermore, there is a receipt signed by Hoffmann's wife, Maria Thekla Michaelina, and the entry for E. T. A. Hoffmann in the Death Registry of the Evangelical Jerusalem Community in Berlin.

Digital Collections

The autographs, drawings, and music by E. T. A. Hoffmann in the holdings of the Bamberg State Library have been completely digitized and are freely accessible via the digital collection Bamberg Treasures. The online presentation not only includes detailed information on the individual documents but also transcriptions of the autographs. It is possible to run a full-text search, to download digital images and to use them under the Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 4.0. All works are recorded in Kalliope, the national database for modern papers and autographs.

The E.T.A. Hoffmann Portal links the Bamberger materials to the holdings of other institutions. It was initiated by the Berlin State Library, which preserves a comprehensive archive of letters, music, and drawings by E. T. A. Hoffmann as well as printed editions of his works.


Müller, Hans von (ed.): Handzeichnungen E. T. A. Hoffmanns in Faksimiledruck. Reprint of the edition Berlin 1925. Hildesheim, 1973 (catalogue).

Riemer, Elke: E. T. A. Hoffmann und seine Illustratoren. 2. ed. Hildesheim, 1978 (catalogue).

Schemmel, Bernhard: Staatsbibliothek Bamberg. Handschriften, Buchdruck um 1500 in Bamberg, E. T. A. Hoffmann. Bamberg, 1990, pp. 118–148 (digitized version).

Schemmel, Bernhard: Die E.-T.-A.-Hoffmann-Sammlung der Staatsbibliothek Bamberg. Zugleich ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Rezeption E. T. A. Hoffmanns in Bamberg. In: Bibliotheksforum Bayern 6 (1978), pp. 167–187. Continued as: Neue Hoffmanniana der Staatsbibliothek Bamberg. In: Mitteilungen der E.T.A. Hoffmann-Gesellschaft 32 (1986), S. 12–19 and in: E.T.A. Hoffmann-Jahrbuch 2 (1994), pp. 7–16 and in: E.T.A. Hoffmann-Jahrbuch 10 (2002), pp. 10–30.

Ponert, Dietmar J.: E. T. A. Hoffmann – Das bildkünstlerische Werk. Ein kritisches Gesamtverzeichnis. 2 vols. Petersberg, 2012 (vol. 1: digitized version, vol. 2: catalogue).

Schemmel, Bernhard: In Hoffmanno! E. T. A. Hoffmann, Haus, Gesellschaft. Ein Beitrag zur Rezeptionsgeschichte. Bamberg, 2013 (digitized version).

Schemmel, Bernhard: E. T. A. Hoffmann gesammelt. Eine Geschichte Bamberger Bestände in Einzelbeispielen. Bamberg, 2019 (digitized version).