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At a glance ...

Postal address: Postf. 340223, 80099 München; Ludwigstr. 16, 80539 München,

Tel.: (089) 2 86 38-2382, Fax (089) 28638 2180.

see the Opening hours

Funded by: the Free State of Bavaria.

Library director: Prof. Dr Arno Mentzel-Reuters

Library identification code: <B220> ISIL: DE-B220



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The library of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica


Some facts and figures: The MGH library is the world’s largest specialised library for medieval history. Users have free access to the stacks with some 150 000 books. The collection includes two complete and 90 fragmentary medieval manuscripts, 19 early modern manuscripts, 8 incunabula (early printed books published before 1500) and 106 postincunabula, ca. 3000 reproductions of medieval manuscripts (films, film copies and photo-plates), and 205 current periodicals. The reading room has 34 workplaces and a stock of 2500 reference works to hand.

A short history of the library: The cornerstone of the MGH library was laid by the medieval philologist Ludwig Traube († 1907) who endowed the state with his private library in Munich under the condition that it be made available to the Gesellschaft für Ältere Deutsche Geschichtskunde for the purpose of preparing editions. In 1911, Traube’s collection of palaeographic and manuscript studies material was augmented by the library of the longstanding chief editor of the MGH Scriptores series, Oswald Holder-Egger. Until 1944, the MGH library was housed in Berlin; thereafter it was removed to Schloss Pommersfelden near Bamberg, where it survived the war. In 1949, the library was brought to Munich and installed together with the MGH first in the Meiserstraße (now Katharina-von-Bora-Straße) and finally, in 1967, in its present location in the rooms of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

Challenges facing the library: On account of the restricted spatial capacity of the rooms rented in the BSB building, the library has been forced to limit the systematic shelving of books in the stacks as of January 1 2014. This applies to books printed before 1945, multi-volume publications and books in quarto and folio format. All other new acquisitions (some two thirds of the collection) will be shelved as usual. Furthermore, recent measurements of the climatic conditions in the reading room and the stacks have shown these to be incommensurate with conservation purposes.