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The German National Library in brief

The German National Library is entrusted with the task of collecting, permanently archiving, bibliographically classifying and making available to the general public all German and German-language publications from 1913, foreign publications about Germany, translations of German works, and the works of German-speaking emigrants published abroad between 1933 and 1945. The German National Library maintains co-operative relations on the national and international level. It is, for instance, the leading partner in developing and maintaining rules and standards in Germany and plays a significant role in the development of international standards.

It is a federal institution with legal capacity under public law. The annual funds provided from the budget of the Minister of State for Culture and the Media currently amount to roughly EUR 51 million.

The German National Library was preceded by several institutions: these included the Deutsche Bücherei, founded in Leipzig in 1912, and the Deutsche Bibliothek Frankfurt am Main, established in 1946. The German Music Archive (Deutsches Musikarchiv) was founded in Berlin and has been part of the German National Library since 1970; it has been based in Leipzig since December 2010. The archive is responsible for the processing and bibliographic indexing of sheet music and sound recordings. The reunification of Germany saw these facilities amalgamated into a single institution. In 2006 the legal brief of the library was expanded and it was given a new name: Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (German National Library).

Archiving and media use take place at both locations, the work of media processing is shared between them. This system allows each location to offer a complete collection and provide a full range of services.

In addition, each location is allocated certain principal tasks. The historic Leipzig library houses the German Museum of Books and Writing (Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum), the German Music Archive, the Sammlung Exil-Literatur 1933 - 1945 and the Anne-Frank-Shoah-Bibliothek.

The Frankfurt site of the German National Library is responsible for the development of information and communication technology, including development and management of the central database. It handles the production, marketing and distribution of national bibliographic services. Frankfurt is also home to the German Exile Archive 1933 - 1945 (Deutsches Exilarchiv).

At the end of 2018 the German National Library held a total of roughly 36 million media units.

Link to video "Das Gedächtnis der Nation"-100 Jahre Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

Last update: 14.03.2019


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Schriftbanner mit Deutscher Nationalbibliothek Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main