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Berlin State Library reopens

The State Library of Berlin at 'Unter den Linden 8' houses some 25 million historical documents and books

Ghan Zen Lun: Karl Marx im Familienkreis. – Datierung: o.J. – Copyright: bpk / Alfredo Dagli Orti/Statelibrary Berlin

The Berlin State Library officially reopenend after more than 15 years of reconstruction. The official opening ceremony was transmitted digitally on live stream. Due to the current pandemic, the library is still closed but plans to reopen by 8 February.

The Berlin State Library is largest universal library in Germany. It was founded already in 1661. Still today this library is one of the most important and most acclaimed research libraries in the world. The library in Berlin is open to all and there are seven reading rooms open.

Books, texts, autographs, musical scores and new media from all languages, all periods and all countries are housed in the Berlin State Library. Over 200,000 volumes of children's and young people's books, some dating back to the 17th century are also stored here.

Numerous priceless treasures can be found in this library. For example the original musical scores of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven as well as the famous Gutenberg Bible printed in 1450. One of the largest atlases of the world, originating from 1664 is located there as well. This is the world's largest bound atlas called 'Kurfürstenatlas' which weighs 125 kg and measures 2.2 m x 1.7 m / 7.2 ft x 5.6 ft.

In 1944, during the bombing of Berlin, the library was destroyed and many parts of this building had to be reconstructed. Luckily all artefacts, books and documents were brought to safe locations prior to the bombings. Today, a 35 m-/ 115 ft-high dome gives the restored building a truly majestic appearance.

source: Annabelle Steffes-Halmer/Deutsche Welle. Published 25 January 2021 and State Library of Berlin


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