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Central Collections

Art Stock (Paintings & Sculptures)

JLU Giessen houses a large inventory of art objects. These include, in particular, numerous paintings and sculptures. Some of them are freely accessible and can be viewed in the university buildings and on the grounds.

Art Trail

The Giessen Art Trail comprises a total of 15 works of art set up along a stretch of just over one kilometer in the area of the cafeteria, university library, Phil I, and Phil II. Since summer semester 2021, the art trail can also be explored with an interactive story map.

Artwork on Buildings

In the case of larger public buildings, it is customary to also integrate works of art. These should make an independent contribution to the building project and relate to the architecture or the function of the building. The artists are usually selected in competitions.

Cuneiform Tablets of the University Library

The cuneiform texts of the university library were created around 1800 B.C. They originate from the Assyrian trading colony of Kaneš, today's Kültepe, in Anatolia. The cuneiform tablets are legal and economic documents, as well as business letters. They have been at the university library since 1950.

Equipment Warehouse

More of a conglomerate than a collection, it houses decommissioned equipment dating back to the German economic miracle era. This includes electrical and technical equipment such as microscopes, episcopes, film players, and various photographic equipment from different decades.

Insignia and Chalices

JLU owns a number of precious objects such as the scepters, chalices, and chains of office. Some of them date back even to the 17th century such as the medal chalice and the humped chalice. One of the scepters is even older than Giessen University.

Landgrave Portraits

Since 2015, four restored large-scale paintings have been on display in the university's main building—two next to the Senate Hall, and two more in the hallway leading to the president's office. In total, the university has eleven of these paintings, two of which have been hanging in the auditorium for many years.

Ostraca in the University Library

Notes of antiquity: The Giessen ostraca collection (Ostraca Gissensia or O. Giss.) was established at the beginning of the 20th century. The collection comprises slightly more than 550 pieces. All ostraca originate from Egypt and cover the period from the 3rd century B.C. to late antiquity.

Papyrus Collections

The Giessen papyrus collections comprise more than 2,300 papyri. The pieces date from the 4th century B.C. to the 8th century A.D. The writings are very diverse and range from Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Arabic texts to hieratic, Demotic, and Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Presidents' Portraits

A total of 21 portraits of the rectors and presidents of JLU since 1945 are hung in chronological order of their terms of office in the university auditorium. They can be viewed during events in the auditorium or by arrangement with the janitors.

Professors' Gallery

The Giessen professors' gallery in the Senate Hall of the main building shows a total of 104 oil paintings with portraits of professors from all four faculties common at early modern universities: theology, law, medicine, and philosophy. The paintings were made in the 17th and 18th centuries.


The JLU robes were made in 1952 and were in use until 1968. Each faculty is assigned its own color. The rector's robe dates back to the 1920s. The white rector's gloves complete the outfit.

Sculpture Collection at Rauischholzhausen Castle

Rauischholzhausen Castle and its park contain several marble sculptures and other stone works of art, which are also part of this JLU collection. They go back to the collection of Baron Ferdinand Eduard von Stumm, who had the castle built in the 1870s.

Special Collections of the University Library

The university library has collections spanning several centuries. Among them are ancient papyri, medieval and modern manuscripts, prints from the 15th century onwards, bequests, and school programs.