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History of the University Library Giessen

Chronology of the 400-year history of the UB Giessen


1612 Foundation of the University Library through the purchase of 1.000 volumes by landgrave Ludwig V.

UB 1904

    Expansion of holdings through significant donations:

1771 Manuscripts and incunabula of the brothers in Butzbach

1800 Collection of Renatus Carl von Senckenberg

Storage in the University building at the Brandplatz

    Development into a library for use:

1830 Introduction of the card catalogue by Johann Valentin Adrian

1837 First interlibrary loan connection in Germany between Giessen and Darmstadt

1904 Own library building in the Bismarckstrasse

1942 Stock: 522.543 volumes and 302.800 doctoral dissertations

1944 Destruction of the library after an attack by allied  bombers on 11th December; over 90% of the holdings were lost.

Valuable old stock and duplicates that had been swapped out were preserved.UB 1959

1945 -1956 Preliminary work in the ruins

1959 Dedication of the new building of the University Library in the Bismarckstrasse

1979-1983 Reconstruction of the University Library in the Philosophikum I

    Library system – coordinated network for literature supply

2002 All libraries of the university are reorganised in the library system and subordinate to the University Library („funktionale Einschichtigkeit“).

UB 1983

2011 Stock: 3,9 million volumes in the University Library, the four branch libraries and the seven subject libraries; literature supply for more than 33.000 readers.

Further information:


    Publications on the history of the University Library: