Bavarian State Library

Radler auf der Ludwigstraße bei der Staatsbibliothek, Foto: muenchen.de / Immanuel Rahman
Foto: muenchen.de / Immanuel Rahman

The "Stabi": One of the most important European universal libraries

When the Munich students speak of the "Stabi", they mean the "Staatsbibliothek" or Bavarian State Library very close to the Ludwig Maximilian University. It also holds a copy of the approximately 180 Gutenberg Bibles that still exist and are very valuable nowadays.

The History of the State Library

Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München, Foto: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Foto: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

The Bavarian State Library in Munich goes back to the Wittelsbach court library, which was established in 1558 at the request of Duke Albrecht V. The Wittelsbach court library was the first of its kind in Germany. It moved into its present building in Ludwigstraße in 1843, which was designed by the architect Friedrich von Gärtner. The total stock comprises about 10 million books, magazines, manuscripts and other printed works. New copies are added every year. The use of the library is basically free of charge, but fees are charged for certain services.

Online catalogue and the ten millionth book

Since January 2014, the State Library has been offering an additional service. More than one million books can be read online in digital form. The selection, which also includes 50,000 copies from the subordinate State Library Regensburg, will be available in the online catalogue OPACplus. More modern than ever, the "Stabi" has another good reason to celebrate: in 2014 it reached its ten millionth book. The work is "Rap in Deutschland: Musik als Interaktionsmedium zwischen Partykultur und urbanen Anerkennungskämpfen" ("Rap in Germany: Music as a medium of interaction between party culture and urban recognition struggles") by sociologist Ayla Güler Saied. Only a small part of the constantly growing research universe that the State Library makes accessible.

Treasury of Knowledge: more than "just" books

Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München, Foto: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Foto: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

Regular exhibitions are held on the first floor of Munich's Bavarian State Library. The showcases hold far more than just old books or documents. Paintings, drawings and other documents from times long past are also presented here. The library also shows special exhibitions dealing with Bavarian and European history, its lavishly restored works and newly acquired editions. Not to forget: the building itself. The large rooms with their nostalgic charm entice visitors to browse undisturbed. Munich's famous Ludwig Maximilians University is located just a few metres away at Ludwigstraße.

Opening hours

Opening hours of the library:
Information: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
General reading room: Monday to Sunday 8 a.m. - 24 p.m.
Periodical reading room: Monday to Friday 9 - 20 h, Sa 10 - 17 h

Opening hours for exhibitions (as a rule):
Monday to Friday, 10 am - 7 pm
Closed on public holidays"

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