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Duchess Anna Amalia Library

Collections

You can find more information about the individual collections at the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek on our Collections page.

The material and structure of the historical and modern media collections housed in the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek came from the varied history and changing function of the institution. The collection is not homogeneous or limited to a specific topic, e.g. German classicism. Instead, the composition of the collection is influenced by the prevailing cultural, political and economic interests reflected in the acquisition programmes.

Approximately one-third of the entire collection is described in more detail in the historical book collections handbook (see Bibliography). Two trends can be discerned in this context:

  1. A considerable proportion of works from private or institutional libraries (authors, scholars, ducal house, literary societies) has been kept separately or integrated into the general collection in consideration of systematic factors.
  2. There are numerous collections with a specific thematic focus (adult education, Faust, catechisms, military studies) which provide source material for historical, literary, art historical, sociological and folkloristic research.
  3. The general collection also highlights individual subjects (travel, fairytales, architecture, gardens and parks, music) or disciplines (folklore, library science, cartography).

The multi-faceted structure of the collection makes it significant for source-oriented, interdisciplinary, cultural research particularly involving the following disciplines: literature, German studies, history, philosophy, art history, theatre studies, cultural anthropology.

The Library’s collection today comprises approx. 1 million books. There are also 2,600 book manuscripts, 8,600 maps and 29 globes. Sound storage media, microfiches and electronic data carriers are also part of the inventory.

Literature

Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek in: Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Deutschland. (Art. Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek in the Handbook of Historical Book Collections in Germany.) Edited by Bernhard Fabian. Hildesheim: Olms. Volume 21: Thuringia S-Z. Edited by Friedhilde Krause, 1999, pp. 101-127.