The Historic Library building

The Library

The Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek (HAAB) is a publicly accessible archive and research library of literary and cultural history with a particular focus on the era between 1750 and 1850. In keeping with the tradition of a ducal library, its holdings contain collections dating back to the 9th century which are continuously expanded, catalogued and made accessible with current research literature.

Over one million pieces of media can be studied in the reading rooms or borrowed from the library. This includes some 150,000 items on open-access shelving at the Study Centre which users are free to peruse or borrow if desired.

The Historic Library with its famous Rococo Hall is part of the “Classical Weimar” UNESCO World Heritage Site ensemble and receives up to 90,000 visitors each year.

Rococo Hall
Rococo Hall, Klassik Stiftung Weimar
“Book Cube” in the Study Centre
“Book Cube” in the Study Centre

„Libraries are the only safe and lasting memory of the human race.“

Arthur Schopenhauer


Learn more about our tasks and goals, the history of the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek and its holdings.

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You can find contacts and addresses here.

After the fire

On 2 September 2004 a devastating fire swept through the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek. The Historic Library and thousands of books were badly damaged. Thousands more were burnt to cinders. The book restoration measures have been daunting and continue to present great challenges.

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The book conservation department of the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek is responsible for preserving approximately 1.1 million books. In order to achieve this enormous task, it has increasingly turned to mass conservation methods. By means of preventative and/or minimally invasive measures, the curators can preserve books in their authentic condition while safeguarding their access for future users.

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The Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek has been organising academic colloquia on a regular basis since 2009. These have addressed such topics as the future of academic libraries, problems of restoring and preserving written cultural assets, and providing handicapped accessibility in cultural sites.

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Donations for an architectural model

The Historic Library of the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek has undergone numerous alterations over the centuries. Rooms had to be added to make space for its ever-growing collections. Many of these are invisible to our visitors, along with the passageways that lead to them. In future, we would like to offer a digital and wooden model to enable visitors to look inside the interior of the building.

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Partners and sponsors

The Gesellschaft Anna Amalia Bibliothek e.V. and other institutions provide us with conceptual and material support. Our researchers also collaborate with numerous external partners.

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Volunteer culture

Each year two young adults spend twelve months working at the library as part of their voluntary community service year in culture.

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Literature about the Library

Would you like to read more about the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek? We have compiled a list of books and an extensive bibliography about our history.

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Projects of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar are funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Free State of Thuringia, represented by the State Chancellery of Thuringia, Department of Culture and the Arts.

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