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Duchess Anna Amalia Library - historical libraries

In February 2005, less than two years after being damaged by fire, the Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar celebrated its reopening as a research library with the inauguration of a new study centre. The library is part of the Classical Weimar cultural ensemble and has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1998.

Treasure house of literature
The early history of the library dates back to the 16th century, but an order given by Duke Wilhelm Ernst von Saxe-Weimar in 1691 to classify and catalogue the royal book collection is regarded as the real beginnings of the library. Anna Amalia (1739-1807), Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, was a great influence on Weimar. She promoted the arts and attracted poets and philosophers to the province to bring fame to the town. However, true quality arrived with Goethe, who took charge of the library until his death in 1832 and made it a world-class institution. The new study centre has been added to a complex with great historical significance to Weimar which includes the Red and Yellow Palace.
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The library - a centre for research on the history of early 19th century European culture and literature - now has a collection of almost one million books. German literature between 1750 and 1850 forms the nucleus of the holdings, but it is augmented by a number of specialist collections. The reading areas of the study centre house about 100,000 volumes of more recent specialist literature (from 1970), predominantly on the arts and culture, including collected editions of the classics. All the books are catalogued systematically and are accessible to the public. Up to 700 current periodicals are also available on the shelves or in an archive of bound volumes.
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Other historical libraries in Germany

A selection of other historical libraries in Germany.
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