Special tasks & holdings

With its current holdings of about 9 million media items, Göttingen State and University Library ranks among the largest libraries in Germany. Our collections range from manuscripts and an important incunabula collection of early printed books to numerous valuable rare prints in all subject areas. Hand-drawn and printed historical maps have a prominent place in these collections, as well as scholarly collections and manuscripts by important scholars such as Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Carl Friedrich Gauss, or Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. The Göttingen Gutenberg Bible was declared part of the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2002. Göttingen State and University Library fulfills a broad range of tasks at the local, regional, national, and international level.

Göttingen University Library

As a central facility of Göttingen University and as the Library of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Göttingen State and University Library holds a position of highest importance for the areas of study, teaching, and research. Around 5,500 visitors frequent the Central Library at the Platz der Göttinger Sieben each day. The library offers a broad range of services for study and research purposes in its various buildings. The Learning Resources Center (LRC), for example, offers students and scientists a wide range of IT services in cooperation with studIT - IT services for students and the Gesellschaft für wissenschaftliche Datenverarbeitung mbh Göttingen (GWDG). Göttingen University Press publishes works by reseachers affiliated with Göttingen University, and offers support for electronic and print-based publishing.

Lower Saxony State Library

The importance of the Göttingen State and University Library with regards to study, teaching, and research is further enhanced by its responsibilities as a state library. As the Lower Saxony State Library, Göttingen State and University Library fulfills central tasks for the Lower Saxony academic and public library system. Göttingen State and University Library held the right to legal deposit copies of official publications of the state of Lower Saxony since 1970. The Common Library Network (GBV) of seven federal states was set up in 1982. In addition to cataloguing, the GBV offers important services in the areas of inter-library loan and local library system support. In 2002, the Lower Saxony Consortium head office was set up at the Göttingen State and University Library. It ensures the optimised provision of electronic journals throughout Lower Saxony. Within the context of the national licences funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), Göttingen State and University Library is one of the negotiators representing the libraries' interests to providers of electronic resources.

German National Library for the 18th Century

Since 1990, Göttingen State and University Library has served as German National Library for the 18th Century within the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sammlung Deutscher Drucke. Within this initiative, six large German libraries collaborate to build a decentralised national library of literature printed in German-speaking countries from the beginning of letterpress printing to the present day. At the Göttingen State and University library, the working group Collection of German Imprints 1701-1800 fulfills specialist tasks in the areas of acquiring, cataloguing, and technical processing of books from the 18th century.

Competence centre for the Digital Library

Transferring the printed national heritage into the digital world, expanding available offerings in digital media and ensuring their long-term availability are among the foremost responsibilities of a modern academic library. As a competence centre for the Digital Library of world renown, Göttingen State and University Library is a cooperation partner or takes on a leading role in numerous projects.

In 1997, the Göttingen Digitisation Centre (GDZ) was founded here with the support of the German Research Foundation (DFG) in order to make the library's valuable and partly unique holdings available worldwide. More than ten million book pages have so far been made available online.

The division Research & Development cooperates nationally and internationally with numerous partners on several joint venture projects. On the basis of third-party funding, numerous future-oriented services are developed here, which will benefit users all over the world.