Knowledge is cultural property. We own a comprehensive historical collection of printed literature of national and international importance, as well as manuscripts, archival materials, maps, microforms, and digital media. The main focus is, for example, the responsibility for the 18th century (‘Sammlung Deutscher Drucke’), but also for thematically specialized collections (e. g. subject-specific collections of printed holdings and digital data in subject information services). As a contribution to the preservation of cultural assets, the maintenance of these collections and the development of new collections are among the library's essential obligations.

In building collections, we are guided by specific research, teaching, and learning needs. This includes the targeted acquisition of worldwide literature for the research and teaching activities of scholars at the University of Göttingen, as well as the collection of publications, research data and bequests from scholars at the University of Göttingen. Further focal points of the collection are publications of the Göttingen (scientific) publishing houses as well as regional literature of Southern Lower Saxony and the neighboring regions.

We make all collections, especially rare or unique collections, accessible to national and international science - locally, nationally or in digital form.

Establishing new access to collections

The Göttingen State and University Library is responsible for valuable scientific collections in analog and digital form. The development and expansion as well as the preservation of these collections are core tasks, which are flanked by an advanced digital indexing and data processing. Collection holdings of the Göttingen Campus and national and international collections of all kinds are actively networked.

By 2025, the location-independent and flexible scientific use of the holdings is to be massively increased. To this end, offers for short-term and precise information on collection holdings as well as demand-oriented digitization, including of larger holdings, are to be realigned for researchers and students. At the same time, new accesses to the material objects in the collection are to be increasingly opened up, for example by supporting material science analyses with equipment, services and expertise for research projects and for safeguarding the scientific heritage.

Service portfolio

  1. Collection and preservation of written cultural property
  2. Cataloguing of the collections
  3. Collection digitization
  4. Exhibition organization at the University Knowledge Museum (Forum Wissen)
  5. Support and advice for the university collections


(a) Increase collection usage

  • Establish virtual reading rooms
    2022: Collection catalog of the Göttingen State and University Library for text-based materials in Göttingen
  • Strengthen networking of collections
    2022: Concept for collection responsibilities and development planning
  • Implementation and further development of the exhibition concepts in the knowledge museum of the university

(b) Profiling forms of use of the material

  • Set focal points for material science
    : Service catalog for material analyses
    2022: Digital applications for provenance, material characteristics, and conservation