Göttingen State and University Library intensively collects and catalogues German as well as foreign maps and atlases on all regions of the world and all topic areas. The Map Collection is divided into the holdings of older maps and atlases and those published after 1945.

It comprises around

  • 340,000 map sheets
  • 11,000 atlases
  • 20,000 explanations
  • topographical maps of around 120 states in various scales
  • 65,000 old maps
  • a reference section with the most important literature on cartography

Readers' services

Publications belonging to the holdings of the Map Collection can be recognised in the Göttingen University Catalogue by the location mark „KTS“. A regional or systematic search is made possible by using the Göttingen Online Classification (GOK).

In the Map Collection Reading Room in the Historical Library Building, almost all atlases are freely accessible. Map sheets from more recent topographical and thematic map series are available to you directly.

Materials can also be ordered in advance by phone or email and will be ready for your consultation at the time of your visit.

The holdings are not available for external loan, but they can be scanned or copied by you or by the the library. You may use a DIN A2 colour scanner free of charge provided the original allows for digitisation.

Please request the terms of use for materials with publication dates before 1900 from our Map Collection staff.


Maps have been a specifically well-maintained collection subject since the founding of the Göttingen University Library.

In addition to continuous active procurement efforts, the library has received generous donations of many valuable collections over the years: the Johann Hinrich von Bülow Collection with valuable atlases by Blaew and Jansson, the Johann Michael Frantz Collection (Frantz having been a close friend of Johann Baptist Homann), the collection of Surgeon General Baron Georg Thomas von Asch with rare maps from Russia and Asia, the bequest from Johann Beckmann, and the donation from Arthur Breusing with valuable maps by Ortelius and Mercator.

The university's map collection was incorporated into the Geographical Institute in 1888. Since 1945, the University Library has been reconstructing its holdings of topographic and thematic maps with systematic acquisitions, which are still meticulously maintained today.

In 1988, the old map holdings were returned to the Göttingen State and University Library by the Geographical Institute, and were catalogued anew with considerable effort (IKAR-Database of old Maps) and carefully restored. All of these are once again available for public use.