Digital Collection of the University Library Rostock

The Rostock University Library was founded in 1569 on the initiative of Nathan Chyträus, then Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, and is thus the oldest university library in northern Germany. Today its holdings comprise more than 2.2 million printed volumes.

Special Collections, Old Prints and Manuscripts

As the oldest scientific library in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the University Library has a nationally significant collection of historical books and manuscripts. In addition to the collections created and acquired at the university itself, the libraries of several Mecklenburg rulers as well as the libraries of the University of Bützow (1760-1789), the Mecklenburgische Ritter- und Landschaft (Landesbibliothek Rostock) and parts of the former Großherzogliche Bibliothek von Mecklenburg-Strelitz (Grand Ducal Library of Mecklenburg-Strelitz) have also been included in the library's holdings. The Renaissance Library of Duke Johann Albrecht I. alone is a part of the library. (1525-1576) contains over 5,000 prints and manuscripts from the 15th and 16th centuries.

The library contains over 3,000 manuscripts, 688 incunabula, about 11,400 old prints of the 16th century, about 18,000 prints of the 17th century and 42,200 prints of the 18th century, as well as maps, music and an outstanding collection of older Judaica and Orientalia in various languages.


Of particular importance for the cultural history of Mecklenburg and the Lower German language and literature are the collections of the Richard-Wossidlo-Zentrum, which since 2016 has housed the Mecklenburgica collections, other important regional and regional collections such as the newspaper collection and the historical holdings of the Großherzogliche Mecklenburgischen Navigationsschule in Warnemünde, founded in 1846, as well as important research collections such as the archive and library of the folklorist Richard Wossidlo (1859-1939).


The University Library Rostock participates in the national projects for the indexing and digitisation of German prints of the 16th - 18th century (VD 16, VD 17 and VD 18) with the support of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and in the cooperative digitisation of historical regional literature with the support of the state. (to the projects)


Universitätsbibliothek Rostock
Albert-Einstein-Str. 6
18059 Rostock
Phone: +49 381 498-8754


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