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Greifswald University Library 

The University Library is a central institution of the University of Greifswald.
It is one of the oldest university libraries in Germany. Since the holdings remained largely undamaged during the war, they form a unique collection of scientific history over a period of more than 400 years.

Special Collections, Old Prints, Focus on Northern Europe

A very rich collection of old books is maintained and used from the more than 400-year collection history of the library: approx. 200,000 printed volumes from the beginnings of book printing to the printing year 1850 as well as 1300 manuscript codices and collections, including more than 50 medieval manuscripts, more than 6,000 letters and autographs.

Among the old prints there are 313 incunabula (earliest cradle prints before 1500), almost 5,400 old prints from the 16th century, almost 13,500 from the 17th century and 23,000 from the 18th century. The old holdings up to 1850 are also listed completely in the catalogue database, the OPAC. Particularly remarkable is the large number of valuable Swedish and Finnish prints resulting from the more than 180 years of Greifswald's affiliation to Sweden (1648-1815).


The Pomeranica take a special place within the old stock. As far as possible, they are acquired and provided in their entirety. The famous personal font collection Vitae Pomeranorum comprises approx. 9,000 smaller prints from the 17th to 19th centuries.


Universitätsbibliothek Greifswald
Felix-Hausdorff-Straße 10
17489 Greifswald
Phone: +49 3834 420-1515
Fax: +49 3834 420-1502

Rostock University Library 

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

State Library Günther Uecker (Landesbibliothek Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Günther Uecker)

The State Library Günther Uecker is a regional library and scientific information centre for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. As a compulsory copy library, it develops the state bibliography. It has a supporting function for the government. The collection comprises all fields of knowledge with a focus on the humanities. Special fields of collection are Mecklenburgica and music.


The library was founded in 1779 by Duke Friedrich zu Mecklenburg, whose outstanding collection of books and plans forms the historical core.
Almost the entire media collection with 775,000 units is digitally recorded and thus searchable worldwide. The historical collection before 1900 comprises 136,000 volumes, of which large parts are Mecklenburgica, Low German literature or works published in the state.

Regional literature has always been a central collecting concern. Titles published about Mecklenburg and (since 1945) about Vorpommern are continuously recorded and are listed with 415,000 references in the state bibliography. These are mainly dependent publications from journals and yearbooks.

Other collections include Mecklenburg sermons on corpses, portraits of Schwerin's musical and theatrical life as well as Mecklenburg legal and regulatory texts from the 16th to 19th centuries. Among the most important holdings of their kind are the music of the Mecklenburg-Schweriner Hofkapelle with manuscripts of international standing.

To this day, the Landesbibliothek fulfils its founding purpose as a government library by providing information services for the departments and by providing technical support for their book collections and database accesses.


Landesbibliothek Meclenburg-Vorpommern Günther Uecker
Johannes-Stelling-Straße 29
19053 Schwerin
Phone: +49 385 58879210

Library of the Spiritual Ministry Greifswald (Bibliothek des Geistlichen Ministeriums Greifswald

The library for the Protestant preachers and teachers in Greifswald, who together formed the Spiritual Ministry and were jointly responsible for their tasks, was established in 1602.

According to the Pomeranian Church Ordinance of Johannes Bugenhagen (1485-1588) of 1535, Duke Philip I. of Pommern-Wolgast had a church in Greifswald. After the dissolution of the two monasteries of Greifswald, the Gray Monastery of the Franciscans and the Black Monastery of the Dominicans, Duke Philip I of Pomerania-Wolgast urged in 1558 in a visitation process to erect a good communal library, for the whole city in order to save the old book treasures and to acquire books with a reformatory orientation. The city council was reluctant to accept this because it was very critical of the establishment of a library in St. Mary's Church with the books of the Dominican monastery before 1545, for which it had also acquired the works of Luther. There had been too much controversy about the use of the monastery, too much wasted time and it had been set up without order. After further pressure, the Council then decided to promote a library intended for the church servants, for whom they themselves assumed responsibility, and to unite the two monastery libraries in it. In 1599 the books of the Grey Monastery, which had remained unused in the library room there, were inventoried, transferred to St. Nicholas' Church in 1602 and combined with most of the books from St. Mary's Church and the small collection of books from St. Nicholas' Church begun by Magister Petrus Sager (*1595). The preserved inventory from 1602 with title imprint is the document of this foundation.


Bibliothek des Geistlichen Ministeriums Greifswald
Domstraße 13
17489 Greifswald
Phone: +49 3834 2627
Fax: +49 3834 799422

Barth Church Library (Kirchenbibliothek St. Marien, Barth)

A "Biblioteca Bardensis" was first mentioned in 1451 (Will of the priest Otto Bere). At that time only a few books were probably available in the Barth church library, presumably exclusively liturgical literature for the mass service and works for the preparation of sermons. The collection was gradually increased by small donations from priest, including private prayer books that still exist today.

After 1470, with the spread of the art of book printing throughout Europe, the donations of the clergy will have been almost exclusively incunabula. A seven-volume collection of theological and ecclesiastical basic literature with sixteen incunabula and several manuscripts alone bears witness to this. The Barth church library, the original location of which is not exactly known, seems to have contained little more than three to four dozen volumes of Latin literature for the parish clergy until 1545. It only became a passable Protestant preacher library with approx. 150 to 180 volumes by the reformer Johannes Block, who bequeathed his entire library of today still 123 volumes with several manuscripts, 48 incunabula and 221 early prints to the Marienkirche (1545). At the end of the 16th century, only donations of individual volumes are known, whereby it is of importance that it can be proven that the donors or users of the library were rectors or teachers of the city school founded in the 14th century, so that the collection also served as a working basis for the teaching staff.
Finally, as a result of the establishment of a printing workshop initiated by the Duke of Barth, the library received reformatory texts in the vernacular as well as occasional gifts from the Princely House and members of the court. However, as in the period that followed, there were only sporadic increases in the holdings. It is mentioned around 1666 with only 374 volumes, at the end of the 18th century with barely 700 volumes. The charisma of the Barth church library seems to have been rather limited until the Enlightenment.
Interestingly, this changed with the founding of a local reading society (1795). After reading the books circulating among the members, they passed into the possession of the church library. Thus a change has taken place from a theological-pedagogical library, the essence of which was shaped by Latin, to a bourgeois-literary library with a stronger folkloristic part. It has been accompanied by an increase in the holdings to 1744 volumes in only two decades (1812).
The Barth Church Library recorded its largest quantitative increase in the last quarter of the 19th century, due to the emergence of industrial book production (total holdings 1900: 4000 volumes).
In the 20th century new books seem to have been acquired only sporadically. The church library survived the two world wars without significant damage or loss. Since the 1970s, the parish libraries of four neighbouring communities have been integrated as permanent loans from the period before 1900 (almost 1500 titles).
The "Biblioteca Bardensis", for some centuries the only large "information centre" of the city, is today a dormant traditional library. With its rich collection of prints and manuscripts from the late Middle Ages and the Reformation, as well as its Baroque and Enlightenment collections, which have been steadily expanded over the centuries and preserved without major losses, it is a unique cultural monument. It offers research a wealth of extremely rare, valuable and largely unexplored material.


Kirchenbibliothek St. Marien, Barth
Papensstraße 7
18356 Barth
Phone: +49 38231 2787 
Fax: +49 338231-7777621

Historical Library of the Güstrow City Museum (Historische Bibliothek des Museums der Barlachstadt Güstrow)

The Historical Library is a scientific reference library and belongs to the collection of the Museum of Güstrow.
It has been located on the upper floor of the Uwe Johnson Library since 1997 and is available to interested users for research purposes after registration.

It contains approx. 1,500 titles as historical holdings and a total of approx. 17,000 titles.
Since 2014 the holdings have been successively recatalogued - since 2017 the historical holdings from the 16th to the middle of the 19th century have been searchable via the GVK. For the newer holdings, an enquiry must be made on site.

The holdings go back to several roots (handset, remainders of the cathedral school library, donations, bequests, purchases). It is divided into three main groups: German history, Mecklenburg history, Güstrovensia (literature related to Güstrow by content, author, publisher or print).

The oldest root is the princely cathedral school in Güstrow. 1552 by Duke Johann Albrecht I. (1525-1576), it was initially a Protestant scholar's library, from 1804 it was transformed into a lending library for teachers and pupils. In 1853 the collection grew to 15,000 volumes after two private libraries in Güstrow had been purchased and included in the collection. With an estimated 60,000 volumes, the library was the largest of its kind in Mecklenburg around 1900. Three major acquisitions by the library of the Heimatmuseum formed the basis of today's Historical Library: after the construction of the Realgymnasium in Güstrow between 1903 and 1905, as well as after the First World War and between 1945 and 1953. After 1950 the Museum Library was reorganised by the Latin teacher and local history researcher Wilhelm Gernentz (1890-1969) together with other holdings from the Heimatmuseum, cultural associations and private libraries in Güstrow. This library was now kept as a collection of cultural history. It was extended by donations, purchases and selected copies of the public library, the House of Culture and the Pedagogical Institute with collection reference to the Güstrovensia.


Barlachstadt Güstrow - Abteilung Marketing, Kultur, Tourismus
Historische Bibliothek 
Am Wall 2
18273 Güstrow
Phone: +49 3843 769 465 

Library of the Prophetic Congregation St. Joseph Greifswald (Propsteigemeinde St. Joseph Greifswald)

Peatland and Nature Conservation International Library (PeNCIL)

Since 2013, the extensive programme library Peatland and Nature Conservation International Library (PeNCIL), has been established as a public private partnership by the University of Greifswald, the Michael Succow Foundation and private individuals. This globally unique special collection is made possible by funding from the Library Fund of the Bernhard and Ursula Plettner Foundation in the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany. The holdings are inventoried in the OPAC of the Greifswald University Library. The programme library is located in the listed Building at Ellernholzstraße 1/3 near the University of Greifswald.


Dr. Franziska Tanneberger and Greta Gaudig
c/o Michael Succow Stiftung 
Ellernholzstr. 1/3
17489 Greifswald
Phone: +49 3834-83542 10

Peatland and Nature Conservation International Library (PeNCIL)

Seit 2013 wird die umfangreiche Programmbibliothek „Moor und Naturschutz“, Peatland and Nature Conservation International Library (PeNCIL), von Universität Greifswald, Michael Succow Stiftung und Privatpersonen als public private partnership aufgebaut. Ermöglicht wird diese weltweit einzigartige Spezialsammlung durch die Förderung aus dem Bibliotheksfond der Bernhard und Ursula Plettner Stiftung im Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft. Der Bestand ist im OPAC der Greifswalder Uni Bibliothek inventarisiert, Standort der Programmbibliothek  ist das denkmalgeschützte Stiftungshaus in der Ellernholzstraße 1/3 in unmittelbarer Nähe der Universität Greifswald.


Dr. Franziska Tanneberger & Greta Gaudig
c/o Michael Succow Stiftung
Ellernholzstr. 1/3
17489 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834-83542-10


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