Chronicle of the MDZ

Summer of 1997

Inception of the Munich Digitization Center with support of the German Research Foundation.


Several digitization projects, realized with own equipment or by outsourcing. Assembling of a server infrastructure.


First project in long-term preservation subjects together with the Software Technology Institute of the University of the German Federal Armed Forces (Universität der Bundeswehr).

July 2003

The Bavarian State Library is founder member of the nestor-initiative (the german Network of expertise in Digital long-term preservation).


The ZEND workflow-tool, based on Open-Source-Software, becomes the backbone of all digitization and archiving processes.

January til March 2004

The Munich Digitization Center abolishes its collection of CD-ROMs and DVDs. Change to professional and efficient storage systems by support of the Leibniz Supercomputinge Center. Implementing of automatic storage procedures.


Relaunch of the Bayerische Landesbibliothek Online as a central portal for resources on Bavarian history.


Fundamental reorganisation and massive expansion of the Digitization Center and installation of several modern scanning facilities. Start of mass digitization.


Start of digitization of the complete Monumenta Germaniae Historica which will be finished 2005.


Evaluation of the MDZ by the German Research Foundation with positive result.


Start of the long-term preservation project "Library Archiving and Access System" BABS. Implementation of new workflows in long-term preservation.


Start of the project VD 16 with further new scanners.

July 2006

The archive exceeds the limit of 10 million files (15 terabytes).

Summer of 2006

The MDZ ist the biggest german provider of retrodigitised content.

December 2006

The first complete hardware-migration of the archival system succeeds within 10 days. Cause is the relocation of the Leibniz-Supercomputing-Center to München-Garching.

10 Jahre MDZ

February 2007

Rapid increase of production. The archive exceeds the limit of 15 million files (28 terabytes).

March 7, 2007

The public-provate partnership of the BSB and Google is announced. The digitization of more than 1 million books will soon increase the content of the Digital Collections of the BSB as well as the size of the electronic archive.

July 2007

Project VD16 digital starts. The digitization of the whole holdings of 16th century prints (7.230.000 pages approx.) by two scan robots starts July and will last til 2009.

October 2007

The classic MDZ homepage is being disconnected after 10 years of duty. Launch of a completely revised version with extended features.

The classic MDZ homepage 1997 - 2007

January 2008

Doubling of the data holdings within just one year. The archive now comprises 25.1 M files (49,9 TB data).

June 2008

The Bavarian State Library is elected 'Library of the year 2008' by the The German Library Association. Among other facts the statement of the jury pointed out the developement of the Munich Digitization Center to a service and technology provider for libraries as well as the engagement of the library in long-term preservation together with the Leibniz Supercomputing Center. Award ceremony takes place October 24d.

June 18-20, 2008

Scan Robot Days at the Bavarian State Library. The four leading manufacturers of automated scanning devices show their newest equipment to a well-informed international public.

October 11, 2008

The first open day since five years is a great success. Several hundreds of visitors drop by to see our facilities and to have a chat with the staff of the MDZ.

Januar 2009

Verkündungsplattform Bayern

The Verkündungsplattform Bayern goes online. It forms the central platform for the electronic delivery of Bavarian governmental publications. The MDZ handles the operation of the publication platform and the long-term preservation of its contents.


Famous Books - Treasures of the Bavarian State Library

The first app off the BSB, "Famous Books - Treasures of the Bavarian State Library", becomes available for free. It presents most precious piecesfrom the rich holdings of the BSB. More apps will follow in the next few years.

October 6, 2012

Under the motto "SOS for Pergament, Paper & Bytes", the Bavarian State Library is hosting the 8th National Day of Action for the Conservation of cultural heritage. The event takes place in cooperation with partners such as the Bavarian Central State Archives, the Munich City Archives, the Associacion of Book Binders and several commercial providers of innovative scanning technology.

March 2013

The amount of preserved files excceeds the number of one billion. The archive contains 1,034,200,065 files (476 TB) so far.

April 16, 2013


The Portal "bavarikon – Kultur und Wissensschätze Bayerns" goes live. Important evidence of Bavaria's cultural heritage should thus be available in the future for each and every time. The website, which is constantly being expanded, contains thousands of digitized archival documents, manuscripts, paintings and other museum objects over records to castles, to maps and photographs, and information about places, institutions and individuals.

November 2013

Launch of the third version of our homepage.

December 2013

The number of digitised works published online exceeds 1 Million. Most frequently represented are works from the 19th century (357,000), followed by the 18th century (273,000), the 17th century (130,000) and the 16th century (98,000).

From the world's largest collection of incunabula preserved at the BSB (9,756 editions in 20,000 copies) 7,589 have already been digitized in the course of the past five years. This makes a quarter of all existing prints of the 15th century (the complete number of incunabula editions worldwide amounts to roughly 30,000). Among the best-known works there are the Gutenberg bible and Hartmann Schedel's illustrated personal copy of his world chronicle. Check our statistics for details.

What's new

Latest Additions to our Digital Collections

Latest Additions to our Digital Collections

Latest Additions to our Digital Collections

Updated daily: Latest additions to the Digital Collections of the Bavarian State Library. Items online: 1,052,339


Newly digitized autographs

Newly digitized autographs

Newly digitized autographs

The Digital Collections have been enriched by a series of valuable autographs. Among them are letters of the philosopher Immanuel Kant, the brothers Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt, German writer E. T. A. Hoffmann, the mysterious Kaspar Hauser, as well as the leader of the Tyrolean rebellion of 1809, Andreas Hofer.


Closing times in February 2015

Closing times in February 2015

Due to an event, the library will be closed on February 12, 2015 from 5 PM (CET); the General Reading Room will be closed all day. On February 17, 2014 (Shrove Tuesday/„Faschingsdienstag“) the Bavarian State Library will be generally closed to the public.


1000000 Bücher

zur Homepage der BSB

V. 3.6.7 | 26.01.2015