FAQs about us

Is access to the Digital Collections free of charge?

Access to our services is free. This includes our mobile Apps and the PDF Download of whole books. There might be some access restrictions for a small amount of copyright-protected works as well as for some publications of the 1933-1945 period. Such works are accessible within BSB's reading rooms only.

Please note: Any commercial use of our content requires authorization and is subject to charges!

I'm interested in one of your books, but it has not been digitized yet. Could you do it for me or will it soon be digitized?

Unfortanetely we can't give predictions about the time of digitizing of certain books or collections. You may use our Document Delivery Service to order online digital cpoies for a fee. The largest part of the holdings of the BSB, also maps and pictures are available this way. Please notice our price list. We deliver paper copies or files on USB sticks, DVDs or via download.

Where can I download individual images or entire books?

You are able download almost all of our digital books as a PDF in whole or in part. Please do the following steps:
1. Go to a digitized book,
2. Click PDF download in the upper left pane or in the upper right corner above the logo of the Bavarian State Library
3. Confirm that you will use the downloaded file for private or scientific purposes only,
4. type the shown four-digit download key into the form. Depending on size, the requested file deployment can take several seconds. The you can open the PDF directly or save it to your hard drive.

Please note that for technical reasons download is restricted to 10 downloads per day, based on the IP address.

Why are some of the digitzed books of very poor quality, incomplete or hardly readable?

It is a question of data volumes and a budget issue as well. The Bavarian State Library achieves a high standard in the context of the many digitization projects. However, quality level differs from project to project. Some of our mass digitization projects aim to provide a large amount of content within a short period of time - at the cost of a lower quality and a higher error rate, since post processing and quality checks for hundreds of thousands of books have to be done in an automatic way. On the other hand there are digitization projects for smaller amounts, which allow manual postprocessing and thus a better quality.
We are interested in improving incomplete or incorrect items. Please report errors to us.

I have found a book that has errors, is illegible, of poor image quality or incomplete. What can I do?

Help us to eliminate the error by describing it as accurately as possible, stating the title and the full Internet URL. Send a short notification to digitale.bibliothek [at] bsb-muenchen.de.

Is it possible to re-use scans from the Digital Collections for private, scientific and commercial purposes?

The Document Delivery Service "Old Book" prepares copies of items upon request and against a charge. This applies mainly to copies and scans from newspapers and older and rare printed works. Please use our order form and note our reproduction fees. These depend of the intended use. By placing your order you agree to bear all costs incurred. The reproductions are delivered in the form of paper copies or DVDs, in the form of an Internet download or on a USB Stick. The major part of the holdings, including Maps and Pictures, Manuscripts and Modern Papers (please state the purpose of use), can thus be made available. Please note that there are nevertheless items of which no reproductions can be produced, and that we cannot guarantee a fixed period of delivery, since these parts of the holdings need to be treated with great care for reasons of conservation. However, we endeavour to provide you with the ordered copies as fast as possible, as a rule within four weeks after placement of order/receipt of payment. This service is also available to non-registered library users. Any commercial re-use is subject to approval and fees.

Which credits do I have to add when using an image?

Please state
* "Bayerische Staatsbibliothek M√ľnchen" as origin
* BSB's Call number of the work
* Page or folio number of the work

I own some vintage books. Would you digitize them?

The MDZ does not accept individual orders for the digitization of foreign or private collections. It focuses on the holdings of the BSB with the aim of providing retro-digitized content and scientific information services to the public. However, we often do collaborative projects with other institutions. In some of these projects we scan foreign holdings as well. The goal of any collaboration is always the online publication of content for free use.

I own a vintage book I would like to sell - could you estimate its value?

As the BSB is a public institution, we are not allowed to offer such services to private persons or institutions. Please contact an antiquarian you trust.

Last update: November 26, 2014

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