Chronicle of the MDZ

February 2018

By relaunching the "Digital Collections East Asia" more than 2 million single images from Chinese, Japanese and Korean manuscripts and prints are conveniently available online via the Mirador Viewer based on the IIIF standard.

June 2017

The Bavarian State Library celebrates the 20th anniversary of its Munich DigitiZation Center. The anniversary is celebrated on 27 June 2017 with a ceremony at the Bavarian State Library.

May 2017

The newspaper portal digiPress is growing continuously. Approx. 730,000 issues with 4.5 million pages are available. By the end of the year, the stock is expected to have expanded to more than 1,000 copyright-free historical newspaper titles.

March 2017

The MDZ launches the new service "Digitale Sammlungen der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek im IIIF-Standard" (Digital Collections of the Bavarian State Library in the IIIF Standard), which gradually presents all copyright-free digitizations in a IIIF-compliant format (initially only in image format, later also with full texts).

Deutsche Klassiker in Erstausgaben

August 2015

„First editions of German classics“ is the eighth app of Bavarian State Library. It contains some masterpieces of German literature.

May 2015

BSB joins the IIIF Consortium.

May 2015

„Sunflowers“ by van Gogh, the royal crown of Bavaria, Dürer's „Self-Portrait Wearing a Coat with Fur Collar“, the fairy tale castles of Ludwig II. and more than 200,000 other objects are being presented in an enhanced version of bavarikon, the Portal for art, culture and regional studies. BSB and its Munich DigitiZation Center is one of 13 contributing institutions and the technical provider of this project.

December 2014

By the end of 2014, our long-term preservation system recorded 1,229,806,792 files (574 terabytes). The growth of the past year was 72 million files (62 TB). The large part of this information comes from the digitization activities in recent years.

July 2014

MDZ publishes a specialized application for polyphonic music works for the digitization project Printed sources of polyphonic music (1501-1700) from the Bavarian State Library. It allows simultaneous display of voices from a set of parts to different segments of the screen. More than half of the 2,200 surviving in the BSB older printed music was published in the form of part-books (votes).

Completion of the pilot project on the digital edition of the Acta Pacis Westphalicae.

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.

MDZ Homepage

November 2013

Launch of the third version of this site, including several extended features as well as a mobile version.

April 16, 2013

bavarikon 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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

January 2008

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

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

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.

March 7, 2007

The cooperation between the BSB and Google is announced and brings new challenges for the MDZ: All works digitized by Google are also made available and archived in the Digital Collections of the MDZ.

10 Jahre MDZ

February 2007

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

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.

Summer of 2006

The MDZ ist the biggest german provider of retrodigitised content.

July 2006

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


Start of the project VD 16 with further new scanners.


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


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


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


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


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

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.


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

July 2003

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


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).


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

Summer of 1997

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

What's New

Latest Additions to our Digital CollectionsLatest Additions to our Digital Collections

Updated daily: Latest additions to the Digital Collections of the Bavarian State Library. Items online: 2,530,686


Sir Francis Drake's last voyage (1595/96)Sir Francis Drake's last voyage (1595/96)

Sir Francis Drake's last voyage (1595/96)

The manuscript Cod.angl. 2 is one of the most important English manuscripts of the Bavarian State Library. Among writings and letters on English seafaring from the 16th and 17th century, it contains a journal of Sir Francis Drake's last voyage, covering the period from August 28, 1595 to May 20, 1596, describing the course of one of the ships of this expedition to the West Indies. On page 13v from January 28 is a note about the death of Sir Francis Drake. The manuscript is available in an annotated version via our IIIF-viewer.
Open manuscript


Virtual tour through the MDZ ScanningCenterVirtual tour through the MDZ ScanningCenter

Virtual tour through the MDZ ScanningCenter

In this five-minute film the MDZ provides an overview of digital production at the Bavarian State Library.



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