Herzog August Library

Herzog August Library

Established 1572
Location Wolfenbüttel, Germany
Items collected books, journals, newspapers, magazines, multimedia and manuscripts
Other information
Director Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer
Website www.hab.de
Main building of the Herzog August Bibliothek
Entrance to the Library
Duke Augustus in his library (1650) by Conrad Buno

The Herzog August Library (German: Herzog August Bibliothek — "HAB"), in Wolfenbüttel, Lower Saxony, known also as Bibliotheca Augusta, is a library of international importance for its collection from the Middle Ages and Early modern Europe. The library is overseen by the Lower Saxony Ministry for Science and Culture.


The library was founded by Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg in 1572.[1] In the 17th century it was the largest library north of the Alps. The library was named after Duke Augustus (1579–1666), who greatly enlarged the collection, which was kept at Wolfenbüttel. Armies passed by, back and forth, over the centuries, but the collection was well protected. It was so highly regarded that generals placed the library under special protection, and the library is one of the oldest in the world to have never suffered loss to its collection.[2]

In 2006 the library housed around 11,500 manuscripts and 900,000 books, of which 350,000 were printed between the 15th to 18th centuries.[3] Of these, 3,500 are incunabula, 75,000 are from the sixteenth century, 150,000 are from the seventeenth century, and 120,000 are from the eighteenth century.[2]

Notable librarians have included:

The library is famed for its research and for the hundreds of international scholars who collaborate with the library staff on various projects. Its research programs are described as exploring the "history of international relations, or the history of culture, ideas, and politics ... social history, the history of religion, business, science and law, constitutional history, the history of society, [and] women and gender from the Middle Ages to Early Modern Times".[2]

Significant Manuscripts


  1. Christa Graefe: Staatsklugheit und Frömmigkeit. Herzog Julius zu Braunschweig-Lüneburg, ein norddeutscher Landesherr des 16. Jahrhunderts. Weinheim 1989, ISBN 3-527-17822-8, S. 90f.
  2. 1 2 3 Murray, Stuart A. P. (2012). The Library: An Illustrated History. New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing. pp. 284–285.
  3. A view on the project and Themenportale: HAB - Digitalisierungsprojekte.

Further reading

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Coordinates: 52°10′01″N 10°31′59″E / 52.167°N 10.533°E / 52.167; 10.533

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