German National Library


August 13, 2022

The German National Library (DNB), formerly Die Deutsche Bibliothek (DDB), is the central archive library for all media works in German from Germany and abroad and the national bibliographic center of Germany. The German National Library has two locations: Leipzig (formerly the German Library, since 2010 also the German Music Archive) and Frankfurt am Main (formerly the German Library). It fulfills the tasks of a national library from the year of publication 1913. Its most important task is to collect, register and make the media works freely available to the public. It is the largest library in the Federal Republic of Germany and in the German-speaking area, as well as one of the largest libraries in the world.


Legal basis

From 1913, the statutory collection mandate of the German National Library includes media works published in Germany (on the basis of legal deposit rights) and media works published abroad in German, translations of German-language media works into other languages ​​and foreign-language media works about Germany. The publications are indexed, archived and made available for presence use. The library also creates the German national bibliography and maintains a number of special collections (German Exile Archive 1933-1945, Anne Frank Shoah Library, German Museum of Books and Writing). With the new version of the law on the German National Library (DNBG), which came into force on June 29, 2006, the library, which had been called "The German Library" since 1990, was renamed the "German National Library". It is a legally responsible federal institution under public law and is subject to the legal supervision of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Headquarters, locations and management

The library is based in Frankfurt am Main. The library has two locations: Leipzig (formerly German Library) Frankfurt am Main (formerly the German Library) Until 2010, the German Music Archive was located in Berlin. According to § 5 DNBG, the organs of the library are: the 13-member Board of Directors, two of whom are delegated by the German Bundestag; three people from the federal government, two of them from the supreme federal authority responsible for culture and the media; three members of the stock exchange association of the German book trade; a member of the German Research Foundation, the German Association of Music Publishers, the Federal Association of the Phonographic Industry as well as the City of Frankfurt am Main and the City of Leipzig. the general manager as well as the advisory boards. The administrative board decides by resolution in "all matters that are of fundamental or significant economic importance for the library and its development" (§ 6 Para. 4 DNBG). The general director manages the business of the library, insofar as these are not assigned to the administrative board by formal law or by statute law or are the responsibility of the supreme service authority. She or he represents the library in and out of court and is a superior or employer in the sense of labor law or civil service law (§ 7 DNBG). Frank Scholze has been General Director of the library since January 2020. His predecessors were Elisabeth Niggemann and Klaus-Dieter Lehmann. Permanent representatives are Ute Schwens, who succeeded Kurt Nowak as director in Frankfurt am Main, and Michael Fernau, director in Leipzig. Up to twelve experts are appointed by the board of directors to advise the board of directors and the general director, half of them at the suggestion of the stock exchange association. There is a special advisory board for the German Music Archive (§ 8 DNBG). As a federal and legal institution of the öffe