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Special stocks

The reading room for historical holdings and maps offers the possibility to consult our most ancient holdings published before 1850, as well as maps, special holdings of our Historical Collections department and certain interlibrary loans under supervision by staff members. Further, the reading room is equipped with several workstations, PCs, a reader-printer along with a multi-function device for printing, scanning and copying. Also a selection of the most recent, daily newspapers is available.

Using the reading room for historical holdings and maps

It is necessary to present a valid ULB user card in order to use the holdings.


Historical prints [ranging in publication years 1501-1849] as well as maps are solely provided in the reading room for historical holdings and maps. These special holdings of us can be researched and ordered using our discovery system Ha:Lit and the OPAC. The thus requested materials then will be made available for consultation after a short processing time in the reading room for historical holdings and maps.


Manuscripts, incunabula and estate materials as well as other special holdings of the Historical Collections department are only made available in the reading room for historical holdings and maps and only after a prior written request has been filed and the appointment has been confirmed . Please submit written requests at least four working days before your intended visit to the reading room via the following mail address: When placing your order, don’t forget to state title and shelf mark of the desired object and let us know inform us about your planned visit (date, time). Important to note: only up to five objects can be reserved in advance. If necessary, we reserve the right to a restorative examination of the desired objects (if necessary) before use. Therefore, to avoid any inconveniences, please plan ahead and include a sufficiently long pre-booking period before your visit.

Bearing in mind conservation and copyright concerns, reproductions can be commissioned. The resulting fees are charged in accordance with the ULB’s list of fees. Users are not permitted to independently make reproductions using the photocopier for:

Certain selected manuscripts, historical prints and maps are already available as digital copies online at the Share_it repository.

Using our map collection

Researching the holdings of the map collection is possible using Ha:Lit and the OPAC. In the resulting list, maps are marked with a map symbol in Ha:Lit and with a globe symbol in OPAC and arre ordered via the corresponding system.


The requested materials are then made available for consultation after a short processing time in the reading room for historical holdings and maps  (August-Bebel-Straße 13). Please be aware of the terms of use of the reading room during your visit.


There is the possibility to borrow maps outside the library, which applies to a) duplicates published after 1870 and b) to reproductions of maps if a scientific purpose is proven. Users are not permitted to make copies of the material on their own. However, reproductions may be commissioned minding conservation and copyright concerns. The costs for reproductions are charged according to the ULB’s list of fees.

Digital map collection

More than 1000 maps, mostly focusing on Central Germany and the Middle East, are freely available as digital copies via the Share_it repository.

The staff of the map collection department offer individual help on the topics of researching maps by appointment (strictly for scientific purposes).