Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

von Alvensleben'sche Bibliothek Schloß Hundisburg


Further settings

Login for editors

von Alvensleben library


Schloss- und Gartenverwaltung Hundisburg
von Alvenslebensche Bibliothek
Außenstelle der Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt
39343 Hundisburg



City and District Library Haldensleben
Gerikestraße 3 a
39340 Haldensleben
Telephone: +49 3904 49530
Fax: +49 3904 463412

information desk of the University and State Library of Saxony-Anhalt
Telephone: +49 345 5522166
Fax: +49 345 5527634

opening hours

Reading room use by arrangement with the Haldensleben City and District Library.

collection areas

Old holdings from the 15th-18th centuries, especially in the following areas:

  • history
  • jurispudence
  • sciences
  • philology
  • philosophy
  • theology
  • corpse sermons

online catalogue (OPAC)

holdings15th century16th century17th century18th century19th century


The von Alvensleben library has been a branch of the University and State Library of Saxony-Anhalt (ULB) since 2012. It is professionally and scientifically supervised by the ULB. Public use is guaranteed by the Haldensleben City and District Library.

The library holdings can be used upon agreement with the Haldensleben City and District Library.

Book lending is not intended.

library history

With a current stock of around 6000 volumes and over 13.000 titles, the Alvensleben library is considered one of the most important private libraries of the Renaissance period. It is essentially based on a collection of the humanist and reformer Joachim I. von Alvensleben (1514-1588), who already acquired his first book in 1523, a Latin philosophical writing by Erasmus von Rotterdam. As he studied in Leipzig, Wittenberg, Padua and Paris he acquired more books. He was born in Hundisburg, then he had his main residence at Alvensleben Castle from 1548 to 1560, then in Erxleben, from 1570 to 1582 at Rogätz Castle and then again in Erxleben and Alvensleben, where he died in 1588. In 1579 the collection, which had grown considerably through books from the family line of Alvensleben in Erxleben, which had died out in 1554, and other purchases, was divided.

Chapel library: The so-called chapel library was formed from the theological and church history books and placed in a room of the newly built chapel in Erxleben. Like the palace chapel, it belonged to the two lines of the family based in Erxleben (Erxleben I and II) and was under the supervision of the respective pastor. The collection was further increased by Gebhard XXI von Alvensleben-Erxleben I (1556-1624) and his descendants and finally contained about 2100 volumes. In 1936, the then owners of Erxleben I and II divided the books between them. About 900 books came into the library of Erxleben II, 1200 to Erxleben I. The latter were mostly lost in the post-war turmoil. However, about 450 books were found and returned to the family.

Fiefs library: The remaining books formed the private library of Joachim I von Alvensleben (Erxleben II), later the library of fiefs, which he continued to expand until the end of his life. He urged his sons and heirs to preserve and multiply the library, never to divide or disperse. The family continues to do so up to this day. In order to make the library more accessible to the public, it was moved to Stendal in 1610. For this purpose, the family bought a house behind the cathedral and hired a librarian. In 1709, at the request of Johann Friedrich II von Alvensleben (1657-1728), the collection was brought to his newly built Hundisburg Castle, where it was installed in the north tower (library tower). After the castle and property Hundisburg were lost from the family in 1811, the library returned to Erxleben II. In 1905 it received its own library building.

In June 1945, approximately 4650 volumes of the fiefs library and 900 volumes of the part of the chapel library that had been allocated to Erxleben II were saved to Lower Saxony shortly before the Red Army occupied the region. The books were in the Loccum Abbey from 1953 to 1975 and have been on loan to the Herzog-August-Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel since 1976. The reunification of Germany enabled the library to be returned to its home region and merge with the preserved holdings of the chapel library in 2012. At the new and at the same time historical site in Hundisburg, they form the holdings of a branch of the University and State Library of Saxony-Anhalt, are integrated in their catalogue and are supervised professionally and scientifically. Public use is guaranteed by the Haldensleben City Library.