The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library) houses one of the largest collections of personal papers and estates in the German-speaking world. The collection, which has grown over more than four centuries, focuses in particular but not exclusively on the political and cultural history of Bavaria and Munich, in its multifaceted aspects. The content of the collection is universally oriented.
The beginnings of the collection of approximately 1,100 bequests date back to the foundation of the library by Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria (1528–1579) in 1558. Since then, the collection has been continuously expanded by purchases and gifts.
Since the nineteenth century, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has been collecting estates of scholars and artists from Bavaria. The collection also includes around 150 writers' estates. Above all, intellectuals from Munich circles such as the "Zwanglose Gesellschaft" (Informal Society) or the "Krokodile" (Crocodiles) are represented in large numbers, to name but a few examples: Paul Heyse, Hermann Lingg or Emma Klingenfeld. A relevant portfolio from the twentieth century is the estate of the writer Heinz Piontek. Of particular interest is the estate of the Wittelsbach Therese von Bayern, which contains reports and images of her numerous research trips.
Estates contain written sources such as letters, texts of lectures, recitals, collections of material, prepress or variants of publications, often also graphic material. Personal estates may also include biographical sources such as attestations and certificates or personal awards and often photographs.
Photographs from estates can be researched on bavarikon in the collection "Pictures from the Estates of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek".
>> This collection is part of the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library).