The Provinzialbibliothek in Amberg (Provincial Library in Amberg) was founded by a decree of Elector Max IV Joseph (Elector 1799–1806, in 1806–1825 King of Bavaria) in the year of secularisation 1803. The collections of books from the dissolved monasteries of the Upper Palatinate formed the basis of the Provinzialbibliothek. From the Cistercian abbeys Waldsassen and Walderbach, from the Premonstratensian abbey of Speinshart, from the Benedictine monasteries of Michelfeld (from 1835), Reichenbach, Weißenohe and Ensdorf, the books came to Amberg and were merged with those of the former Jesuit College and with the regional government library of Amberg. Maurus von Schenkl (1749–1816) from Prüing and Joseph Moritz from Ensdorf (1769–1834) ordered and catalogued the nearly 50,000 volumes. More than two-thirds of these holdings were saved from a fire in 1815 and subsequent sales of duplicates and are preserved to this day.
The library was subsequently managed on a part-time basis by professors from the Lyceum and from the Amberg grammar school. Since 1963, full-time librarians work at the library.
The Provinzialbibliothek is a general academic and regional library focusing on the humanities and on cultural studies. It collects publications from and about the region of the northern and central Upper Palatinate with particular intensity. Its holdings provide the population with literature and information for research, study as well as personal and vocational training purposes. Together with the library of the eastern Bavarian Technical University of Amberg-Weiden, it covers the entire academic spectrum.
The Provincial Library in the former Jesuit College on Malteserplatz preserves the cultural heritage of the former monasteries of the Upper Palatinate. Since 1826, it has been housed in the historical rooms with the Baroque library hall. The extension building completed in 2003 is tailored to the needs of a modern library.
The Provinzialbibliothek Amberg is subordinate to The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library).