The University Library Eichstätt-Ingolstadt is part of the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. It offers a wide range of specialist literature and information in various disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. As it is the University’s central provider of media and information, the students, researchers, and lecturers are its main target audience, but it is also open to other interested parties. It holds approximately 1.9 million printed volumes, which are distributed among five libraries in two locations. It also has a large range of electronic holdings that it is adding to continuously.
The University Library was established in 1980, but its roots can be traced back much further to the libraries of the institutions that later became the University, Eichstätt’s former college of education (established in 1958) and theological college (1843). The University Library also maintains the complete and partial collections from the libraries of various other institutions whose origins date back to the Middle Ages. For this reason, it holds a considerable number of historical materials – over 2,800 manuscripts (including 450 medieval manuscripts), around 3,000 music manuscripts, 1,500 incunabula, 100,000 printed works from before 1850, 100,000 prints and drawings, and around 20,000 old maps – and other special collections such as donated private collections and publishers’ archives.
Many of its most important historical materials originate from Eichstätt’s former state library, which was created between 1806 and 1812 following the period of secularization by bringing together the books from the former prince bishops’ library, the cathedral chapter, and the Dominican monastery in Eichstätt, the Augustinian monastery in Rebdorf, and the Benedictine abbey in Plankstetten. The stock from the prince bishops’ library also included the collection from Eichstätt’s Jesuit college, which had been integrated into it at an earlier date.
Today the University Library also looks after the collections belonging to the Eichstätt priest seminary and several libraries that are affiliated with it. The history of this library can be traced back to the 16th century. While over the years it has experienced many changes of ownership, moves, and losses as a result of secularization, it has ultimately increased in size thanks to the many donations that it has received, beginning in the 19th and continuing into the 21st century.