Regensburger Reichsstädtische Bibliothek (The Imperial City of Regensburg Library)

The Regensburg Council Library, first mentioned in the mid-14th century, is one of the earliest confirmed libraries of this type in Germany. In the 16th century, the desire arose for a special theological-literary library within the walls of the imperial city, which led to the foundation of a collection at the imperial-city Poeticum grammar school. This school library quickly developed into a meeting place for learned men, such as Nicolaus Gallus (1516 - 1570), Matthias Flacius (1520 - 1575), Kaspar Bruschius (1518 - 1559) and Caspar von Nidbruck (c. 1525 - 1557). Numerous manuscripts from the Benedictine monastery of Prüfening, which were acquired for the collection during the course of the 16th century, could also be found here. In 1783, the Council Library was merged with the book collections from the Poeticum grammar school (since 1551) and the Protestant clergy to form the Imperial City of Regensburg Library.

The result of this merger was "one of the most remarkable curiosities in Regensburg", as the scholar Friedrich Karl Gottlob Hirsching (1762-1800) noted in his description of important German libraries published in 1790. What an excellent reputation the imperial city library enjoyed is exemplified by one of its last visitors: Crown Prince Ludwig (1786 - 1868), who later became King Ludwig I of Bavaria (1825-1848), admired the library's treasures in January 1810, as can be seen in his diary. It was also one of the few sights of Regensburg that the member of the Wittelsbach dynasty noted as worth mentioning. When the former imperial city of Regensburg joined the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1810, the book collection that had grown over the centuries was dissolved. The majority of the manuscripts and rare prints were transferred to the Royal Court Library in Munich (today's Bayerische Staatsbibliothek), while the remaining collection in Regensburg was transferred to the Royal District Library founded in 1816 (today's Staatliche Bibliothek Regensburg).

These also include the first verifiable legal manuscripts (a.o. Clm 13013, Clm 13006, Clm 13010, Clm 13012, Clm 13007), which were donated to the Council Library in 1430 by Konrad von Hildesheim, a canon at St. John in Regensburg.

Bernhard Lübbers

>> This collection ist part of the holding of the Staatlichen Bibliothek Regensburg (Regensburg State Library), the Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library) and the Historischer Verein für Oberpfalz und Regensburg (Historical Association for Upper Palatinate and Regensburg).

To the collections by topic of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek