Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg Carl von Ossietzky Tour

Today I went on a tour of the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg Carl von Ossietzky (State and University Library of Hamburg).  The library was originally founded in 1459 and celebrated its 650 year anniversary last year.  The original building burned down during WWII and they unfortunately lost a lot of their original books at that time.  Their current building still has a couple beautiful rooms,such as this one:

As a state library, they automatically receive a copy of all items published, both in paper format and digitally, in the state of Hamburg.  They have millions of books, with those published in the last 10 years available in the open stacks.  Older items are available by ordering them and are available to pick up in 24 hours.  Students in Hamburg can borrow books free of charge, but other residents must pay a fee of 20 Euro a year to use the library (common in Europe).

I was most impressed by the large amount of textbooks they had.  Students can then borrow them for assignments, rather than having to purchase them as we do in the US.  They have also created their own catalog, which seems very user friendly.  It is named Beluga.

The most amazing part of the tour was being taken to the 17th floor, where they have an outdoor patio with a beautiful view of the city.  It was a fantastic tour and very interesting to learn the differences between this library and the ones in the US.

You can take a virtual tour here!

1 comment:

  1. It's wonderful being able to read all about this in English. I didn't know about it to look for it in german anyway.[smile]I am glad to be following you once again.


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