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Historical collection

As “Historical collection” or also “Scientific Historical collection” elaborations are determined by the University Library released up to and including the year 1900. This collection includes ca. 38.000 titles, among them predominantly books, followed by journals and publication series as well as image and map material.

For protection and conservation reasons, the elaborations within the “Historical collection” are located for the largest part in the climatized closed stacks. Only a few elaborations are accessible in the open-stack-area resp. in the reading hall.

The elaborations of the „Historical collection” as well may be completely searched by the online-catalog of the University Library. There they are frequently marked by the amendment “Wissenschaftlicher Altbestand” (“Scientific Historical collections”) within the catalog entry.

Tip: To do this, first limit your search in the catalog: Year of publication: * - 1900. Then limit the search results: Access: local holdings.

As for protection and conservation purposes a raising share has been digitalized in the State digitization program. Please at first have a look whether the title required is not (also) available as electronic document. Frequently, the digital reproduction may be used without any access restrictions (“Open Access”).

In the case the elaboration required is not also available in digital form, you generally have to order it via the online-catalog as it is located in the closed stacks. Please use the “Order”-function in the catalog entry for this. The elaboration required will then be collected and generally be provided for you at the information and lending desk on the 1st level at the next opening day. Often, exclusively a so-called “on-site usage” is possible which means that the elaborations may only be used within the library building but not being borrowed. Copies can only be made by staff.

The elaborations within the „Historical collection“ cover a large variety of subjects ranging from natural sciences (mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, geology) via engineering sciences (electrical engineering, metallurgy, technology, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, heating-lighting-water supply), architecture and economics up to humanities (history, philosophy, education and teaching, languages and literature). However, the respective scope varies a lot from subject to subject.

Depending on prior storage, material quality and usage, the elaborations within the “Historical collections” differ a lot from each other with regard to their state of conservation. However, the age of the books counts only among the minor factors in this context. The most frequent damages are contamination, foxing stains, damages at the book covers as well as damages resulting from the usage of acidic paper by the printing of the book.

Depending on kind and scope of the damages, different measures for the protection and conservation of the partly unique books are necessary. Those range from comparatively quite simple bookbinding measures up to sophisticated and thus respectively cost-intensive conservation measures (dry-cleaning, reparation of fractures, closing of cracks etc.). In addition, for the protection of significantly vulnerable or already damaged books also protective containers individually adapted to the format of the books are being acquired. Finally, a significant number of the books had already been digitalized so that they may be used via the electronic version in order to protect the paper copy.

Link a book from the “Historical collection” to your name! By a donation for which you determine the amount, you may contribute to ensure that after you also future generations may make usage of the elaborations from the “Historical collection” of the University Library.

In the case you decide to engage, please simply download our book sponsorship form, fill it in and send it via mail to the destination address already indicated or you are also welcome to hand it in personally at the information desk at the ground floor of the Library building at Straße der Nationen 33. Subsequent to reception of your donation, you will receive a letter of thanks and, in case of complete sponsoring of restoration costs for the book, in addition a certificate and a "privileged access" to "your" book which will be explained to you in detail in the letter of gratitude.

Tip: You can find further information on our website Buchpatenschaften.

In case you have books released up to and including the year 1900 in your private collections which you would like to offer to the University Library as donation, please simply send a list of those elaborations to the contact person indicated at “Contact”. You will then receive a notice at which of those the University Library are interested for further enrichment and enhancement of its “Historical collection”.

In the case that your interest is more focused on non-published documents related to the history of the university and its predecessors (files, records, image material etc.), the University Archives located in the Library building at Straße der Nationen 33 as well, are voluntarily at your disposition.


Portrait: Dr. Wolfgang Lambrecht
Dr. Wolfgang Lambrecht
  • Phone:
    +49 371 531-35679
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  • Address:
    Straße der Nationen 33, 09111 Chemnitz
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