Library collections

Liberec Library comprises a complex fund of books on a very wide range of topics, supplemented by book purchasing, gifts and Legal Deposit (the legal requirement that a given number of published materials be deposited in selected libraries). Library Liberec was granted nationwide legal deposit of non-periodical publications between 1947 and 1995. Today the Library receives legal deposit periodicals and regional non-periodical publications.

When the Library was founded in 1945, the collection was initially influenced by local industries, and later by the academic development of the Technical University of Liberec and later still the merging of the City and Scientific Libraries into one. The original special-interest collections of the library (textiles, glass & plastics) still contain much about textiles and glass, and educational materials and publications have been extended in line with modern developments at the University, eg, architecture.

The primary resource is printed documents – books, serials, music, maps, patents and norms. Further additions are made using other media – audio, audio-visual, and electronic. The library’s collections amount to about 1,500,000 documents, of which 250,000 are on the open shelves. The collections cover academic, non-fiction and fiction materials for children, young people and adults alike.

The Library is also responsible for special document collections.

Germanics from the Czech lands

A resource of bibliographic records of publications which:

  1. are of Bohemian, Moravian and Silesian German interest, or;
  2. are written by German authors born in the Czech lands (or who lived there), or;
  3. were published in the Czech lands before 1946 and which relate to either (1) or (2) above, or;
  4. were published by German publishers in the Czech lands before 1945.

This rare historical collection consists of around 13 000 titles. You can find the collection in the library’s on-line catalogue.


Historic collection of old and rare publications

The Library’s Historic Collection includes manuscripts, first editions, old prints and 19th century printed documents, rare editions from the 20th and 21st centuries, collections of photographs and a number of smaller archival documents.

Manuscripts, first editions and old prints

The collection comprises a total of 1156 items. It was brought together in the 1920s with the founding of the Bücherei der Deutschenspecial library. Gifts and purchases have further expanded the collection.

Rare manuscripts include:

  • fragments of three parchments from a medieval antiphonary (late 13th – early 14th century)
  • a 1493 original edition of the Nuremberg Chronicle – written by the Nuremberg doctor and humanist Hartmannn Schedel
  • part of the library of the Piarist Gymnasium in Doupov – including works by Bohuslav Balbín, Antonín Koniáš and other significant 17th and 18th century writers
  • a collection of smaller items from the 16th and 17th centuries collected by literary historian Rudolf Wolkan.

19th, 20th and 21st century materials

The collection comprises printed works, including publications from the 19th century, with the exception of Germanics from the Czech lands. The collection also includes numbered editions from the following centuries and books with the author’s dedication or interesting bookplates.

The Photographic Collection mainly comprises documents from 1938-1945, which map political life in the Sudeten region, eg, a series of photographs documenting the arrival of the German army in Liberec in 1938, the burning of the Liberec Synagogue and Adolf Hitler’s visit to Liberec. The collection also includes postcards from Liberec and the surrounding districts.
A number of documents from the 19th and 20th centuries are available for viewing in the Kramerius Digital Library.  
For more information please contact Václav Kříček, e-mail: