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The collection mandate is based on the Law regarding the German National Library (DNBG (PDF, 40KB, Not barrier-free file.)) dated 22 June 2006 (BGBI. I P. 1338). Supplementary to the Law, the Legal Deposit Regulation (PflAV), which came into force on 23 October 2008, increased the level of detail specified in the collection mandate (BGBl. I P. 2013). Basically, the Law and the Directive lay down what the German National Library is to collect.
Since 1913 the Library has collected

  • works in various media published in Germany
  • works in various media published abroad in German
  • translations into other languages of German works published abroad
  • "Germanica" - i.e. works in various media about Germany published abroad in other languages
  • printed works written or published between 1933 and 1945 by German-speaking emigrants

Works in various media, in both physical and non-physical form, are collected. This includes conventional publications in paper form but also microforms, sound recordings, physical works on electronic data carriers and online publications.

The Legal Deposit Regulation (PflAV) sets out the right of the German National Library to be sent, free of charge and without a specific request being issued, works in different media from Germany, while excluding those whose collections are of no public interest from the deposity copy obligation. All commercial and non-commercial publishers in Germany are obliged to submit two mandatory copies of their works, free of charge, to the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Under certain circumstances a subsidy may be granted for the submission of copies (PflAV, Art. 6); a library form should be used to apply for the subsidy. A single copy of all other works in various media not published in Germany is obtained as a gift, in exchange or as a purchase. The legal deposit regulation is not affected by subsidies. The acquisition of items published abroad is settled by means of the legal deposit law §14(2) DNBG--Gesetz über die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, donations of author copies, international agreements or by purchase.
The library collects monographs, serials, maps, music, sound carriers and electronic publications.

The legal requirements of the collection mandate are further explained and specified by the collection guidelines (Sammelrichtlinien). The function of the collection guidelines is to specify in detail which publications from Germany and abroad are to be collected, as the continually growing volume of publications and the large number of Internet publications are forcing the scope to be restricted through the application of formal criteria. They also contain regulations for supplementing the Exile literature, Anne-Frank-Shoah-Library and German Book and Writing Museum collections.

Last update: 09.02.2015


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