Our special collections such as old prints and statistical yearbooks are also available in digital format.

Browse through our digital collections and through the history of the historical collection (in German).

  • Aktienführer data archive

    The Aktienführer data archive of the University Library presents the entire Hoppenstedt Aktienführer from 1956 to 2016 in one database. In addition, you can access the digitized full-text of the Hoppenstedt Aktienführer and previous publications from 1870 to 1999.

    The Aktienführer data archive was published yearly and contains profiles with the most important key figures of companies listed on the German stock exchange. This includes data on the company’s place of business, commercial activities, number of employees, shares, stockholder and information from the balance sheet and profit and loss statement.

    Due to copyright reasons, only the institutions which have applied for access and have been accepted may access the Aktienführer data archive. Access is limited to higher education institutions and other research institutions and academic libraries which are mainly publicly financed. If your institution does not have access yet, please contact the library of your institution which can then apply for access to the data archive.

    Aktienführer data archive

  • Desbillons

    The Desbillons collection is the most important and the largest historical collection of the university’s library. The Desbillons collection was started by the French Jesuit priest François-Joseph Terrasse Desbillons (1711–1789).

    Desbillons collection

    The collection represents the knowledge of his time and hosts books on history, ethnography, theology, law and literature. The classification from the time of its origin is still present and allows you to browse the collection.

    Desbillons collection

    Project Digitizing the travel reports of the Desbillons collection funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

    Project Ancien Droit funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

    Mateo (from 1996 to 2008, in German)

    Estate of Desbillons

    The estate of Desbillons consists of the correspondence and manuscripts of the Jesuit priest François-Joseph Terrasse Desbillons, written in Latin and French.

    Estate of Desbillons

  • European history of law

    The historical collection consists of law resources focusing on the history of Germanic law.

    European history of law

  • Jesuit college

    The Jesuit college’s collection was started in 1720 when the Jesuits arrived in Mannheim and contains around 1,800 books.

    Jesuit college

  • Lesegesellschaft Harmonie

    The collection of the Lesegesellschaft Harmonie (Harmonie reading society) of Mannheim consists of around 7,000 books from the 15th to the 19th century.

    Lesegesellschaft Harmonie

  • Mammelsdorf

    The second, important historical collection of Mannheim University Library is named after the merchant Julius Mammelsdorf (1839–1902). Mammelsdorf was a financier with global operations, e.g. in Saint Petersburg, Saigon or Mexico.

    Among his books are titles important for the history and culture of Mexico. Mammeldorf purchased these books from monasteries while he was in Mexico.


  • Estate of Otto Selz

    Otto Selz (1881–1943) was one of the most important German psychologists of the 20th century. His interests were wide-ranging and included questions of theoretical as well as applied psychology. In 1923, he became a professor and in 1933, he became President of the Handelshochschule Mannheim. In April 1933, he was laid off due to his Jewish background and in July 1943, he was murdered in Auschwitz.

    The collection holds selected personal documents from the Otto Selz estate.

    Estate of Otto Selz

  • Natural history

    The library of the Mannheimer Verein für Naturkunde (Mannheim natural history society) holds items important to the history of medicine and pharmacy from the 16th to the 20th century. This includes medical journals, handbooks for labor and delivery and pharmacopoeias. Works on natural history describing the geography, flora and fauna of local and exotic regions are another important part of the collection. The texts are written mostly in German or Latin.

    Natural history

    Catalog of the library of the Mannheimer Verein für Naturkunde

  • Reichsanzeiger

    The database on the Reichsanzeiger (German imperial gazette) is currently being established and hosts the official press organ of the German Reich and the state of Prussia from 1819 to 1945. The Reichsanzeiger published official notices and ordinances of the government, press releases and articles on important national and international events. Since the middle of the 19th century, advertisements, a central commercial register and a stock exchange supplement were included.


  • German statistical yearbooks

    The statistical yearbooks of the German Reich, the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic contain data on economy, population, social aspects and health from 1880 to 1990.

    The digitalized copies of the German statistical yearbooks can be used without asking for permission. Further information can be found here: Public Domain Mark 1.0.

    German statistical yearbooks

  • Weickum

    Johann Jacob Weickum (1770–1834) studied classical philology with the famous Friedrich August Wolf in Halle. For forty years, he was a teacher and deputy headmaster in Mannheim. More than half of his collection is written in Latin. Another important part of the collection is the German philosophical and educational literature of Weickum’s time.



The University Library does its best to digitize the relevant historical books and to make them also available in digital format. Before you order a book in the Primo catalog, please check if the book is available as digital object.

We digitize historical books in accordance with the latest standard and the recommendations of the German Research Foundation (DFG). If possible, we also create searchable text.

The digitized historical collections of the library of the University of Mannheim can be used without asking permission (Public Domain Mark 1.0).

For old prints which have not been digitized, we offer a digitization service against payment of a fee. The digital objects are made available in the digital collections free of charge.

Using old prints

You can order the historical books via the Primo catalog and access them in the special collections reading room in the InfoCenter. Due to conservation reasons, it is not possible to borrow historical books or to place an interlibrary loan request for such books.