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German Language and Literature: Rare Books, Manuscripts & Archives

Library resources for German language and literature at Yale

The German Collection at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

The German collection at the Beinecke is one of the oldest special collections at Yale and contains first editions and other rare literary texts in German from approximately 1600 to 1850, with scattered holdings of earlier authors and a few specialized gatherings of twentieth-century material. The areas of greatest strength are the seventeenth century and Goethe.

 A comprehensive guide to the Beinecke collection of German Literature can be found here.

Archives and manuscript collections outside Yale

Bibliothecae codicum medii aevi

Database of mediaeval libraries and manuscripts in Germany and other countries in Europe. An approach to reconstructing mediaeval libraries based on the present manuscript tradition.

Handschriften des Mittelalters

A catalog of medieval manuscripts in German libraries.


Online catalog of German archival materials.

Scriptores possessoresque codicum medii aevi

Database providing information on scribes and owners of mediaeval manuscripts in Europe. Information and Search interface in Latin and in German.

Literary archives in Germany

Archiv der Akademie der Künste (Berlin).

Repository for the literary archives of many German writers from the 1920s to the present time, including Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, Alfred Döblin, nter Grass, Heinrich Mann, Heiner Müller, Christa Wolf, etc.

Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv (Weimar)

The oldest German literature archive, containing manuscripts, autographs and documents pertaining to the lives and works of Goethe, Schiller, and many other German writers, philosophers, composers and artists.

Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach