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National and University Library

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The National and University Library French: Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire; abbreviated BNU is a public library in Strasbourg, France It is located on Place de la République, the former Kaiserplatz, and faces the Palais du Rhin


After the destruction of the municipal library and the city's archives by Prussian artillery during the Siege of Strasbourg, the German Empire founded the BNU on 19 June 1872 The task of arranging its collections was given to historian and professor, Rodolphe Reuss

It became the regional library for the Reichsland Alsace-Lorraine, as, according to German tradition, every region should have at least one library It was also an Academic library

The collections grew quickly, thanks principally to donations from all across Europe and the United States But, even in spite of these generous donations, many priceless manuscripts, such as the Hortus Deliciarum had been destroyed and could never be replaced1

The present-day building, which is a work of architects August Hartel and Skjold Neckelmann, was opened in 1895

After the territory of Alsace-Lorraine had been reverted to France following World War I, the question arose as to whether or not this library should be renovated and reopened After some hesitation, the French government decided to keep the library

The library now holds about 3,000,000 volumes, which is the second largest collection in France2 The collection contains, amongst other things, ca 2,300 incunabula,3 6700 manuscripts plus 29,000 others from the archives – kept by the library – of the De Turckheim family, and several other thousands from the Alsatian Franciscan order4 and 5,200 papyri5


  1. ^ La petite histoire d’une grande bibliothèque
  2. ^ La BNU en chifres
  3. ^ Les Incunables, bnufr
  4. ^ Manuscripts at the BNU website
  5. ^ Collections papyrologiques at the BNU website

External linksedit

  • Library and information science portal

Media related to Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire at Wikimedia Commons

  • Official Website

Coordinates: 48°35′14″N 7°45′22″E / 4858722°N 775611°E / 4858722; 775611

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