The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is one of the largest European universal libraries and of world renown as an international research library and heritage institution. It forms part of Germany's virtual national library and is the central state library and repository library of the Free State of Bavaria. Its total holdings amount to around 34 million items,among these almost 10.9 million books, over 54,000 current periodicals in electronic and printed form, 17 million photographs/images and 140,000 manuscripts. Every year approximately 125,000 volumes are added to its collections. Furthermore, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek holds the largest digital data stock of all German libraries with more than 2.5 million digitised works, around 960 million image files or a memory space of one petabyte. Around 70 percent of its copyright-free holdings are freely accessible on the Internet. Besides the professional digitisation of manuscripts, books, newspaper issues and special materials, the library’s own Munich Digitisation Center (MDZ) develops software and research tools, for example “image-based similarity search”, the newspaper portal “digiPress” or the standard “International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF)”. In addition, the MDZ secures the contents for future generations by long-term archiving.
The Library’s other sophisticated digital services include four Specialised Information Services (Classics, Historical Studies; Russian, East and Southeast European Studies; Musicology). Furthermore, it operates bavarikon, the internet portal of the Free State of Bavaria for the presentation of art, culture and stocks of knowledge from Bavarian institutions. Moreover, one of the Staatsbibliothek’s departments is the Head Office of the Bavarian Library Network. It is the regional service and competence center for all the library network’s members. Its responsibilities include the development, provision and support of high-performance library applications, competent counselling and support regarding essential questions of information technology and innovative solutions.