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Books are the gateway to the world

Press release:  September 13, 2012

Presentation of commemorative coin and stamp "Centenary of the German National Library"
18 September 2012, 12 noon, German National Library in Frankfurt am Main

The Federal Republic of Germany is paying tribute to the German National Library by issuing a commemorative coin and stamp. The ten euro coin designed by Victor Huster of Baden-Baden depicts a user and symbols representing the varied media covered by the library's collection brief: books and letters, binary characters and clefs. A quotation from Stefan Zweig is embossed around the edge of the coin: "Bücher sind der Eingang zur Welt" (Books are the gateway to the world). The 55 cent commemorative stamp designed by Prof. Wilfried Korfmacher from Meerbusch shows the edge of an open book with a black case, a red headband and a gold ribbon.

The "Centenary of the German National Library" commemorative coin and stamp will be officially unveiled at a public event in Frankfurt am Main on 18 September. The speakers will include: Dr. Elisabeth Niggemann, Director General of the German National Library, Dr. Ingeborg Berggreen-Merkel, Head of Department for the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, and Werner Gatzer, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance. Friedrich von Metzler will give the ceremonial address. The event will include performances by the Cello meets Jazz formation.

The commemorative stamp will be available for purchase from 10:00 to 18:00 at a mobile post office branch set up on the square in front of the German National Library in Frankfurt. Besides the first day cover there will also be special postmarks from the sites of the German National Library. The two first day covers will carry the place names of Berlin (as the head office of the publisher of the postage stamp, the Federal Ministry of Finance) and Bonn (the headquarters of Deutsche Post AG).
The special FRANKFURT postmark, 18.9.12 no. 17/336 will be available on 18 September in the mobile special post office branch. The special LEIPZIG postmark, 3.10.12 no. 18/363 will be available from 4 - 8.10.12 from the Philatelieshop in Leipzig. Both special postmarks can also be purchased from the special postmark office of the Deutsche Post in Weiden.

The first day covers can be obtained from the special postmark offices of the Deutsche Post in Berlin and Bonn.

The German National Library can look back over a history spanning 100 years. 100 years of commitment to the written memory of our nation - in full, including all the highs and lows of German history. 100 years of national bibliographic service and 100 years of actively helping to shape the development of our communication and information society. The founding treaty of the Deutsche Bücherei was signed between the Kingdom of Saxony and the Börsenverein der Deutschen Buchhändler zu Leipzig on 3 October 1912. The establishment of a new archiving library for West Germany was initiated in Frankfurt am Main in 1946. The reunification of Germany saw both institutions amalgamated into a Federal facility. In 2006 the legal brief of the library was expanded and it was given a new name: Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (German National Library).

The German National Library is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding by staging 100 events at its sites in Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main between March and October 2012. Highlights to date include the opening of the new permanent exhibition of the German Museum of Books and Writing (Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum) entitled "Signs - Books - Networks: From Cuneiform to Binary Code", the open-air anniversary concerts with Clueso and Xavier Naidoo at the historical place of foundation in Leipzig and the opening of the "Fremd bin ich den Menschen dort" exhibition of the German Excile Archive 1933 - 1945 (Deutsches Exilarchiv) in cooperation with the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach, which is on show until 20 October in Frankfurt.

An official ceremony will be held at the German National Library to commemorate the centenary on the eve of the anniversary.

Spread across three issues, the anniversary magazine HUNDERT features essays, interviews, short stories, commentary and news items on the themes of "Sprachraum", "Klangraum" and "Denkraum". A fourth and final issue of the magazine, dedicated to "Leseraum", will be published on 1 October. An online crowdsourcing campaign entitled "Wir sind ein Jahrgang!" encouraging young and old to become creatively involved has been set up.

Further information on the centenary in the Internet

Startseite 100 Jahre

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Schriftbanner mit Deutscher Nationalbibliothek Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main