Navigation and service

Guided tours in Leipzig

5,000 years of multifaceted media history // Themed tours of the permanent exhibition of the German Museum of Books and Writing // German National Library in Leipzig // Dates on request

Conceived as a "world of experience", the "Signs - Books - Networks: From Cuneiform to Binary Code" exhibition of the German Museum of Books and Writing offers an insight into 5,000 years of media history. From the invention of writing to the digital age – there is so much to explore in the permanent exhibition.
The one-hour theme tours focus on different specialist topics of the permanent exhibition.

The various themes on offer are shown below. Contact us to arrange a tour.

Media history through a magnifying glass

The full permanent exhibition contains roughly 800 objects presented in 1,000 square metres of floor space, but a selection of just five exhibits is used as the basis of an entertaining whistle-stop tour of 5,000 years of media history.

The discovery tour of 5,000 years of media history starts with the tally stick, takes in censored comics, vehicle number plates and the large Brockhaus encyclopaedia before ending with visions of the media world in the future. It gives an impression of the cultural leap forward which the invention of writing represented: in oral cultures, people passed information from generation to generation by word of mouth, whereas writing, book printing and computers then allowed knowledge to be stored in a lasting form. An optional, interactive version of the tour can also be booked.

Hands-on history of books

Historical books and materials such as parchment or papyrus provide a clear insight into the history of the book from its beginnings through to the present day on the guided tour which takes in various parts of the permanent exhibition.

Banned and burned – Censorship in book history

The long arm of censorship has stretched across all eras and all aspects of literature production. The cases of censorship documented in the permanent exhibition reveal the full extent of the bans and countermeasures.

Writing worlds

For more than 5,000 years now people have been recording their messages, their knowledge and thoughts using written signs and scripts. The tour of the permanent exhibition uses a selection of objects, such as tally sticks and vehicle number plates, to demonstrate how meaning can be transported through signs.


Information and contact

The guided tours are given in German.


Guided tours are conducted during the opening hours of the museum. Please inquire at least three weeks before the relevant date.


approx. 1 hour

Meeting place::

Museum foyer


Free admission

Museum opening hours:

Tuesday to Sunday 10:00–18:00, Thursday 10:00–20:00, official holidays 10:00–18:00


Phone + 49 341 2271-324 or

Last update: 20.3.2019

This Page

Schriftbanner mit Deutscher Nationalbibliothek Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main