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The most important tasks of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sammlung Deutscher Drucke are:


The main task of the libraries is the retrospective completion of their historical collections. Each library attempts to acquire all literature published in the German-speaking areas in the time period for which it is responsible, irrespective of content and language; outside of the German-speaking areas, only works written in German are collected.

Priority is given to the acquisition of original editions and supplemental reproductions, since the aim of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sammlung Deutscher Drucke is not only to procure the texts themselves, but also to preserve them in their historical published form.

Staff of the participating libraries systematically scan the German and international markets in order to acquire printed works that satisfy the acquisition policy.

Acquisition policy

Acquisition Statistics


The participating libraries are responsible for the descriptive and subject cataloging of the acquired literature and for making it available in catalogs. Many titles are additionally recorded in special bibliographies.

The literature made available in this way can be used quite normally in the libraries, though valuable and rare books may only be used in the reading rooms.

Since all of the participating libraries have converted their conventional catalogs to electronic form, the result is a virtual national library that is searchable world-wide.


The participating libraries face the important task of preserving both their older collections and their newly-acquired printed works.

In many cases, the first editions require special conservation treatment. The damage that is often seen to the cover and body of the books has been exacerbated by the improper techniques for the production of paper and covers introduced in the 19th century, in particular, the use of acidic paper.

In addition to restoration measures, various methods for the production of secondary reproductions are also employed.


In addition, the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sammlung Deutscher Drucke (AG SDD) has decided to actively participate in the transfer of the printed national heritage into the digital world.

On the basis of several digitization projects of the Distributed Digital Research Library (Verteilte Digitale Forschungsbibliothek) programme sponsored by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)), the project participants want to guarantee the presence of the printed cultural heritage in the international network and, at the same time, to contribute to the protection of the original in the sense of collection preservation.

Participation in the DFG project "Zentrales Verzeichnis Digitalisierter Drucke" beginning April 2005

Together with the library consortia based in Göttingen (GBV Common Library Network) and Cologne (Hochschulbibliothekszentrum), the AG SDD is developing a portal through which the digitization efforts and the resulting documents can be recorded and accessed.

The charge of the SDD project libraries consists of

  • creating and developing contacts to the projects;
  • evaluating the projects and their content; reviewing the quality of the digital materials and of the metadata; and
  • arranging for adequate descriptive and bibliographic information in the portal.

Last update: 01.03.2012

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