Special collections and archives

Bodenseesammlung (Lake Constance Collection)

Literature with ties to the Lake Constance region,

  • housed on Level J 3a
  • The shelfmarks start with the number “7”
  • Essays and books relating to Lake Constance are kept in the Euregio-Bodensee-Datenbank (Euregio Lake Constance database)

Rara - valuable and rare books

  • are generally kept in a secure location.
  • cannot be borrowed from the library.
  • Reference only access in the Rara reading room located in the Mediothek (Media Centre).
  • The shelfmarks start with the letter “R” (manuscripts start with the letter “H”)
  • Request via: KIM Library and IT Support

A few “treasures” from the Rara collection.

Wessenberg library

The private library of Freiherr Heinrich Ignaz von Wessenberg belongs to the city of Konstanz. It is curated by the University of Konstanz.

The collection as been inventoried in a:

Using the Wessenberg collection:

For a comprehensive study of the Wessenberg collection and its history by Helge Ortlepp, please see: “Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Deutschland. (Handbook of historical book collections in Germany) Bd. 8: Baden-Württemberg I-S. Hildesheim: Olms-Weidmann 1994”.

We thank the Georg Olms Verlag for its generous permission to publish this information.


The University of Konstanz is home to several archives:

University Archive

Historical documents about the University of Konstanz

Philosophical Archive

Collection on the history of philosophy and the philosophy of science in the twentieth century, bequest.

Social Science Archive

Contains bequests from various authors as well as the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie’s (DGS) digital documents. Upon request only.

Ancient craftwork

The library possesses a museum collection of ancient craftwork, which will be made available to the public again once the BG section of library has re-opened.

This collection of ancient craftwork was gifted to the university by Dr Wolfram Dufner of Konstanz and is of considerable art-historical interest.

It includes:

  • Wolfram Dufner’s former private collection
  • A collection of Georgian relics
  • New Iranian-Egyptian acquisitions
  • Single items from private collections

Collection of ancient coins

Since 2009 the University of Konstanz houses a small collection of ancient coins, all donated by private sponsors. The focus lies on coins from late antiquity, but some of the ca. 150 objects derive from the early and higher Roman Empire as well.

Collections of literature

Native American literature
A major linguistics collection and texts of the indigenous peoples of North America. The collection is spread across ssl 810 - ssl 841. For more information about this particular collection, please consult the description by Mr Wagner (PDF).

Chinese literature
A collection of 70 original Chinese books containing - in modern collector’s editions - works from all ages and genres of Chinese literature: from “Yijing”, the “Book of Changes” dated to the seventh/sixth century BC, to the “Tang shi san bai shou”, the “300 poems from the Tang age”, to the 14th-century “Shui Hu Zhuan” crime novel to the letters of a 19th-century neo-Confucian academy professor. This collection can be found at ori 856 - ori 901.50.
More information about the Chinese originals (in German) (PDF).

Arabic literature
Arabic literature from the sixth up to the twentieth century AD, both in the original language and in translation. The university’s institutional repository KOPS contains a historical analysis and catalogue of works.