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FAQ

FAQ on Digitization and Services

Is access to the Digital Collections free of charge?

  • All digital copies of the MDZ are freely accessible on the internet. There are only some access restrictions for a small amount of copyright-protected works as well as for some publications of the 1933-1945 period. Such works are f.e. exclusively accessible within the BSB's reading rooms.

    Please note: Any commercial use of our content requires authorization and is subject to charges (see also the information about our service Document delivery 'Altes Buch’).

I'm interested in one of your books, but it has not been digitized yet. Could you do it for me or will it soon be digitized?

  • Unfortunately, we can't give predictions about when certain books or collections will be digitized. This depends on many factors. Especially for copyright reasons, you will mainly find old stocks (works published before the 20th century) in our digital collections.

    You may use our service Document delivery ‘Altes Buch’ to order online digital copies for a fee. The largest part of the holdings of the BSB, also maps and pictures, are available this way.

Where can I download individual images or entire books?

I need high quality scans for scientific or private purposes. How can I obtain these from you?

  • Please refer to the explanations of our download options. If you cannot find a DaFo download for an image you require, please send an email (see Contact).

I would like to reuse your digital copies. What do I have to consider?

  • First check what you need the digital copies for:

    • Private use or use in research and teaching (without publication): You can download and use our digital copies free of charge at any time.

    • Distribution in a publication, integration on a website or other subsequent use: Please contact and let us know which digital copies you would like to use and in what context. If you plan to use our scans for a publication, we need the following information from you: Publisher, print-run, print and/or e-book publication. Fees may apply depending on the type of use.

May I use your images for commercial purposes?

  • Basically, yes. Please use our order form and state the purpose of use. Please note our reproduction fees. Any commercial use of our digital copies is subject to approval and fees. The image files are delievered after prepayment of the invoice. With the supply also the permission for the publication from our side is given, a separate publication permission does not take place. In some cases you need a special permission for the commercial use of our digital copies. We will be happy to advise you on all questions concerning the further use of our digital copies. If necessary, please contact.

What download options are available for larger quantities of digitized material (for research and teaching)?

  • Please refer to the explanations of our download options.

    The Munich DigitiZation Center of the Bavarian State Library plans to make also full texts available via the open APIs of the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF, see Interfaces).

    Note: Any commercial use of our digital copies is subject to approval and fees.

Which picture credits do I have to add when using an image?

  • Please state:

    • The holding library has to be indicated in any case, if this is not the Bavarian State Library the holding library is mentioned next to the 'call number'

    • Call number

    • Page or folio number of the image you use

    • URN of the digitized object

    You will find the correct call number and URN on the website of the digitized object or in the BSB-Catalogue (OPACplus).

    For example:

    • Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München, H.misc. 33 t-16, p. 244, urn:nbn:de:bvb:12-bsb10737557-2

    • Staatliche Bibliothek Regensburg, 999/4Jur.1371, fol. 1r, urn:nbn:de:bvb:12-bsb11068522-0

Why are some of the digitized books of very poor quality, incomplete or hardly readable?

  • This is an issue of data volumes and a budget issue as well. The Bavarian State Library achieves a high standard in the context of the many digitization projects. However, quality level differs from project to project. Some of our mass digitization projects aim to provide a large amount of content within a short period of time - at the cost of a lower quality and a higher error rate, since post processing and quality checks for hundreds of thousands of books have to be done in an automatic way. On the other hand there are digitization projects for smaller amounts, which allow manual postprocessing and thus a better quality.

    Please note that we are happy to improve incomplete or erroneous digital copies. We ask for your understanding that, in view of the enormous quantities of images that need to be managed, this cannot be done immediately. Please also note that the representation of the colors in our digital copies on screens or in printouts depends on the color settings of the respective devices. Please recalibrate your monitor or printer if necessary.

I have found a book that has faults, is illegible, of poor image quality or incomplete. What can I do?

  • Help us to eliminate the fault by describing it as accurately as possible, stating the title and the full Internet URL. Send a short notification to (see Contact). It is always possible for you to order a new digitization (also of single pages) of a work via our service Document delivery 'Altes Buch'. Please also note that the representation of the colors in our digital copies on screens or in printouts depends on the color settings of the respective devices. Please recalibrate your monitor or printer if necessary.

What to do if a digital offer of the MDZ is not accessible or contains error messages?

  • Please help us to correct the error by sending us as detailed a description as possible including the URL (Contact).
    Please make sure to use a current, supported browser. Otherwise, the use of our offer may not be possible to the full extent.

I own some vintage books. Would you digitize them?

  • The MDZ does not accept individual orders for the digitization of foreign or private collections. It focuses on the holdings of the BSB with the aim to provide retro-digitized content and scientific information services to the public. However, we often do collaborative projects with other institutions. In some of these projects we scan foreign holdings as well. The goal of any collaboration is always the online publication of content for free use.

I own a vintage book. Could you estimate its value?

  • As the BSB is a public institution, we are not allowed to offer such services to private persons or institutions. Please contact an antiquarian you trust.

FAQ on digital preservation

Which properties are specified for a file in order to be suitable for digital preservation?

  • File format and other properties of the file play an essential role for digital preservation and long-term availability. Future accessibility cannot be guaranteed for the multitude of file formats in use today. For this reason, the BSB restricts digital preservation to a few file formats that are standardized according to ISO, open or disclosed and widely used.

    In order to perform future digital preservation measures (usually conversions to a current data format), the files may not contain password protection, encryptions or file-internal functional restrictions and should not be compressed.

    Recommended formats:

    • For text documents: PDF/A or PDF from version 1.4

    • For image documents: TIFF

    • For AV materials: MKV (FFV1), AVI, WAVE

Which official electronic publications are collected by the Bavarian State Library?

  • In general, the Bavarian State Library collects all official publications, in particular those include government gazettes, reports (e.g. annual reports, economic reports, research reports), pamphlets, information and image brochures as well as other brochures starting from 5 PDF pages. Small documents of less than 5 PDF pages as well as forms and information material of limited duration, such as event calendars, are not subject of the legal deposit. In case of doubt, please contact pflicht@bsb-muenchen.de.

How can I submit official electronic publications to the Bavarian State Library?

  • The Bavarian State Library prefers the submission of files via its online service Deposit, which was set up especially for this purpose. It is an easy-to-use and clearly structured web-based solution. At present, it is also still possible to send files via email attachment to the address pflicht@bsb-muenchen.de.

    In order to get an account for the deposit, please send an email to deposit@bsb-muenchen.de with the following information: First and last name, institution, institutional address and phone number, personal email or functional email address. You will then receive your login details from us.

    A step-by-step instruction on how to use the deposit is given in our user manual (PDF).

FAQ on web archiving

Why does the wayback display of the web archive differ from the original presentation?

  • The Bavarian State Library always aims at a complete capture of the contents and functionalities and the preservation of the original layout of websites. Each crawl is subject to an intellectual quality control for content consistency, functionality and presentation. In this process, an effort is made to collect all objects of a website including images, audio and video files as well as documents and the relevant information necessary for functionality and design and to exclude external content. However, the Heritrix web crawler has its technical limitations (e.g. dynamically generated or streamed content or executables can cause problems). Limits can also be reached due to memory size, the number of files, or permitted file formats.

Will the Bavarian State Library's web archive provide competition for my own website?

  • Archived websites are clearly marked as such by us: Firstly, there is a 'banner' above each capture indicating that it is an archived version. Secondly, it can also be seen from the archival URLs, which each begin with langzeitarchivierung.bib-bvb.de. At the same time, the URL of the original resource is listed visibly for users in various places: in the catalogue OPACplus of the Bavarian State Library, in the search portals of the specialized information services operated by the Bavarian State Library and in the Bavarian Bibliography, as well as on the overview page of the archived website.

Is my own server affected by web archiving?

  • The crawler of the Bavarian State Library is configured in such a way that the server load is kept as low as possible. If, contrary to expectations, problems should nevertheless occur due to the harvesting process, please contact us immediately at webarchivierung@bsb-muenchen.de. In the log files of your server you can recognize the crawler access of the Bavarian State Library by the following signature: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; digital long-term preservation project +http://www.babs-muenchen.de)

What do I have to know when using web archives?

  • Access and use of the archived websites is at your own risk. The Bavarian State Library states explicitly that it has no influence whatsoever on the content, design and functionalities of the archived websites. The information listed in the imprint, on data protection and accessibility etc. in the archived captures correspond to the respective status of the original website at the time of archiving.

    The archived websites may still contain active components, e.g. JavaScript, that set cookies on your computer or execute active content. If you wish to prevent the use of cookies, you can refuse to accept cookies in your browser. If you want to prevent active content from being executed, you can also deactivate this in your browser. However, it is possible that not all functionalities of the archived website will be available then. Usually, you will only be shown the contents of the archived websites, but in some cases it is possible that contents of live websites are also viewed.

What do I have to consider with regard to copyright?

  • The Bavarian State Library has been granted the necessary rights by the copyright holders to archive and make available the archived websites. Copyrights and all other rights to content, images, videos or other files on the archived websites are held by the respective rights holders, and all acts relevant to copyright law must therefore be approved by them.