MDZ (Münchener Digitalisierungszentrum) and bavarikon

The Munich Digitization Center (Münchener Digitalisierungszentrum – MDZ) is a freely available eresource which offers digital access to a range of materials, including: manuscripts, sheet music, maps, newspapers, photographs and journals, which are held at the Bavarian State Library and other cultural heritage institutions.

MDZMuch of the text on the website is in English, but, as you would expect from a German website, object titles and descriptions are predominantly in German.

Books that have been digitised for the project date from 7th – 20th centuries, with almost 400,000 books from the 19th century and almost 300,000 books from the 18th century. The most common authors on the site are Martin Luther, Cicero, and Erasmus. This great stats/graphs page lets you search by subject, century, author or keyword at  the click of your mouse.

Some of the highlights of the collection include:

The Ottheinrich Bible

The Gutenberg Bible

Martin Luther’s Bible

2014 exhibition on Paul Heyse

2014 exhibition on Philipp Apian – Die Vermessung Bayerns

2015 exhibition on the Nuremberg chronicle and private library of Hartmann Schedel



MDZ also contributes towards the image database bavarikon.

Along with digitised books and maps this database also includes artworks (including van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ and Rembrandt’s ‘Jugendliches Selbstbildnis’), photographs of location and objects, and 3D views of objects.

The resource also allows searching by topic. The topics currently available include sources and representations of the Munich Oktoberfest,  King Ludwig II of Bavaria, and Berthold Furtmeyr: Regensburger Buchmalerei der Renaissance.

“The bavarikon portal is a website for art, culture and regional studies presented by the Free State of Bavaria, digitally introducing the artifacts and cultural treasures of Bavaria’s cultural and scienctifical institutions. bavarikon is a module of the Bavarian cultural concept.”

Information about the object is listed for each object in the collection and lets you know if re-use is possible.

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