Germany Parliamentary Library Study Tour 2007

A blog for attendees and those interested in learning more about the study tour.

Bavarian Parliament January 11, 2008

Kids learning about the LandtagOur final stop in Munich was the Bavarian Parliament (Bayerischer Landtag).  Upon arriving at the Maximilianeum, the building that houses the parliament, we met Dr. Markus Nadler, who gave us a tour of the library and the building.  First, we watched a video describing the legislative and electoral process in Bavaria.  Then Nadler gave us a brief history of the library and of the building.

The library was founded in 1819.  Its operations were suspended during the Nazi regime, and all its materials were sent to the state library.  Nadler said that not all of the titles were returned: before the war, the collection included 130,000 books, while the current count is 60,000.

The building was the brainchild of King Maximilian II of Bavaria, although he passed away before it was completed.  In addition to housing the parliament, the Maximilianeum is the home of the Maximilianeum Scholarship Foundation, which educates “talented Bavarian youths (of any social rank) to achieve that level of academic and spiritual education requisite for meeting the higher tasks of state service” (Bayerischer Landtag, 2004, p. 10).  In fact, the Foundation is the owner of the building.  The parliament only rents its space there.

Nadler said that the library weeds its collection as new titles comes in.  The same amount of books that are added are discardrf.  This is because of the limited amount of space in the library, but also because of the importance of having an up-to-date inventory. The collection includes materials about Bavarian history and culture.

Christine at the Landtag libraryThe library subscribes to 370 journals and newspapers from all parts of Bavarian.  Nadler said that the parliamentarians want to have the news from their respective homes.  The library also routes a list of the new books to the parliamentarians and their staff, who are the primary patrons of the library.  Outside users must apply for special permission to gain access.

There are five professional librarians on staff.  Nadler noted that some of the librarians can switch between tasks in the library, the archive and the documentation center.

In addition to housing the parliament and the Foundation, the Maximilianeum features a collection of paintings representing Bavarian history.  The building was an art gallery from its inception.  Seventeen paintings were destroyed during World War II.

References

Bayerischer Landtag. (2004). The Bavarian Landtag – State Parliament – and the Maximilianeum. Munich, Germany: The Landtag.  Accessed 11 January 2008.

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