Today´s book and multimedia information centre of the public town library owns its existence to the initiative of Franz Dautzenberg, a citizen of the town who died in 1828. He donated his private library, comprising 10 000 volumes on condition that it was made open to the general public.
The scientific public town library meant to be a source of study for the educated classes was opened in 1831 in the coronation hall of Aachen townhall.
After a considerable number of scientific libraries had been added, this library in 1889 got a managing director, Emil Fromm, who had had a professional training before.
In May 1897 this library for the first time moved into a specially for this purpose constructed house art the Fish Market (Fischmarkt).
In 1936 the town council decided the foundation of a public Town Library. It was opened in 1940.
The scientific library and the public town library (Stadtbücherei) were combined owing to a resolution of the town council, in 1977 and were called New Public Library of the City of Aachen.
Since June 2008 it was renamed and now goes under the name of ‘Stadtbibliothek Aachen’. Today it presents itself as an efficient centre of education and information for the citizens of the whole region.
The library building was erected on the foundation of earlier buildings, which partly can be dated back to late medieval times. As early as 1684/85 this was the site of the pub called ‚Wirtshaus zum wilden Mann‘ (Wild Man‘s Inn), and it is reported to have been the place of a conference of an imperial commission. In 1749 the well-known Aachen architect J.J. Couven (today‘s Couvenstraße is named after him) built the hotel ‚Zur kaiserlichen Krone‘ (Hotel Imperial Crown). In the years to follow Emperor Napoleon and Empress Josephine stayed here amongst others. After 1945 (World War II) it was reconstructed and used as a department store by the Sinn Company. In 1977 rebuilt into the ‚Public Library of the City of Aachen‘.
Collection (esp. special collection)
Regional Literature Aachen
267 user workstations with 48 computer and internet working stations; inter-library system (loan), copies of Aachen newspapers (from 1811 on); newspaper corner with latest daily papers; CD players for listening to CDs, guided tours for groups and school classes; music rooms for practicing; ‚reading garden‘; Exhibitions and happenings; programs for kids and reading hours; concerts and authors‘ readings.
The municipal library system
Besides the central library , the public library of the city of Aachen comprises the adult library, music library, children and teen library and in addition to theses the library bus (Bücherbus) two town district libraries and four branches. A characteristic feature is the extensive and valuable, old historic holdings, a source of historic and municipal research.
Couvenstraße 15, 52062 Aachen, phone (0241) 47910, Fax (0241) 408007
(Photos provided by Stadtbibliothek Aachen.)