23. November 2023 | Press releases:

275 Years of Future: Jubilee Celebrations at Braunschweig University Library

The celebrations to mark the 275th anniversary of the University Library (UB) of Technische Universität Braunschweig will culminate in a ceremony on 23 November 2023. On that day, the UB will celebrate its history and look to the future. From the rather closed library of the Collegium Carolinum, it has developed into a central place of learning and communication for students and an information provider for the TU Braunschweig and the region. To emphasise the special role of the library as an open knowledge space, the public event took place in the middle of the library’s reading rooms.

Founded in 1748 as part of the Collegium Carolina, the University Library of Technische Universität Braunschweig is one of the oldest libraries at a German university of technology. To celebrate its 275th anniversary, the TU Braunschweig University Library organised a programme of events, lectures, workshops and the exhibition “Traces of Use”. The highlight was the ceremony on 23 November, attended by representatives of TU Braunschweig and the AStA, as well as the Secretary of State for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony, Prof. Dr. Joachim Schachtner, and the Mayor of Braunschweig, Dr. Thorsten Kornblum. The event focused on the library’s new self-image and its future role within TU Braunschweig.

Digital transformation supports teaching and research

The library’s development has been characterised by digital transformation for many years. A central focus of the University Library is the increased support of researchers and lecturers at TU Braunschweig in digital processes. This includes research data management, for example the preservation of data from research projects. The provision of electronic laboratory books, (digital) information expertise and the development of digital corpora, i.e. collections of texts on a language, also play an important role. In the light of the changes in scholarly publishing, the library is taking on an increasingly important role in the area of open access publishing, transforming itself from a mere procurer of literature to a manager of publication costs. In line with its traditional role, the library is committed to providing broad access to knowledge.

Electronic Course Repositories allow lecturers to make e-books and their own materials digitally accessible. This means that students can also access these documents online at any time.

The transition to unrestricted and free access to academic information on the Internet is a major challenge and requires a dedicated team. The University Library sees itself as a service organisation, says Director Robert Strötgen. In order to provide the best possible support for researchers and students and to develop tailor-made services for them, a participative exchange is needed and and sometimes also creative solutions.

Into the future with user-oriented services

With almost 1,000 study spaces, the University Library is a central place of learning and communication, especially for students. Whereas in the first centuries of the library’s existence they had only limited access to its books, today’s UB sees itself as an open point of contact for the search for information.

With user-centred services such as the promotion of open science, multilingual services and the consideration of issues such as sustainability and diversity in procurement, the University Library will be able to offer even more services for different learning and collaboration needs in the future.

Another step into the future is the use of AI methods, which are already transforming the University Library’s processes and services. These innovations are helping to make access to knowledge and resources even more efficient and user-friendly.

The celebration of the 275th anniversary of the Braunschweig University Library is an opportunity to honour the past while looking ahead to future developments and innovations in the digital age of knowledge transfer. An interdisciplinary publication, “Wissensraum Universitätsbibliothek” (Knowledge Space University Library), planned for next spring, will bring together articles written during the anniversary year that deal with precisely these topics.

Comments on the anniversary of the University Library

Prof Dr Joachim Schachtner, Secretary of State for Science and Culture, Lower Saxony

“The anniversary motto ‘We open spaces of knowledge. Since 1748’ sums it up perfectly: even if the media change over time, it is important to make knowledge accessible. It is also important to keep knowledge accessible and to preserve the historical treasure trove of publications. Braunschweig University Library does both in an exemplary way”.

Prof Dr Angela Ittel, President of Technische Universität Braunschweig:

“Braunschweig University Library is not only a central information provider for our scientists* and students, but also makes an important contribution to the strategic development of the university. In the field of digitisation alone, the University Library offers a wide range of services – from Open Access publications to a university bibliography for TU Braunschweig. These are indispensable for modern research at an excellent university”.

Dr Thorsten Kornblum, Mayor of Braunschweig:

“The University Library has a firm place in our city and in urban society. It is not only used by students, but is also open to the public, providing knowledge and access to literature and research, also in digital form, as well as a place for concentrated reading. I am pleased that there is a good exchange and cooperation with the city’s cultural institutions, the city library and the city archive, for example in the areas of data exchange and digitisation”.

Robert Strötgen, Director of the University Library at TU Braunschweig:

“Throughout its long history, the University Library has had to respond to changing requirements and conditions with radical changes. With digitisation and the changes in academic publishing, we see ourselves in a good tradition of constantly developing new solutions”.