Bibliotheca Augusta

The exhibition rooms in the Bibliotheca Augusta offer regularly changing exhibits on the cultural and intellectual history of the medieval and early modern periods. On entering the main hall of the Bibliotheca Augusta the visitor is immediately aware of the monumentality of the ducal collections, which stretch up over three floors, filling all four walls. The book-wheel and the catalogue written by Duke August himself provide an insight into the work of the Duke as a collector. In the treasure room, an exhibition room which forms part of the library's safe, some of the library's most valuable objects can be seen. Among these alternating displays, at certain times the Gospels of Henry the Lion can also be seen. Written and illuminated in around 1188, at the time of its purchase in 1983 the manuscript was the most expensive book in the world. The Gospels can only be shown for a few weeks every year. Downstairs from the main hall you pass through the Cabinet with its displays on book history, and on the left is the Globe Room with maps and globes from the early modern period. On the right hand side is the Artists' Books Room, where there are regular exhibitions on the art of modern book illustration. From here you have access to the Hermann Zapf collection which presents the work of the famous contemporary typographer and calligrapher.