Logo: Deutsches Institut für Internationale Pädagogische Forschung

BBF –  Research Library for the History of Education

Special Holdings & Collections

As a research library the BBF covers a broad scope regarding the content and time period of its archival and library holdings, Some of these are exceptional because no other library or archive holds such a comprehensive or unique collection, or because the holdings are crucial for research in a particular field of educational history. A few of these collections are presented here.


Adolf Reichwein Archive

The Adolf Reichwein Archive was handed over to the BBF archive in 1997 as a depositum. It contains the legacy left by the pedagogue and resistance fighter Adolf Reichwein (1898–1944), a comprehensive collection of photographs and the records of the Adolf Reichwein Association.

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Archive of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences in the GDR

The archive of the former Academy of Pedagogical Sciences in the GDR (APW) holds relevant sources for educational and school educational research in the GDR, e.g. administrative files, legacies and a comprehensive collection of photographs.

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Archive of the German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF)

The archive of the German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF) contains administrative files, research materials and collections. These materials can be used to trace the historical development of the Institute since its establishment in 1951 until today, decision-making processes in educational politics and in science, networks of persons involved, and research activities.

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Archival Materials on the History of Kindergarten and the Friedrich Fröbel's Pedagogy

The archive of the BBF holds a comprehensive body of documents pertaining to the history of kindergartens. In this regard, the papers of the pedagogue Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel (1782–1852) are particularly interesting. Fröbel had studied with Pestalozzi and he founded the first German kindergarten in 1837, in Bad Blankenburg – he is regarded as the „father of kindergartens“. In addition, the archive stores documents from the Pestalozzi-Fröbel Association (pfv) and its predecessor institution, the German Fröbel Association.

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Collection of Autographs

The beginnings of the collection of autographs can be traced to the history of the predecessor of the BBF, i.e. the German Teachers Library, in the 1870s. Amongst other materials, this collection contains manuscripts written by reknown pedagogues and documents from everyday school life.

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Collection of "Old Prints"

The “Old prints“ collection is a core element and a treasury of the BBF library, containing approximately 390 shelf metres with ca. 15,000 volumes dating from 1494 to 1850.

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Journals Before 1945

Amongst its most outstanding holdings, the BBF owns a collection of periodicals with more than 15,000 titles spanning the years 1690 to 1945.

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Pedagogical Lectures

Pedagogical lectures are teachers' essays from the GDR, originating from practical school work and teaching, often field reports. They were assessed and honored once a year. The BBF collection comprises more than 9,000 titles, which means nearly all centrally awarded peddagogical lectures of the GDR.

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Student Journals

The BBF possesses roughly 7,000 copies of student journals, i.e. one of the largest collections of German student journals from the first post-war decades, and the collection is growing continually. The journals inform about daily life at school, youth and school culture and its change in the course of time.

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