The collections of the Bibliothèque Humaniste fall into two broad categories: the documentary collections, and the “Other Artefacts” collection.


Documentary collections

These collections contain over 70,000 documents.

The Special Reserves

This collection was constituted primarily via donations and bequests. It contains manuscripts, incunabula and printed works dating from the 7th through to the 20th centuries. You can find more details on some of these remarkable works in the “Treasures” section.

Contents of this collection:

  • The parish library
  • The library of Beatus Rhenanus
  • The “Alsatiques”: a substantial collection of works relating to regional and local history and culture. Comprising works both ancient and modern, this collection is regularly expanded with new editions of Alsatian periodicals and other acquisitions.
  • The musical collection: the musical collection was established in 1930 thanks to a donation from Father Martin Vogeleis. It includes manuscript scores of works by Alsatian composers, and is regularly expanded thanks to donations from fellow musicians and composers from the region.
  • Other collections: a diverse collection of prints, engravings, postcards and photographs.

The general collection

Originally intended to be encyclopaedic in nature, this collection partly reflects the public service role fulfilled by the Bibliothèque Humaniste until 1997. Nowadays, the Bibliothèque Humaniste is no longer required to cover all fields of learning.

Other Artefacts

Throughout its long history, the Bibliothèque Humaniste has received donations and bequests in various forms:

  • Archaeological and lapidary (stone) collections
  • Collection of paintings from the 16th to 21st centuries
  • Collection of sculptures from the 15th to 19th centuries
  • Collection of 18th-century ceramics
  • Furniture
  • Coins
  • Stained Glass
  • Layout


All of the building’s various spaces are equipped with an atmospheric control system, from the storage facilities (reserve stacks, quarantine rooms, reading rooms) to display galleries (permanent and special exhibitions).

The temperature is maintained between 18 and 20°C, while relative humidity never exceeds 55%. These levels are constantly monitored, in order to avoid fluctuations which could damage the books or artworks.

These optimal storage conditions also allow us to loan works to major institutions for special exhibitions.