The Regional State Library of Regensburg was founded in the year 1816 as the Royal Library for the Regenkreis (former name of the Upper Palatinate). Its book collection originated from the following libraries:
- Libraries belonging to Regensburg’s monastries which fell to the state through the secularisation (Benedictine of St. Emmeram, Dominican, Carmelite, Augustinian hermit, Franciscan and Capuchin, also the remains of the Jesuit Library)
- The Episcopal Library
- The former Imperial City Library, which dates back to the 14th century. It was newly arranged in 1783 because of the combination of the town hall, school and protestant ministerial library
Some manuscripts and valuable prints owned by these libraries, were transfered to the Court Library in Munich. The initial collection consisted of 35,000 items, 7,000 historical maps and 15,000 theses. In the following decade, due to insufficent funds the library’s holdings increased unsystematically. Some significant donations were given by the historian and former archivist Roman Zirngibl from St. Emmeram and the largest collection of educational literature by the protestant dean Phillip Friedrich Gampert.
The holdings of the former libraries are now accessible in the Regional State Library. The Provenienzdatei shows the numerous persons who have donated or were previous owners, who have contributed to the collection.
Until the end of 1959 the library was run by lyceum, grammar school and college teachers, museum directors and archivists, who worked part-time. The first full-time librarian started in 1960.
The library was named Regional State Library in 1940 and from this time on, the specific holdings were reinforced through purchasing new books.
Since 1875 the library is situated in part of the former Imperial City’s Gymnasium Poeticum.