The Historical Libraries

The inventories of the historical libraries are presented as museum objects and are not intended for public use.

The Libraries of King Frederick II

The library rooms at Sanssouci Palace, the New Palace, and Charlottenburg Palace hold the largest three of the preserved private libraries of the king, with some 1,750 titles in approximately 5,150 volumes. The holdings of the libraries at the Berlin Palace and Breslau Palace (now the Royal Palace in Wrocław) are deemed war losses.Frederick the Great placed great importance on the bindings of his books. The volumes are primarily bound in red goat leather and marked according to the location of their library, with a “V” for Sanssouci Palace, an “S” for the New Palace, and a “P” for the books in the former Potsdam City Palace – with the latter collection now housed in Charlottenburg Palace.The books from the 17th and 18th centuries are mostly in French. Frederick II had a library in every palace he inhabited. The various libraries often contained the same works by his favorite authors. Represented are writers from classical antiquity, philosophers and historians, as well as contemporary French literature – in particular Voltaire – and many other academic fields.

Bibliographic information on the book titles can be researched online.
It is based on the 1914 catalogue by Bogdan Krieger, Friedrich der Große und seine Bücher (Frederick the Great and His Books), and has been provisionally edited.

The Library of Queen Luise

The book collection includes 214 titles in 358 volumes. It was once in the Potsdam City Palace and a portion of it is now displayed at Paretz Palace. The queen’s taste in literature ran to contemporary German writers. She preferred novels, historical works and travel literature, but also read French and English literature. The majority of the books are bound in pasteboard or colored paper, with just a few covered in leather. A large portion of Queen Luise’s library that was in the Berlin Palace was lost as a result of World War II.

The Library at Cecilienhof Palace

The palace library cabinets hold almost 2,000 books from the royal couple Crown Prince William and Crown Princess Cecilie, who brought them to their new residence when they moved there from the Marble Palace in 1917. Focal points of the collection are military and naval affairs; German, French, and English literature; history; travel literature; regional geography; and ethnology. Some works contain the owner’s bookplate as well as handwritten entries or dedications.


Sabine HahnSPSG | Dokumentations- und Informationszentrum (DIZ)Bibliothek