The Bavarian State Library
in Second Life


The Bavarian State Library has opened in the virtual 3-D world of Second Life. Bokowsky and Laymann have designed an exact copy of architect Friedrich von Gärtner’s historic building complex. The library's new home, the “Insel der Information (Island of information)” in Second Life promises to offer visitors a wide variety of information and events.

Information and educational sites in Second Life are becoming increasingly important and are starting to appear alongside the many companies already there. Trends in social networking, edutainment and the proliferation of three-dimensional virtual worlds in the entertainment industry are helping to define the learning and communication environments of the students of the future. The 450 year-old Bavarian state library, considered as one of the most important libraries in the world, decided to go ahead with the “island of information“ project in order to be among the first to test the new 3-D virtual world.

The Bavarian state library's virtual presence consists of an almost exact replica of the historic library building. The layout and exterior of the Gärtner building and extension are true to scale to the original building. The recently renovated historic stairway, the Fürstensaal, the Friedrich von Gärtner hall and the Marble Hall are all exact copies of the original. Especially impressive is the grand staircase, the library’s beautiful centrepiece that has been reproduced down to the last detail..
In the Fürstensaal, you can see a number of valuable manuscripts and historical prints from the state library’s collection. Visitors can even leaf through the pages of these valuable tomes, something they wouldn’t be able to do in real life. And there are additional valuable exhibits on show in the reading room, which is also true to the original room located in Ludwigsstrasse in Munich.

You can find information about the range of services provided by the Bavarian State Library on the SL State library And regular exhibitions at the State Library will, in future, be accessible via Second Life to a worldwide audience. The first of these exhibitions has already opened and is an anniversary exhibition about the 450 year history of the BSB.
The virtual state library is set to become a place for communication and encounter - just like its real-world counterpart. The building will not only serve as a place for seminars and conferences for virtual-world events and talks, but will also have a café where people can meet for a chat. In addition, the visitor will even find a square in the library's grounds where “boules” can be played.
„Second Life for us is not an end in itself but rather a significant and most practical platform on which to experiment with three-dimensional internet technology. We believe that in five to ten years time the 3-D web will represent the future of the internet and therefore we would like to experiment early on, in order to see which of our digital services are suitable to be converted into a meta-universe.“

Dr. Klaus Ceynowa, executive vice-president of the Bavarian State Library

Insel der Information The Bavarian State Library in Second Life

The gem of the BSB: Recently renovated historic stairway.

Flip through historical prints Something visitors wouldn't be able to do in real life.


Bavarian State Library
The Bavarian State Library is the central countrylibrary of the Freistaat Bayern.
The "BSB" is the central library of the Free State of Bavaria, a state-run technical authority for all issues relating to the Bavarian librarianship and housing one of the largest science libraries in the German-speaking world.
Date of Launch
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Aktive customer since November -0001