The division of Germany following World War II had a range of consequences,
both for the population of the country and for its institutions, including the
Leipzig-based Deutsche Bücherei (German Library). As far back as November
1946, two and a half years before the founding of the two German states, it was
given a western counterpart in the second largest German publishing centre,
Frankfurt am Main. This institution was named the Deutsche Bibliothek
(which also means German library).
The two separate German states have since become history, and most
of the authorities, organisations and public institutions were unified after 1990. But it was planned that the German National Library maintain its two
buildings, in Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main, while at the same time merging
to become one institution. The Federal Government emphasised the integrating
nature of this decision for the newly united Germany: East and West
would work closely together while each location would still maintain its status.
In addition, there was the advantage of being able to maintain and
develop a main focus for each of the two libraries. Similarly, the old and new
tasks could be allocated and modified to suit the respective locations.