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Library Kleist Museum

A library and collections containing more than 34,000 registered objects make the museum’s documentation of Heinrich von Kleist the most comprehensive at present.

The library is a specialist research facility relating to Heinrich von Kleist and his times. It contains approximately 10,000 volumes and is open to the public as a reference library. The historic collection includes valuable first and early editions from Kleist’s era; it is constantly being extended through acquisitions from bookstores and at auction. Secondary literature on Heinrich von Kleist and his literary environment, as well as the literary and cultural history of his times is systematically brought up to date.

Since 1996 the Kleist / Minde-Pouet estate has been kept in the Kleist Museum on permanent loan from the “Foundation of the Central State Library in Berlin”. Finally, the library’s collection contains manuscripts written by Heinrich von Kleist, his contemporaries, and concerning the reception of Kleist’s work. The concept of our collection and research means that the works of Franz Alexander von Kleist, Ewald Christian von Kleist, Caroline and Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué, and other authors with a reference to the region (Gottfried Benn, Klabund and Paul Gurk) are also collected and made publicly accessible. In the reading room users can access a reserve of books including important editions of Kleist, selected works of secondary literature, yearbooks, bibliographies and reference works.

Opening times of library:
Monday to Thursday 9 am -12 noon and 1-4 pm
Friday 9 am -1 pm

Please phone to make an appointment in advance:
0335-387 221 14 or e-mail:

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Preussische Armee-Uniformen unter der Regierung Friedrich Wilhelm II., Königs von Preussen. Uniformes de l’Armée Prussiene. Potsdam, Horvath (1787-) 1789.
(Prussian Army Uniforms in the Reign of Frederick William II, King of Prussia)

This splendid, hand-coloured volume of uniforms once belonged to the Duc d’Orléans and the Duc de Vendôme. It portrays the Prussian King Frederick William II and his General Staff as well as members of the various Prussian regiments. Most of the plates are full-figure illustrations showing one officer and one common soldier. Handwritten notes have been added – in French – to indicate the rank, regiment and garrison of the soldiers depicted. The volume of plates appeared in 13 separate lots between 1787 and 1789, making a total of 136 plates. This particular volume includes an additional 19 plates from an addendum and an appendix. The page bearing the hand-written title has been stamped by the Duke of Orléans’ library. The 24th Infantry Regiment was garrisoned in Frankfurt (Oder); Joachim Friedrich von Kleist (1728-1788) and initially also Leopold von Kleist (1780-1837), Heinrich’s younger brother, served in this regiment.


[Massenbach, Christian Freiherr von Massenbach]. Uebersicht des merkwürdigen Feldzuges am Rhein im Jahre 1796 von der Eröffnung desselben, bis zur Vertreibung der beyden Fränkischen Armeen. Deutschland (d.i. Berlin, Reimer) 1797.
(Survey of the remarkable campaign by the Rhine in the year 1796, from its commencement until the rout of the two Franconian armies. Germany (= Berlin, Reimer) 1797.)

Member of the military and military theorist Christian von Massenbach (1758-1827) trained at the “military nursery” Solitude Palace in Stuttgart. He was a close friend of Friedrich Schiller, who also visited him in Potsdam in May 1804. Massenbach entered Prussian service in 1782, becoming a lieutenant in the General Staff. After being wounded in the Dutch campaign, he taught at the “Ecole de Génie”, the school of engineering in Potsdam. Later he became one of the heads of General Staff. After the Peace of Basel, Massenbach analysed the previous course of the war in critical writings and submitted suggestions for reform. After the Battle of Jena and Auerstedt in 1806, he was made responsible for the Prussian defeat.
Christian von Massenbach was married to Amélie Gualtieri. Heinrich von Kleist and his friend Rühle von Lilienstern cultivated lively relations with Massenbach, who recommended Kleist for training as a “reform civil servant” to the Prussian Foreign Secretary, Karl August von Hardenberg, in the year 1805.