Ullstein GmbH Archiv u Bibliothek (Berlin, Germany)


Ullstein is one of the most important publishing houses in german history. Founded in 1877 it played an important role in the newspaper-market in the early 20th century, and as a modern publishing house of fiction for the mass market. (The house still exists today, but not with the same relevance.) There was also an “archive and library” (Archiv u. Bibliothek), were this book stood ones, apparently in the 1960s.


The stamp consists of two parts/stamps. One, on the bottom, is just a the name of the institution, highlighting “Ullstein” in a bold font, and the amendment GmbH (limited liability company) and the name of the institution in the publishing house. The style and the blue ink suggests a administrative act more than a library (like a running number stamp on a file). The stamp above, with it’s bold, black border and it’s demineering appearance, on the other hand, creates the impression of a confident institution. It includes a space for the signature of the book (which, by this system, can not really be changed anymore). It is a really seldom used system of library stamps.

Bibliothèques Publiques Annecy (Annecy, France)


Annecy is a small (50.000 inhabitants) village in the far east of France, near Switzerland and Italy; it’s public library is placed in a distinctively 70/80s-french socialdemocratic-urbanisation scheme building, with serveral floors and quite a lot of space, which is used very extensive by the inhabitants. The library stamp, however, points to a very restrained and lucid style.


It’s just the name of the library (Public Library) in a clear circle, highlighting the name of the town. The black ink let the stamp kind of “disappear” on most of the book titles.


The library houses an “Arthotheque” (library for artworks), but under the name “bibliothèque municipale Annecy” (municipale as in govermantal area, which includes more that the city itself). This stamp differs from the other one in that it highlights the name of the commune of Annecy by placing it in the middle and circle the name of the library all around the circle.

Kantonsbibliothek Baselland, Liestal (Switzerland)


The “Kantonsbibliothek Baselland” – state library of the canton of Basel-Country (which is not the city of Basel, but a canton in its own right) – uses the official emblem of it’s canton. However, in this stamp the emblem isn’t the center, but seems to be surrounded by the margin. This margin looks like a ring, that encloses the emblem itself. The name of the library seems more important than the emblem.


This stamp is a good exemple for the different effect of the same ink und stamp on different paper. While in the first picture, the stamp looks brightened, this one looks like it does not really interact with the paper. One can get the impression that you can still erase the stamp simply by wipe over it (which is not the case).

Zürcher Hochschule Winterthur, 1905 (Switzerland)


The “Zürcher Hochschule Winterthur” existed as University of Applied Sciences only from 1998 until 2007, when it was merged with three other institutions into the “Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandete Wissenschaften”, i.e. the combined University of Applied Sciences of the swiss canton of Zürich. This canton includes more cities and villiages than the city of Zurich alone, first of all the city of Winterthur. To this day, the “new” university has a big campus in Winterthur. This stamp stems form the time of the sole university in Wintherthur.


The style of the stamp is noticeable. The big circle, with the uneven logo / abbrevation of the university, and the full name at the egde of the circle, squeezed their by the logo, is still the style used by the library stamp of the current University of Apllied Sciences.

Kantonsbibliothek Aargau, Aarau (Switzerland)


The Kantonsbibliothek Aargau is the state library of the canton of Aargau – situated in the city of Aarau, crossed by the river Aare – of which it uses the official state emblem as the basis of it’s stamp. The emblem is simply surrounded by the name of the library in a circle. The ink of the stamp is quite fitting, in that it have been absorbed by the paper of this book. (And it’s not just this book, but serveral which act that way with this ink.)

Vadianische Bibliothek, St. Gallen (Switzerland)


Vadian (Joachim Vadian or Joachim von Watt) was a historic figure from the late 15. and early 16. century who acted as a doctor, scholar and major of the city of St. Gall. He also led the conversation of the city from Catholicism to Protestantism (in the interpretation of Zwingli). Besides that, he is claimed as the founder of the library in St. Gall, which is now the cantonal library (under the name “Vadiana”). For centuries, this library was called “Vadianische Bibliothek” (Vadian Library). This stamp is found in a book from 1784. It is a quite different stamp, comparred to current ones. The name of the library is shortend, the stamp itself is structed like a emblem, using symbols of enlightenment (the “opening” of the drape, the laurel, the star above).


This stamp, used in a book from 1801, uses basically the same symbols (an opening drape, laurel), but in a neo-classical style, as an oval, Stil, the name of the library is shortend but the effect is quite distinguished.

This stamp, used in a book from 1801, uses basically the same symbols (an opening drape, laurel), but in a neo-classical style, as an oval, Stil, the name of the library is shortend but the effect is quite distinguished.

Université Louis-Pasteur, Service Commun de Documentation (France)


Until it merged with the second universities in Strasbourg (being Marc Bloch University and Robert Schuhman University) into one University of Strasbourg in 2009, the ULP (Université Louis Pasteur) was the first Univeristy in the city, tracing itself back to the german speaking univeristy of the city, founded in 1538.
This is a library stamp – today books with the stamp can be found in the univeristy library in normal circulation – although it doesn’t say “bibliothèque”, but “Service Commun de Documentation”, combined documentation service, whereby it is not unheard of in France the call a librarian “documentalist” (the school libraries are called “centre de documentation et information”, the people working their “documentaliste”). The stamp itself is a common library stamp, using the name of the library as a texturing element, the abbrevation of the university as middle and a star as a basis.
It it worth noticing, that the style of the library of the “new university” resembles the stlye of this stamp.


It can be seen that, at least as long as there is space, the due date-slip is still in use in this library.

Bibliothèque Nationale et Universitaire Strasbourg (France)


The Bibliothèque Nationale et Universitaire Strasbourg is at the same time state library for the alsace region (and the second biggest library in the country) and library of the university of Strasbourg itself. The library is housed in different building – one in late 19 century fashion, representing the (then ruling) german state and its culture, one in the 1970s building of the former Robert Schuman University and several other university buildings – and uses different stamps. This stamp is the one used today. It’s simple, but effective: A circle, constructed by the name of the library, a star as a stop and grounding element. The Name of the city (itself part of the name of the library) in the middle leaves an uneasy impression – it’s the center of the stamp, but at the same time it looks like an after-though. The date stamp (09. February 2016) seems to indicate the date when the book was included into the collection of the library. (It is not a due date-stamp.) It is not clear what purpose it has, except maybe to show that the library (still ?) functions.


The ink used for the stamps seems not to be of the best quality. Many books seem to reject the stamp in parts, particularly the ones with coated paper. At the same time, every book integrated into the collection now has a label like this, still the library uses stamps.


The stamp in itself is a little bigger than most library stamps of similar design. It suggests a little more weight on a “normal” book.


Stadtbibliothek Schaffhausen (City Library Schaffhausen, Switzerland)

This stamp (submitted by Barbara Tribelhorn from this respective library) is used by the "Stadtbibliothek Schaffhausen" (city library of Schaffhausen). (Submitted by Barbara Tribelhorn from this respective library.) The library also acts as the cantonal library of the canton of Schaffhausen, a hybrid that is not that unusual in "smaller" swiss cantons. The stamp itself is very classic: a circle constructed out of the name of the library and two supporting lines.

This stamp is used by the “Stadtbibliothek Schaffhausen” (city library of Schaffhausen). The library also acts as the cantonal library of the canton of Schaffhausen, a hybrid that is not that unusual in “smaller” swiss cantons. The stamp itself is very classic: a circle constructed out of the name of the library and two supporting lines.