First mentioned in 1498, Zwickau's Ratsschulbibliothek ('council school library') is one of the oldest public scientific libraries in Germany. Its founding phase is linked to the Zwickau Latin School, which was opened as a town school as early as the 13th century.
Today, the collection comprises 250,000 bibliographic items, including 1,200 incunabula, 26,000 16th-century prints, 51,000 17th-century prints, 200 medieval manuscripts, 2,500 old music scores, 40,000 school records and 75,000 prints from 1850 to the present day.
With this wealth of material, the Ratsschulbibliothek has one of the most important collections on the history of the Reformation in Germany and Europe. It contains letters and prints by Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon, Georgius Agricola, Justus Jonas, Johannes Bugenhagen and Silvius Egranus.