Book collections represent perhaps the most significant source of inspiration and the preferred work environment for authors. Poets and scholars do not work autonomously and unconditionally, but rather consciously strive to continue or correct knowledge already available and archived in books. Authors’ libraries are indispensible for the production of new literature and new knowledge. At the same time, they provide insight into an author’s studio thinking and writing (in a small number of cases into studios of women's writers).
Among the prominent and most-used authors’ libraries in the German Literature Archive Marbach are the book collections of Gottfried Benn, Hans Blumenberg, Paul Celan, Ernst Jünger, Reinhart Koselleck, Siegfried Kracauer, Martin Heidegger, Hermann Hesse and W. G. Sebald. Over the past years, central authors’ libraries have been indexed according to current criteria of provenance research. The extensive, growing collection of libraries of this kind provides the opportunity to research poetic and scholarly working habits of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Numerous collectors’ libraries are additionally dedicated to the documentation of a single author (Benn, Hauptmann, Hesse, Jean Paul, Mörike, Rilke, Schiller): they complement the collection of the author already available or supplement the regular holdings of the library.