The special library of the ULB at the Interdisciplinary Centre for European Enlightenment Studies was opened in 1998. It was established in connection with the foundation of the international research centre for the European Enlightenment through the Martin-Luther University. The Red School, the former High School for Girls (built between 1894 and 1896), which was rebuilt after the German reunification with significant funds from the Volkswagen Foundation, is home to both the research centre and the library.
The library, which is located in the former auditorium of the school, contains primary and secondary material on the European Enlightenment in open access, among which around 18000 volumes of primary source materials from the holdings of the MLU. In all, the library has at the moment an inventory of around 43000 volumes, among which are edited primary sources, bibliographies, handbooks, and research literature on the European Enlightenment.
The shelving of the sources is based on the historical subject and shelf catalogue of the director of the Halle Library, Otto Hartwig, which was implemented in the library of the University of Halle in 1880. This cataloguing system was taken up by other libraries and received an award at the Chicago World Exhibition in 1893.
Original prints from the time of the Enlightenment are arranged according to the Hartwig scientific classification system: European Sciences, Scholarship, Philosophy, Belles Lettres (Europäische Wissenschaft, Gelehrsamkeit, Philosophie, Belletristik). The history of knowledge and scholarship is a particular focus of the library, as it also houses the writings of the professors who were active at the university between 1690 and 1806.
All the holdings of the special library are catalogued in the OPAC of the ULB and in the common library network (GVB).