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Founded in 1556, the SLUB today houses a variety of collections. The Library collects most comprehensively media from and about Saxony (Saxonica) and – commissioned by the German Research Foundation – literature on contemporary art, photography, industrial design and commercial art, and history of technology. In addition, also the music and the map collection have a special rank. These and other valuable materials are summarized in the special collections department. Finally the Deutsche Fotothek as one of the most important photo archives in Germany has a prominent role.
Sound and Vision has one of the largest audiovisual archives in Europe. The institute manages over 70 percent of the Dutch audiovisual heritage. The collection contains more than a million hours of television, radio, music and film from the beginning in 1898 until today. All programs of the Dutch public broadcasters come in digitally every day. Individuals and institutions entrust their collection to Sound and Vision as well. The institute ensures that the material is optimally preserved for (re)use. Broadcasters, producers and editors use the archive for the creation of new programs. The collection is also used to develop products and services for a wide audience, such as exhibitions, iPhone applications, DVD boxes and various websites. The collection of Sound and Vision contains the complete radio and television archives of the Dutch public broadcasters; films of virtually every leading Dutch documentary maker; newsreels; the national music depot; various audiovisual corporate collections; advertising, radio and video material of cultural and social organizations, of scientific institutes and of all kinds of educational institutions. There are also collections of images and articles from the history of Dutch broadcasting itself, like the elaborate collection of historical television sets.