Gotha has a long city, court, book, publishing and science history. With the founding of the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha in 1640 by Duke Ernest I (1601–1675), important collections were assembled at Friedenstein Palace, which to this day form a unique, historically grown and universal context and offer a variety of approaches for research. These include the printed and manuscript holdings of the Gotha Research Library, the museum collections of the Friedenstein Palace Foundation and the archival sources in the Thuringian State Archives – Gotha State Archive. There are also the diverse objects of the Perthes Collection and the Gotha City Archive.
The Gotha Research Library cooperates with the Gotha Research Centre of the University of Erfurt, the Friedenstein Palace Foundation, the Thuringian State Archives – Gotha State Archive and the Gotha Municipal Archive in joint research and exhibition projects.