In 1970 the department of manuscripts of the former Düsseldorf Library (founded in 1770) became an autonomous municipal institution. It is dedicated to Düsseldorf's greatest son, the poet Heinrich Heine.
It holds more than 120 cultural estates (literature, music, fine arts, sciences) and various collections. The Heine-Institut includes a special library and a museum with a permanent Heine-exhibition and changing exhibitions on literary subjects.
- Heine's estate: 4000 manuscripts, 300 letters of and 900 letters to Heine
- Heine and his times: poets of the first half of the 19th century, friends of Heine, Heine-family
- Authors, composers, painters, scientists of the Rhine-Area from 16th to 21st century
- Literature: Friedrich Spee von Langenfeld, Jacobi-Family, Karl Immermann, Christian Dietrich Grabbe, Ferdinand Freiligrath, Wilhelm Schäfer, Hanns Heinz Ewers, Herbert Eulenberg, Heinrich Spoerl, Rose Ausländer, Bernd Engelmann
- Music: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Norbert Burgmüller, Robert and Clara Schumann, Max Bruch, Jürg Baur
- Fine arts: Düsseldorfer Malerschule (Achenbach, Hübner, Reinick, Schadow, Schrödter)
- Sciences: Johann Friedrich Benzenberg, Friedrich Sengle
- Collection of autographs