As early as 1736, Johann Friedrich Armand von Uffenbach (1687–1769), a wealthy patrician from Frankfurt, had already bequeathed a large part of his art collection to Göttingen University, which was officially founded the following year. His bequests included 10,000 prints as well as 1,000 drawings. In 1770, shortly after Uffenbach's death, the collection arrived at Göttingen, where it now forms the backbone of the Prints and Drawings Collection as well as the historic, quantitative and qualitative heart of the Art Collection. Through various acquisitions and bequests the collection has grown to its present size of around 15,000 prints and 2,500 drawings. Especially notable among the benefactors is Wolfgang Stechow (1896–1974), an associate professor of Art History, who, despite having been forced to emigrate to the USA in 1936 due to his Jewish heritage, showed remarkable generosity and left his entire collection to Göttingen University.
Uffenbach himself drew up an inventory of the prints that he donated to the collection; then, around 1800, Johann Dominik Fiorillo (1748–1821) compiled both an inventory of drawings and one of prints. Notable pieces in the collection include works by Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510), Hans Holbein the Elder (1465– 1524), Hans Burgkmair (1473–1531), Rosso Fiorentino (1494–1540), Hans von Aachen (1552–1615), Frans Francken II (1581–1642) and Gerrit van Honthorst (1592–1656). The collection also contains many items from the 19th and 20th centuries, including works by Wilhelm Schadow (1788–1862), Andreas Achenbach (1815–1910), Eduard Bendemann (1811–1889), Erich Heckel (1883–1970), Emil Nolde (1867–1956) and Franz Marc (1880–1916), among others. The print holdings at Göttingen are of particular significance for academic teaching and research in art history due to the large quantity of prints by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) and his contemporaries. Among the holdings are an astonishing number of prints by Rembrandt and even one of his original printing plates is extant. The collection also contains a representative cross-section of prints by Dutch artists across various styles and important works by significant pre-modern and modern artists, such as Piranesi, Francisco de Goya (1746–1828) and Pablo Picasso (1881–1973).