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Libraries and Archives

These web sites take you to libraries, archives and collections in the Internet. Here you can do quick and extensive research from the comfort of your own home.

Bibliothek mit Blick in die Zukunft
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Library Portal - The Competence Network for Libraries

Libraries have been providing people in Germany with access to knowledge and literature since the sixth century. Today, there are more than 10000 reading rooms throughout the country. The central contact point for anyone involved in this branch is the Library Portal - The Competence Network for Libraries (KNB). The KNB is financed by the individual German states and the German Research Foundation.

German National Archive Online

Are you looking for the political party programs ofthe German Reich? Or official documents issued in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR)? Then the German National Archive is the place to go; it documents German history since 1815. The archive houses state records and documents from political parties, associations and organizations as well as from industrial companies and businesses. And there are also maps, plans and films.

National Foundation for the Reconciliation of the SED Dictatorship

The SED – the Socialist Unity Party of Germany – governed the German Democratic Republic from 1946 to 1989. Among other things, the National Foundation for the Reconciliation of the SED Dictatorship has been dealing with the repercussions of the SED’s politics on Germany as a whole, since the country’s reunification in 1989. The Foundation has its headquarters in Berlin.


Get right into history: Clio-online is a specialized portal that bundles all kinds of Internet resources for historians and anyone interested in history. Go to this platform to study publications, browse through databases and library catalogs or get in touch with other historians. The project partners include libraries, universities and research facilities.

German Digital Library

Are you looking for books, pictures, films, sheet music or musical compositions owned by the public sector in Germany? Then the German Digital Library is the first place to try. The platform – an internet portal run jointly by Germany’s cultural and scientific institutions – is under development and aims to give everyone free access to Germany’s scientific and cultural heritage via the internet.

Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum for Film and Television

From the first moving pictures to digital film: there are thousands of films dating from as early as 1895 stored in the archives of the Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum for Film and Television. The Berlin-based foundation collects, restores and saves flicks from Germany and from around the world. The film building on Potsdamer Platz is also home to costume sketches, scripts, posters and cameras.

German National Library

The German National Library (DNB) collects cultural assets in Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main and Berlin: every publishing company in Germany is required to submit two copies of all its publications to Germany’s central repository. The DNB archives all works that have been published in the German language since 1913.

German National Library of Medicine

1.6 million books and periodicals: if you are looking for scientific literature and other media on human medicine, the health care system and its basic sciences or on scientific anthropology, go directly to the German National Library of Medicine (ZBMed) in Cologne, the largest medical library in Europe.

German Central Library for Economics

One of the world’s major libraries for economics and the social sciences is located in Northern Germany at the Institute for World Economics (Institut für Weltwirtschaft, IfW) at the University of Kiel. It is open to international and German researchers, political and business decision makers and interested members of the public.

German Library Association

The German Library Association (Deutscher Bibliotheksverband e.V. - dbv) comprises approximately 2100 libraries of all types and sizes. This association aims to promote library work in general and the cooperation between the individual libraries.

The German Film Institute

The German Film Institute (DIF – Deutsche Filminstitut e.V.) guards precious treasures from the world of German film. Whether it’s “Metropolis”, directed by Fritz Lang, or “The Blue Angel”, starring Marlene Dietrich: More than 20,000 reels of film, 2.3 photos and approximately 40,000 cinema posters are stored in one of the largest archives in Germany. The oldest cinematic institution in Germany promotes film culture and attracts cinema fans back into the movie theaters for special events.

German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information

Ask your doctor, your pharmacist or the DIMDI databases: one of the things the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI), an agency operated by the Federal Ministry of Health, is responsible for is making information available from the entire field of medicine.

FIZ Karlsruhe

A treasure trove for the natural sciences and technology: at the Fachinformationszentrum Karlsruhe (FIZ), a wide variety of different information is made available to the sciences, industry, business, technology and administration. STN International (Scientific and Technical Information Network), an online service, and several other scientific portals are operated in cooperation with international partners at this service center, which is sponsored by the federal and state governments and scientific institutions.

The German Education Portal

The German Education Portal provides education professionals with access to a wide range of scientific resources. The research platform operated by the German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF) includes bibliographical metadata, electronic full texts and statistical information. A real highlight: the Metasearch option makes it possible to perform a combined search across numerous different professional educational databases.

Common Library Network

The book you want to borrow exists somewhere – but where? The Common Library Network (Gemeinsamer Bibliotheksverbund, GBV) makes it easy for you. More than 400 municipal, community and university libraries in Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia are brought together here.

University Library Center in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia

The platform of the University Library Center in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (HBZ – Hochschulbibliothekszentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen) offers access to virtually all German libraries.

Institute of Contemporary History

The Institute of Contemporary History (IfZ – Institut für Zeitgeschichte) focuses on the complete history of Germany in the 20th century in its European context.

Foundation of Weimar Classics

Goethe’s residence, the Duchess Anna Amalia Library or Belvedere Palace: “Classical Weimar” has been on the list of the UNESCO world cultural heritage since 1998. The Foundation of Weimar Classics takes care of these cultural treasures in Thuringia. As one of the largest cultural organizations in Germany, it also promotes literary studies on Goethe, Schiller and Nietzsche.

Network of Multimedia Resource Centres

From the German Radio Archive to the University for Film and Television in Potsdam, the Network of Multimedia Resource Centres provides central access to film and sound materials from all over the country. Archives, libraries, documentation offices, museums and research institutes all belong to this network.

Subito – the library supplier, a research service, helps you to find the literature you need for your studies and research. This is where you can order copies of scientific publications online.


Virtual specialist libraries, information organizations and the Electronic Magazine Library have joined forces to set up a “Digital Library Germany”. This is where you’ll find scientific literature and specialist information.

Institute for Psychology Information

Are you looking for an expert or literature on psychology? The Institute for Psychology Information (ZPID – Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation) is the national information center for psychology in Germany.