Library of the Herder Institute

We gather from the humanities and social science literature and East Central Europe, ie on the history, geography and culture of Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as the historic German territories and the German settlements in East Central Europe. Monographs, periodicals, we put an emphasis on the hard to find ("gray") literature.

As research library specializing in political, cultural, economic and social history, Geography and Culture of East Central Europe and we collect and open up books, magazines and newspapers, notes, records, CDs, CD-ROMs, videos, DVDs, electronic resources (eg, national licenses) in East - and Western European languages.

» National Licenses

Our inventory includes 520,000 volumes, including more than 22,000 periodicals (1,600 of them are current periodicals) already online searchable in the journal database (ZDB). We are affiliated to the national and international interlibrary loan and therefore hold all media for local use or as part of the local or interlibrary loan ready.

We focus both on regional aspects of content such as a clearly defined area and collect literature on Central and Eastern Europe with the claim as comprehensive as possible in the area of ​​difficult to obtain (so-called "gray") literature. Since our inception, we acquired not only the currently published literature, but also older books or magazines.

In the early years came as closed forests (about the data returned from the U.S. library holdings of "Publication Office Berlin-Dahlem") or collections from private hands in our library. Our inventory focuses significantly in the 19th to 21 Century, but we also have a relatively large selection of titles (Rara) from the time before the 1800s. We felt it was always important to gather any substantive or ideological blinders. Therefore, both ideological publications from the socialist countries, as well as publications of the emigration of displaced or press a very complete are with us about the time of the "Cold War" is available.

As a commitment towards our patron saint, we also have a broken down to the texts and secondary literature collection of Johann Gottfried Herder. This large inventory width and stand density, and other special collections make up the importance of our holdings.

» Special Collections

Opening times

Monday: 08.00 Uhr – 16.00
Tuesday: 08.00 Uhr – 17.30
Wednesday: 08.00 Uhr – 16.00
Thursday: 08.00 Uhr – 16.00
Friday: 08.00 Uhr – 15.00

Phone: +49 6421 184-161

Special Collections

How to use our Library

Our special library is open to the public and is available to all persons aged 18 years and are used (from 16 years with restrictions) for free under the usage regulation, who can identify themselves with an ID card or passport and have applied for a library card. The search in our inventory e.g. the guided search possible. The staff at on-site research and research orders processed according to our costs order.


To make our library materials fully and promptly after the acquisition of both form and content in searchable electronic catalog, a comprehensive retrospective cataloging was necessary for the acquired before 1984 and only detected on catalog cards volumes parallel to the ongoing processing of new entrants since 1996. All bibliographic and content-disclosing information that was previously only found on conventional index cards in the library catalog, we have entered in comparison with the existing physical medium (autopsy) in the electronic catalog. We were also provided with all the media barcodes for electronic borrowing. The retrospective cataloging is completed except for some special cases.