German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: Tel. +44-(0)20-7309 2050



GHIL Library


The library of the GHIL is an important and well-regarded institution for British historians of German history, students at London universities, and the general public. Its holdings on German history, British-German relations from the Middle Ages to the present day, and wider European history are comprehensive, up to date, free to use, and form a unique collection in Britain.

New Covid-19 safety measures from 1 November

External visitors and scholars are requested to demonstrate their COVID-19 status at our reception by providing proof of the following:

  • Full vaccination (first and second dose), with the second dose administered at least 14 days before your visit, OR
  • A negative lateral flow test taken no more than 48 hours before your visit.

You must not visit the institute if you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 or have tested positive for Covid-19 within the past 10 days.

Wherever possible, a minimum distance of 1m should be maintained between people. In addition to this, masks covering the mouth and nose must be worn in all areas of the Institute outside of offices and designated meeting rooms. Library readers may remove their masks once seated at their desks.

Visiting and joining the Library

Our current opening hours are: Monday to Friday (9.30am-5pm).

New readers should book an appointment (email: for a virtual induction (offered via Zoom, Mondays 12pm and Wednesdays 4pm, or by arrangement) before their first visit, and register in person at reception on their first visit.

Library staff are available for general enquiries at If appropriate, we may offer you advice via a video call to our Virtual Enquiry Desk.

To ensure staff and visitor safety we will keep some hygiene measures in place. Please see our amended regulations for details. Readers still need to wear a face covering when entering and moving around the building (unless exempt - please advise before arrival).


Watch the following short presentation to find out more about the library: A (Very) Brief Introduction to the German Historical Institute Library

You can also read our library leaflet to find out more about the library and its holdings.

Featured Books

It's History Day at the IHR on 4th November and we are taking part!
The theme this year is environmental history and we were surprised ourselves to see how many books on this topic are in our collections. See below a selection of our books on five broad and diverse themes relating to environmental history and don't forget to join the various (virtual) History Day events on the 4th!

History Day




Sybille Gerstengarbe, Jens Thiel, Rüdiger vom Bruch ; unter Mitarbeit von Simon Renkert und Sophia Nenninger

Die Leopoldina : die Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher zwischen Kaiserreich und früher DDR

Berlin: be.bra Wissenschaft Verlag, 2016

Gi/Halle 100

Alexander Wragge-Morley

Aesthetic science: representing nature in the Royal Society of London, 1650-1720

Chicago ; London: University of Chicago Press, 2020

eBook ProQuest

Marc Banditt

Gelehrte - Republik - Gelehrtenrepublik : Der Strukturwandel der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Danzig 1743 bis 1820 und die Danziger Aufklärung

Veröffentlichungen des Nordost-Instituts. Band 24

Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2018

eBook ProQuest

Miriam Müller

Der sammelnde Professor. Wissensdinge an Universitäten des Alten Reichs im 18. Jahrhundert

Wissenschaftskulturen. Bd. 1

Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2020

eBook Steiner

Dominik Collet

Die Welt in der Stube. Begegnungen mit Außereuropa in Kunstkammern der Frühen Neuzeit

Veröffentlichungen des Max-Planck-Instituts für Geschichte. Bd 232

Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2007


Susanne Köstering

Natur zum Anschauen. Das Naturkundemuseum des deutschen Kaiserreichs 1871-1914

Köln, Weimar, Wien: Böhlau, 2003


Jeffrey K. Wilson

The German forest. Nature, Identity, and the Contestation of a National Symbol, 1871-1914

Toronto, Buffalo, London: Univ. of Toronto Press, 2012


Johannes Zechner

Der deutsche Wald. eine Ideengeschichte zwischen Poesie und Ideologie 1800-1945

Darmstadt: Philipp von Zabern, 2016


Joachim Radkau

Wood: A History

Cambridge ; Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2012

Ed/3610 a

Nicolai Hannig

Kalkulierte Gefahren. Naturkatastrophen und Vorsorge seit 1800

Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2019


Matthias Georgi

Heuschrecken, Erdbeben und Kometen. Naturkatastrophen und Naturwissenschaft in der englischen Öffentlichkeit des 18. Jahrhunderts

Edition septem artes

München: Dreesbach, 2009


Wolfgang Behringer ; translated by Pamela Selwyn

Tambora and the year without a summer: how a volcano plunged the world into crisis

Cambridge: Polity, 2019

eBook Ciando

Sandra Chaney

Nature of the Miracle Years. Conservation in West Germany, 1945-1975

Studies in German History. 8

New York, N.Y., Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2008


Scott Moranda

The People's Own Landscape. Nature, Tourism, and Dictatorship in East Germany

Social History, Popular Culture, and Politics in Germany

Ann Arbor, Mich.: Univ. of Michigan Press, 2014


Friedemann Schmoll

Erinnerung an die Natur. Die Geschichte des Naturschutzes im deutschen Kaiserreich

(Geschichte des Natur- und Umweltschutzes. Bd 2

Frankfurt/M. ; New York, N.Y.: Campus Verlag, 2004



Library Catalogue

All of our books, journals and electronic resources can be found via our online catalogue.

Recently published books can be made available to readers very quickly, and we invite readers to suggest new acquisitions at


Library Collections

The GHIL Library's holdings comprise around 90,000 volumes, with a growing number of electronic resources. The collection's focus is largely on German history, with a special emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. Around a third of the library's resources are English-language materials.

Access and Services

The library is open to anyone with an interest in German history, Anglo-German relations, or comparative historiography. The collection is reference only, so books cannot be taken out on loan.

There are no membership or joining fees but a passport photo and recent proof of address should be provided on the first visit so that a reader’s ticket can be issued (free of charge).

Contact and opening hours


German Historical Institute Library
17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ

Tel. +44-(0)20-7309 2050


Opening hours

Monday–Friday: 9.30am–5pm