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.

Visiting and joining the Library

The library is open Monday-Friday, 9.30am-9pm. Library staff are available for enquiries 9.30am-5pm. After 5pm, the library is staffed by security personnel only and entry is restricted to registered readers with a library card.

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, or, if they prefer, visit the Institute for an in-person induction. Registration for a library card should be completed at reception after the induction. Please note that induction and registration will normally only take place 9.30am-5pm.

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


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


Featured Books

With war a constant in our headlines, and a war film currently achieving numerous film awards, we thought that this International Women's Day we would focus on women at war. Women's experiences of war, whether as combatants or victims, on the home front or struggling with the many problems arising from occupation, are receiving more interest now than ever before. See the books below for just a small selection of our books on women in wartime.

You can also see these books in person in our Common Room, along with an additional display on queenship through history.


Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly

Beauty or Beast? The woman warrior in the German imagination from the Renaissance to the present

Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2010


Raffael Scheck

Love between enemies : western prisoners of war and German women in World War II

Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2021


Klaus Latzel, Franka Maubach et al. (eds.)

Soldatinnen : Gewalt und Geschlecht im Krieg vom Mittelalter bis heute

Paderborn : Schöningh, 2011


Fabrice Virgili

Shorn Women : Gender and Punishment in Liberation France

Oxford ; New York, N.Y. : Berg, 2002

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Susan R. Grayzel and Tammy M. Proctor (eds.)

Gender and the Great War

Oxford ; New York, N.Y. : Oxford University Press, 2017

Ask librarian

Christa Hämmerle, Oswald Überegger and Birgitta Bader Zaar (eds.)

Gender and the First World War

Basingstoke ; New York, N.Y. : Palgrave Macmillan, 2014


Maren Röger and Ruth Leiserowitz (eds.)

Women and Men at War : A Gender Perspective on World War II and its Aftermath in Central and Eastern Europe

Einzelveröffentlichungen des Deutschen Historischen Instituts Warschau. 28

Osnabrueck : fibre, 2012


Miriam Gebhardt

Crimes unspoken : the rape of German women at the end of the Second World War

Cambridge ; Malden, MA : Polity, 2017

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Maren Röger

Kriegsbeziehungen : Intimität, Gewalt und Prostitution im besetzten Polen 1939 bis 1945

Die Zeit des Nationalsozialismus

Frankfurt/M. : Fischer, 2015



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 95,000 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, British-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-9pm