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, Anglo-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.

Library News

Covid-19 and Christmas closure

The GHIL library will be closed from 4th November 2020 until 11th January at the earliest (re-opening date depends on Covid restrictions).

Apart from the Christmas closure period (24th Dec. - 4th Jan.), staff will continue to work from home and can be reached in the usual manner via email ( or telephone.



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

Featured Books


Theodor Michael

Black German : an Afro-German life in the Twentieth Century

Liverpool : Liverpool University Press, 2017


Mischa Honeck, Martin Klimke and Anne Kuhlmann (eds.)

Germany and the Black Diaspora: Points of Contact, 1250-1914

Location: Essential Reading Bowersox - Black Germany

New York, N.Y. ; Oxford : Berghahn, (2013)


May Ayim, Katharina Oguntoye, Dagmar Schultz (eds.)

Farbe bekennen : afro-deutsche Frauen auf den Spuren ihrer Geschichte

Location: Essential Reading Bowersox

Berlin : Orlanda, 2018


Robbie Aitken and Eve Rosenhaft

Black Germany : The Making and Unmaking of a Diaspora Community, 1884-1960

Location: Essential Reading Bowersox - Black Germany

Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2013


Fatima El-Tayeb

Schwarze Deutsche : Der Diskurs um "Rasse" und nationale Identität 1890-1933

Location: Essential Reading Bowersox - Black Germany

Frankfurt/M ; New York, N.Y. : Campus Verlag, 2020


Natasha A. Kelly

Afrokultur : "der Raum zwischen gestern und morgen"

Münster : Unrast, 2016

Ask librarian


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).

Library reading rooms

Contact and opening hours


German Historical Institute Library
17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ

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


Temporary opening hours

Monday, Tuesday & Friday: 10am–3pm