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 - Part 1

A special issue of the GHIL Bulletin, "Memory cultures 2.0: From Opferkonkurrenz to solidarity", has just been published and so the library would like to present some books on the topic of Opferkonkurrenz - the debate on hierarchies of victimhood and the role of the Holocaust in future memory cultures.

A larger selection of books on memory culture in Germany and the many groups and opinions involved can be found in the display case in the Common Room at the GHIL.


Mirjam Sarah Brusius (ed.)

Memory cultures 2.0 : From Opferkonkurrenz to solidarity

Bulletin (German Historical Institute London). Vol. 22, no. 2, Nov. 2022 (Special issue)

London : German Historical Institute London, 2022

Zs 180

Aleida Assmann

Das neue Unbehagen an der Erinnerungskultur. Eine Intervention

München : C.H.Beck, 2020


Bashir Bashir and Amos Goldberg (eds.)

The Holocaust and the Nakba : a new grammar of trauma and history

Religion, culture, and public life

New York : Columbia University Press, 2019


Michael Rothberg

Multidirectional Memory : Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization

Cultural memory in the present

Stanford, CA : Stanford Univ. Press, 2009


Charles S. Maier

The Unmasterable Past : History, Holocaust, and German National Identity

Cambridge, MA ; London : Harvard Univ. Press, 1988


Max Czollek

Desintegriert euch!

München : btb, 2020


Michelle Gordon and Rachel ÓSullivan (eds.)

Colonial Paradigms of Violence : Comparative Analysis of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Mass Killing

European Holocaust studies. Volume 4

Göttingen : Wallstein Verlag, 2022

eBook ProQuest

Jürgen Zimmerer

Von Windhuk nach Auschwitz? Beiträge zum Verhältnis von Kolonialismus und Holocaust

Periplus-Studien. Bd 15

Münster : Lit, 2011


Rita Chin, Heide Fehrenbach, Geoff Eley and Atina Grossmann

After the Nazi Racial State : Difference and Democracy in Germany and Europe

Social History, Popular Culture, and Politics in Germany

Ann Arbor, MI : Univ. of Michigan Press, 2009


Sa'ed Atshan and Katharina Galor

The moral triangle : Germans, Israelis, Palestinians

Durham ; London : Duke University Press, 2020

eBook ProQuest

Saul Friedländer, Norbert Frei, Sybille Steinbacher, Dan Diner, Jürgen Habermas

Ein Verbrechen ohne Namen : Anmerkung zum neuen Streit über den Holocaust

München : C.H.Beck, 2022

eBook ProQuest

Susan Neiman and Michael Wildt (eds.)

Historiker streiten : Gewalt und Holocaust - die Debatte

Berlin : Propyläen Verlag, 2022



Featured Books - Part 2

With constant reminders about both Christmas shopping and rising prices all around us, we thought that this December we would focus on the history of retail trade. How have shops and our experiences of them changed over the centuries? From Berlin department stores to the humble village shop, all types of retail establishments are represented in our book list.
Perfect precrastination for the last-minute Christmas shoppers among us...


Jon Stobart, Ilja Van Damme (eds.)

Modernity and the Second-Hand Trade. European Consumption Cultures and Practices, 1700-1900

Basingstoke, New York, N.Y. : Palgrave Macmillan, 2010


Godela Weiss-Sussex, Ulrike Zitzlsperger (eds.)

Das Berliner Warenhaus. The Berlin department store : history and discourses

Frankfurt : Peter Lang GmbH, Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften, 2013

eBook ProQuest

Uwe Westphal

Modemetropole Berlin 1836-1939. Entstehung und Zerstörung der jüdischen Konfektionshäuser

Leipzig : Henschel, 2019


Lydia Langer

Revolution im Einzelhandel. Die Einführung der Selbstbedienung in Lebensmittelgeschäften in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (1949-1973)

Kölner historische Abhandlungen. Bd 51

Köln, Weimar, Wien : Böhlau, 2013


Bethany Moreton

To serve God and Wal-Mart. the making of Christian free enterprise

Cambridge, MA ; London : Harvard University Press, 2010


Geoffrey Crossick and Serge Jaumain (eds.)

Cathedrals of Consumption. The European Department Store, 1850-1939

The History of Retailing and Consumption

Aldershot : Ashgate, 1999


Paul Lerner

The consuming temple. Jews, department stores, and the consumer revolution in Germany, 1880-1940

Ithaca, Ill. ; London : Cornell University Press, 2015


Franz J. Felten (ed.)

Mittelalterliche Kaufhäuser im europäischen Vergleich

Mainzer Vorträge. Bd 18

Stuttgart : Steiner, 2015


Ira Spieker

Ein Dorf und sein Laden. Warenangebot, Konsumgewohnheiten und soziale Beziehungen um die Jahrhundertwende

Internationale Hochschulschriften. Bd 356

Münster : Waxmann, 2000



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

NEW from 3rd October: Monday-Friday: 9.30am-9pm