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.

Covid-19 safety measures

Readers should wear a face covering when moving around the institute, unless they are exempt. Face coverings can be removed when working at your desk.

 You must not visit the institute if you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, or if you have recently tested positive for Covid-19.

Readers are encouraged to take a lateral flow test before they visit the library.

Visiting and joining the Library

Our 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.


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

May is Local History Month and so we wanted to present some books that fall loosely under this heading. Most the books we have chosen focus on 'the village' as a microcosm of the wider world. After all, history does not just happen in towns and cities...


Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie

Montaillou : Cathars and Catholics in a French village, 1294-1324

London : Scolar Press, 1978

Mkb.8/20 b

Marcel Thomas

Local lives, parallel histories : villagers and everyday life in the divided Germany

Studies in German history

Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2020

eBook ProQuest

Werner Nell/Marc Weiland (Hg.)

Dorf : ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch

Stuttgart : J. B. Metzler Verlag, 2019

eBook ProQuest  

Claudia Schemmer

Fernsehen : Quellen für die bayerische Landesgeschichte

Zeitschrift für bayerische Landesgeschichte. Beiheft. 45

München : C.H.Beck, 2022


Helena Waddy

Oberammergau in the Nazi Era : The Fate of a Catholic Village in Hitler's Germany

Oxford : Oxford Univ. Press, 2010


Thomas Robisheaux

The last witch of Langenburg : Murder in a German Village

New York, N.Y., London : Norton, 2009


Peter H. Merkl

Small Town and Village in Bavaria : The Passing of a Way of Life

New York, N.Y., Oxford : Berghahn, 2012


Regina Schulte

The village in court : Arson, infanticide, and poaching in the court records of Upper Bavaria, 1848-1910mics

Cambridge : Cambridge Univ. Press, 1994

Dg/2395 a

Jason B. Johnson

Divided village : the Cold War in the German borderlands

London ; New York, N.Y. : Routledge, 2017



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–5pm