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


Please be aware that our opening hours have now changed to Monday, Tuesday and Friday (10am-3pm)

We are now able to welcome a limited number of new readers. Registration appointments and desks must be booked in advance ( Temporary procedures and limitations to services still apply (see here). They will be under constant review and might be amended at short notice to ensure the safety of our visitors and staff.

In order to book a slot, please send us an email (, including your name, reader number, topic of research, and the date and time you would like to visit us. Please let us know if your research need is urgent so that we can prioritize your request.

Please note that currently only shelf marks S and L (ground and first floor) are freely accessible. For all other items we will offer a fetching service twice daily. You may also pre-order two restricted items in your booking email. See our library catalogue for our holdings.

If you can’t make it to Bloomsbury Square but need something from our collections, we are able to offer a limited facility to email you scans. Please let us know what you need at and we’ll see what we can do (copyright and staff time allowing).

Library staff are also available for more general enquiries at If appropriate, we may offer you advice via a video call in our new 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


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