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

Opening times:
The library is open Monday–Friday, 9.30am-9pm.  
Summer opening hours: 1st July–31st August, Monday–Friday, 9.30am–5pm

New readers need to register for a library card and have a short introductory tour of the library before or during their first visit. The induction is available in person (Mo-Fr, 9.30am-4pm) or by appointment online via Zoom (email: A portrait photo (4.5 x 3.5 cm) and recent proof of address must be provided.

Library staff are also available for general enquiries at

If you would like to receive regular updates on recent acquisitions, featured books, and other library news, then you can sign up to the Library Newsletter.

Library Guide

Take a look at the flipbook below for an introduction to our library.

Featured Books

Urban history: Hamburg

May is local history month and this time we are looking at urban history, with special focus on Hamburg. As Germany's second largest city after Berlin and one of its three city states, Hamburg's size and importance derive mainly from its status as a port and trading city. In order to show the many different facets of urban history as a subject, we have therefore chosen several books on trade and colonial connections, but also on wider-ranging topics such as medieval religious history, flood and fire disasters, water utilities in the Second World War, the post-war period under British occupation, and women's and cultural history.

You can see these books in the Common Room at the GHIL, with an additional display inspired by the most recent Thyssen lecture on science/technology and empire in the display case facing onto the stairs.


 Alexander Krünes (ed.)

Moderne Stadtgeschichte(n) und ihre Perspektiven

Materialien zur thüringischen Geschichte. 4

Leipzig : Leipziger Uni-Vlg, 2023

ask librarian

André Krischer (ed.)


Basistexte Frühe Neuzeit. Band 4

Stuttgart : Franz Steiner Verlag, 2017


Martin Krieger

Kleine Geschichte Hamburgs

München : C.H. Beck, 2014


Peter Uwe Hohendahl (ed.)

Patriotism, Cosmopolitanism, and National Culture : Public Culture in Hamburg 1700-1933

Internationale Forschungen zur allgemeinen und vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft. 69

Amsterdam, New York, N.Y. : Rodopi, 2003


Jürgen Zimmerer and Kim Sebastian Todzi (eds.)

Hamburg: Tor zur kolonialen Welt : Erinnerungsorte der (post-)kolonialen Globalisierung

Hamburger Beiträge zur Geschichte der kolonialen Globalisierung. Band 1

Göttingen : Wallstein Verlag, 2021

eBook Nomos

Yuta Kikuchi

Hamburgs Ostsee- und Mitteleuropahandel 1600-1800 : Warenaustausch und Hinterlandnetzwerke

Wirtschafts- und Sozialhistorische Studien. Band 20

Wien ; Köln ; Weimar : Böhlau Verlag, 2018


Dorothee Wierling

Mit Rohkaffee handeln : Hamburger Kaffeeimporteure im 20. Jahrhundert

Forum Zeitgeschichte

München ; Hamburg : Dölling und Galitz Verlag, 2018


Barbara Müller and Monika E. Müller (eds.)

Die Hamburger Beginen bei St. Jacobi im Kontext ihrer Handschriften und Kultur

Hamburger Studien zu Gesellschaften und Kulturen der Vormoderne. Band 21

 Stuttgart : Franz Steiner Verlag, 2022

Sc.12/1915 (eBook)

Adam of Bremen ; Francis J. Tschan (translator and editor)

History of the archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen

Records of Western Civilization

New York, N.Y. : Columbia Univ. Press, 2002

Sb.2/1275 a

Nele Maya Fahnenbruck, Johanna Meyer-Lenz (eds.)

Fluchtpunkt Hamburg : zur Geschichte von Flucht und Migration in Hamburg von der frühen Neuzeit bis zur Gegenwart

Histoire. Band 124

Bielefeld : transcript, 2018

Sa.8/5550 (eBook)

Felix Mauch

Erinnerungsfluten : das Sturmhochwasser von 1962 im Gedächtnis der Stadt Hamburg

Forum Zeitgeschichte. 25

München ; Hamburg : Dölling und Galitz Verlag, 2015


Claudia Horbas and Ortwin Pelc (eds.)

Es brannte an allen Ecken zugleich : Hamburg 1842

Hamburg : Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte, 2002-2003


Keith Lowe

Inferno : The Devastation of Hamburg, 1943

London : Viking, 2007


David Templin

Wasser für die Volksgemeinschaft : Wasserwerke und Stadtentwässerung in Hamburg im "Dritten Reich"

Forum Zeitgeschichte. 26

München : Dölling und Galitz Verlag, 2016


Michael Ahrens

Die Briten in Hamburg : Besatzerleben 1945-1958

Forum Zeitgeschichte. Bd 23

München : Dölling und Galitz Verlag, 2011


Andrea Purpus

Frauenarbeit in den Unterschichten : Lebens- und Arbeitswelt Hamburger Dienstmädchen und Arbeiterinnen um 1900 unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der häuslichen und gewerblichen Ausbildung

Hamburger Beiträge zur beruflichen Aus- und Weiterbildung ; Bd 2

Hamburg : Lit-Verl., 2000


Michaela Freund-Widder

Frauen unter Kontrolle : Prostitution und ihre staatliche Bekämpfung in Hamburg vom Ende des Kaiserreichs bis zu den Anfängen der Bundesrepublik

Geschlecht, Kultur, Gesellschaft. Bd 8

Münster : Lit Verl., 2003


Matthew Jefferies

Hamburg : A cultural & literary history

 Cities of the Imagination

Oxford : Signal Books, 2011



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 library card can be issued.

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

Summer opening hours: 1st July–31st August, Monday–Friday: 9.30am-5pm