German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

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



GHIL Library – Collections


The research library of the German Historical Institute London is devoted primarily to German history from the Middle Ages to the present day. Its holdings concentrate on modern German history, with special emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries, in particular Germany between 1933 and 1945, the development of the two German states after 1945/49, and German unification after 1989. At least a third of Library resources are English-language materials.

At present, the library holds approximately 95,000 volumes. It subscribes to ca. 200 periodicals, including all the important German regional historical journals, and provides access to a number of databases (DBIS), microform collections, and a growing number of electronic journals (EZB) and eBooks. Due to licensing restrictions, remote access to electronic resources is currently not possible although selected content can be downloaded to readers’ own devices (in accordance with DRM and copyright regulations). The library is also one of very few institutions offering access to Refugee Voices, a major audio-visual archive for the study of the Holocaust and the history of German refugees in Britain. Current journals and a selection of German and English newspapers and magazines are displayed in the Common Room. Please see the online catalogue for our complete holdings.

Acquisitions of the most important works on German history are as comprehensive as possible. The intention is to cover the whole spectrum of literature on German history, thereby providing a reliable basis for historical research on all periods from the medieval to the present day. Particular attention has been paid to building up the collection of reference works, literature on the theory and methodology of history, and Festschriften. The library also acquires English translations of German holdings, where available. Acquisition policy adapts to changing research interests, and readers are invited to suggest new acquisitions. Recent acquisitions can be made available to readers without delay.

All items are kept on open shelves over the three floors of the library, which are serviced by a lift to ensure easy access. Generally, borrowing is not permitted. At lecturers’ request. the library provides selected key items from reading lists for courses taught at London universities. These items are shelved separately in an Essential Reading section in one room of the library.

The library is conveniently located in Bloomsbury, close to the British Museum, Senate House and the LSE, and it is valued by many not only as an excellent source of research materials but also as a quiet place to work in the heart of London’s busy university landscape.


Please see here for a list of periodicals (print and online) held at the GHIL library.

Recent acquisitions

Please see here for a sortable list of all titles acquired by the library during the last three months.

Electronic resources

A wide range of electronic resources (databases, eJournals and eBooks) is available for readers to consult in the library.

Please note that some resources are only available on-site.

EZB - Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek

DBIS - Datenbank-Infosystem


As a general rule, the GHIL does not collect archival material. There are two exceptions:

These collections can be consulted by appointment (