German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)20 - 7309 2050
Fax: +44 (0)20 - 7309 2055 / 7404 5573


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Library Regulations

The German Historical Institute library is an academic reference library serving those undertaking research, teaching, studying or looking for specialized information.


The library is open to anyone who has an interest in German history, British-German relations or comparative historiography. There are no formalities such as letters of reference or written applications. Readers receive a pass on their first visit, once they have filled in their personal details and produced a passport photo, plus proof of address.

General rules and conditions for using the library

Please read and comply with the following:

  • Use of the library is free of charge.
  • Visitors enter the building via reception where they sign in by name and Reader's pass number, but leave via the ground floor glass door without signing out.
  • During library hours coats, bags and umbrellas can be left in the cloakroom and personal belongings in cloakroom lockers. The locker key is to be handed in at reception if a reader leaves the building for any length of time. All lockers are emptied each day when the library closes.
  • Library staff can insist on being shown the contents of files, bags and lockers.
  • Readers should behave in such a way that does not disturb the work of others in the library. Please do not have loud discussions, play radios, cassettes or CDs, or use mobile phones.
  • The use of laptops is allowed.
  • Smoking is forbidden in all library rooms. Eating and drinking is allowed, but only in the Common Room.
  • The GHIL library is on open-access shelving, so readers have unrestricted access to all books, and also journals and newspapers in the basement rolling stacks.
  • During their introduction to the library, library users will be instructed by library staff in the safe use of ladders in the library. Should readers have any problems with the ladders, or have difficulty reaching books in high shelves, they should ask a member of the library staff for assistance.
  • Books cannot be taken out on loan, they can only be used in the library. In the event of a reader damaging a book e.g., by marking or other means, then the reader must pay for a new replacement of the book, or in the case of unavailable books, pay for a bound copy. In such a case the library retains the right to ban the reader from further use of the library. This also applies to any reader who attempts to remove a book from the library.
  • It is not possible to arrange inter-library loans.
  • A photocopier is available for readers to use. Tokens may be purchased at reception. Responsibility for ensuring that copyright law is not breached lies with the person making or ordering photocopies. Valuable or fragile books may not be photocopied by readers.
  • A reader printer is available for reading and copying microfiche and films. Copies are to be shown and paid for at reception.
  • The GHIL cannot be held liable for any loss or damage of money or valuables caused by the unauthorised action of a third party.
  • The GHIL provides access to the internet for the purpose of conducting research only. Access is available at four public computer terminals. In addition, the GHIL provides wireless access to the internet. Readers must be issued with a password in order to make use of this service. By accessing the internet readers accept the Internet Use Guidelines of the GHIL.