Reading Rooms and Services

The Staatsbibliothek, being the largest academic library in Germany, houses in its reading rooms reference works and information resources on all academic disciplines – with a special focus on humanities, cultural and social sciences. In case the type of material or the geographic area of the subject can be associated with special collections, relevant books are shelved in the special reading rooms. Collection building activities in the general reading rooms of both locations are closely coordinated and complement each other.

The reading room at Haus Unter den Linden (currently closed) represents the historical research library and offers sources and reference works on the period until 1900 (subject history until 1918). The reading room at Haus Potsdamer Straße represents the modern research library, that is the period from 1900/1918 until today – enlarged by a core collection for all subject areas. The reading room‘s reference works can only be consulted in the reading rooms, it is not possible to borrow these items.

The print collections are completed by the Electronic reading room, the deliberate inclusion of particularly important electronic resources into the subject classification of the open-shelf reading rooms. The electronic resources available in the reading room can nearly always also be remotely accessed from outside the library.

Some of our holding are only provided for on-site use in the reading room (or even only in the reading room Unter den Linden).


The following provides information on our services at the locations Unter den Linden (currently closed) and Potsdamer Straße.

At our location Potsdamer Straße you can reach the information staff in the reading room personally from 10 am to 8 pm, mondays to fridays and 10 am to 6 pm on saturdays.


In the copy shop readers find scanners, printers, digitisation/scanning services and they can also buy a number of stationery items.

Haus Potsdamer Straße: 1st floor opposite the Cafeteria

Service times: Mon - Sat, 12am – 6pm.

Study places with access to the internet and to licensed databases are available in the reading room. Wifi also provides access to the internet. For more information please have a look at the Wireless Portal. If you encounter difficulties with the Wifi access, please contact staff at the reference desk in the reading room, you may also use the contact form in the Wireless Portal or contact the Wifi support which is due to Covid-19 restrictions currently not available.

Haus Unter den Linden: currently closed

Haus Potsdamer Straße: Mon 12am-2pm, Wed 4pm-6pm, Fri 11am-1pm (currently not available)

The start of print-jobs from your laptop is possible. View instructions on the pages of the copy-shop.

You can bring your laptop or netbook (without bag) with you into the reading rooms, power sockets are available at all study places. If you wish to transport work materials, we would provide a carry basket for you.

At the site Potsdamer Straße group study places have been available on the 2nd floor (reading room main level) --> temporarily no access due to Covid-19 restrictions.

They are located in the northern part of the reading room. At the moment it is not yet possible to make a reservation, places can only be used when they are free. Readers who wish to use group study places must have a valid library card.

You can make a reservation for a study place. These places are meant for users who write a research paper and need to consult a large number of library materials. In case this service is interesting for you, please contact the information desk in one of the reading rooms or have a look at Research service.


In all locations study places for wheelchair users and visually impaired people are available. Find out more information here.


Microform readers are available in the reading rooms.


Carrels for a comprehensive research work are available, provided that a large number of collection items of the Staatsbibliothek will be required. If you are interested in using a carrel, you should obtain information already at an early stage from the reference desk in the reading rooms or on the webpage Research service.


We will endeavour to provide a quiet working atmosphere in the reading rooms. Please help us and set your mobile phone to silent and when you use a laptop or a notebook, please set system sounds to a low enough volume. Thank you!


There is a free cloakroom facility (currently closed), for the lockers you need a 1 € deposit or your own padlock. You also have the possibility to rent a permanent locker (Haus Potsdamer Straße) or a trolley (Haus Unter den Linden) for your material. The monthly fee is 5 € each. For more information see the webpage Research service.


There is a cafeteria at both sites.

Unfortunately we cannot allow readers to bring food and drinks into the reading rooms. There is one exception: water in closed and clear bottles. Please keep these bottles under the reading room tables.