Reading Rooms and Services

The Staatsbibliothek houses in its reading rooms reference works and information resources on all academic disciplines – with a special focus on humanities, cultural and social sciences.
Special reading rooms differ from the general reading rooms. There you find reference works which, as a result of the type of material or the geographical area, especially refer to the items preserved in the special departments.
Items of the special departments can only be consulted in the respective reading rooms.

Reading Rooms

Reading Rooms

Haus Unter den Linden

Orientation plan

General Reading Room

Manuscripts Reading Room

Maps Reading Room

Children’s and Young People’s Literature Reading Room

Music Reading Room

Rare Books Reading Room (only in German)

Newspaper Reading Room

Holdings in the General 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 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.

Readers wishing to know which works - including electronic resources - are available in the General Reading Rooms can consult the relevant subject classification via the the online catalogue (StaBiKat). The abbreviations HA and HB refer to the reference collections at the sites of Potsdamer Straße and Unter den Linden respectively. The classification scheme is roughly the same at both sites and also includes a selection of scientific journals and their recent issues.

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.

Conditions of use

Items shelved in the reading rooms can only be consulted in the reading rooms, they cannot be borrowed.
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).

Unfortunately, laptop sleeves, food or beverages are not allowed - except water in clear and closable bottles in the General Reading Room.


In the following, you will find information on our services related to the use of the reading rooms.

At our location Potsdamer Straße you can reach the information staff in the reading room personally from 10 am to 6 pm, Mondays to Saturdays.

At our location Unter den Linden you can get help and advice at the Information next to the Issue Desk from Mondays to Fridays, 10am to 6pm and Saturdays, 2pm - 6pm.

Study places in the Haus Unter den Linden:

Main Reading Room

  • 130 study places
  • 27 carrels

Information Centre

  • 32 study places, 8 computer study places
  • 12 study tables at the group work rooms opposite

Claudio Abbado - Room

  • 18 study places

Study places in the Haus Potsdamer Straße:

  • 390 study places, 27 computer study places
  • 27 carrels

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.

Temporarily no access due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Essential condition for the use of group study places is a valid library card of the Staatsbibliothek.

At the site Potsdamer Straße group study places have been available on the 2nd floor (reading room main level) . They are located in the northern part of the reading room.
At the site Unter den Linden group study rooms are located  on the 1st floor near the Information Centre.

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.

Microform readers are available in the reading rooms.

Study places with access to the internet and to licensed databases are available in the reading room. Internet access via Wifi or Eduroam is, of course, possible. 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.

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.

In the copy shop readers find scanners, printers, digitisation/scanning services and they can also buy a number of stationery items. All devices for scanning, copying and printing are available during the entire opening hours, and there are card charging machines in both buildings.

The service times of the copy facilities arein both buildings: Mon - Wed, Fri and Sat: 11 am - 5 pm, Thu: 12 pm - 6 pm.

During service hours, card loading, service and advice, office material sales and the acceptance of repro or service orders are possible.

For more information see: Can I copy material in the library?

You also have the possibility to rent a permanent locker (site Potsdamer Straße) or a trolley (site Unter den Linden) for your material. The monthly fee is 5 € each. For more information see the webpage Research service.