Borrowing | Use

The Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin holds almost 12 million books, journals, newspapers, databases and electronic resources at both sites. In terms of content, the focus is on the humanities and social sciences. In addition, there are special collections:

  • medieval and modern manuscripts
  • historical prints
  • sheet music, maps, newspapers, literary estates
  • legal literature, parliamentary papers
  • children's and young people‘s books
  • regional special collections: Eastern Europe, East Asia, Orient

Most of the literature is stored in stacks which are not freely accessible. Therefore literature must be ordered in advance online for use at home or in the reading rooms.

Important basic and reference works are freely available in the reading rooms, but cannot be borrowed for use at home, as can publications that were published before 1913 or are particularly valuable and worthy of protection. Free WiFi and computer workstations with Internet access and office programs are available in the reading rooms.

The library can be used free of charge by anyone over the age of 14. A library card from the Staatsbibliothek is required for access to the reading rooms and all other services. See, how you may apply for this.

A valid library card allows you to order up to 60 items online via the StabiKat catalogue. The catalogue indicates whether books can be borrowed for use at home or in the reading rooms.

Through your library account, you can check the status of your orders, extend loan periods, reserve volumes that have already been borrowed, and find out if and where your ordered items are ready to be picked up (notes on item delivery times from the stacks).

Ordered items are available for you throughout the entire opening hours at the following locations:

Borrowing for use at home:

Items requested to the general reading rooms:

  • Haus Unter den Linden, reading room loans (Lesesaalausleihen) in Reading Room Atlantis (main level), rear part  
  • Haus Potsdamer Straße, reading room loans (Lesesaalausleihen) in the General Reading Room (main level), near information desk

The loan period is 30 days and can be renewed ten times online.
When borrowing items for use in a different reading room (e.g., Map Reading Room), storage periods and extension options may vary.

Books borrowed for use at home may be returned in both sites.

If you need a publication that is not available at the Staatsbibliothek you may order it via Interlibrary Loan.

Copy centre and scanners are available in both sites. You may also request digitisation of copyright free publications via imaging and duplication services.

Additionally you may rent permanent lockers, lockable carts for study desks and carrels, and you may apply for extending your loan quota. We are happy to support students and researchers with a wide range of advisory and training services.

Please refer to our FAQ | Registration and Borrowing for further details as well as information on the use of the reading rooms.

The basic principles for the use of our collections are laid down in the Conditions of Use (in German) - Charges and Fees and in the House Rules (in German).