Our collection concentrates on German history and German-American relations, with emphasis on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The GHI Library offers free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public. Appointments or reader cards are not necessary, however, it is useful to contact the library staff ahead of time to ensure the reading room will be open and the requested materials available. The GHI is a non-lending, closed stack library. Researchers do not have direct access to collections outside of the reading room but staff will provide any material for on-site use.

Our reading room has electric outlets for laptop computers and wireless internet access. Additionally, a computer is available to search and use library resources for any patron not bringing their own device. Any person using the reading room has to comply with our library regulations and internet guidelines.

The library hours are from Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 5 pm, Fridays from 9 am to 4 pm, and by appointment. Please note that the GHI library has limited hours during the summer. During the months of July and August, the library is open from 9am to 1pm. Attendance outside these hours is by appointment only. For deliveries and requests outside these hours, please call 202-387-3355. The library will be closed entirely for Independence Day and Labor Day.

*** Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, visitors to the German Historical Institute are required to show proof of vaccination. Additionally, masks must be worn throughout the building. Since the number of work places in the reading room has been reduced, appointments are required. Appointments can be arranged by emailing ***


Online Catalog

Our catalog lets you search our printed resources and e-books. Please note that online resources are normally only accessible from the GHI.

Discovery system

The discovery system Lukida functions as an extended catalog. It searches our own holdings as well as most of the databases we subscribe to, and the Common Union Catalog (GVK), combining the resources of more than 1,000 German libraries. Not all resources found in Lukida might be directly available. The GHI library does not place interlibrary loan requests for guests.

Electronic Journals

In the Electronic Journals Library (EZB) you can find all online journals accessible from the GHI. Due to the many different supply options, there might be multiple access links for the same journal.


DBIS is a database catalog allowing you to see all our available online databases. While most resources are available with an IP-based authentification, some require a username and password to be requested from the librarian. DBIS allows you to search for a specific database, but it does not allow you to search the content of the databases it lists.

E-books (Ciando)

E-book provider Ciando supplies mostly German language books for electronic loan or unlimited online reading. Downloading books requires Adobe Digital Editions or the Ciando eBook reader available on the website. E-books are also included in our catalog and discovery system.

E-books (Proquest)

We buy most of our English language e-books on Proquest. Books are available to read online, for limited chapter download and print, and for electronic borrowing. Please note that an account is necessary to download and print. E-books are also included in our catalog and discovery system.

Online Research Tools

This overview of commonly used research tools can help you find the right database for your question.