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German Studies

A research guide to help you find relevant books and articles as well as databases and web portals in the field of German Studies.

General Information

The German National Library was founded in 1913, prior to which there was neither a cooperative form of collecting German-language publications nor a centralized bibliography of them.
This folder is divided into the following sections:
  • Monographs and Periodicals Published after 1913
  • Retrospective German Bibliographies
  • German Periodicals
  • Dissertations and Postdoctoral Theses
  • Regional Bibliography

Monographs and Periodicals after 1913

Deutsche Nationalbibliografie (German National Bibliography)

The German National Library is the central archival library and national bibliographic centre for the Federal Republic of Germany. Its task is to collect, permanently archive and comprehensively document the following, starting from 1913:
▪ all publications published in Germany
▪ all German-language publications published abroad
▪ all translations into other languages of German-language works published abroad
▪ all foreign-language publications about Germany published abroad (known as "Germanica")
▪ printed works written or published between 1933 and 1945 by German-speaking emigrants

The German National Bibliography lists the holdings of the German National Library. It is available in different forms, indicated below.

The Online Database contains all publications (books and periodicals) since 1913. Fill in your search items, then click on "Finden."

For a subject search, it is sometimes easier to use the printed editions of the National Bibliography. The Wöchentliches Verzeichnis (weekly printed version) allows you to search through the latest publications (as well monographs and periodicals) by subject. Series A contains monographs and periodicals from the publishers' book trade; Series B contains monographs and periodicals from outside the publishers' book trade.

Twice a year, Series A and B are cumulated in the Halbjahresverzeichnis (semi-annual-catalogue). This consists of an alphabetical catalogue and an index.

Every three years, a printed cumulated version of all published monographs and periodicals as well as dissertations and postdoctoral theses, is published (Dreijahresverzeichnis).


Neuerscheinungsdienst: ND

[New Release Service (ND)]
The New Release Service is based on publishers' reports to the German Books in Print (VLB) and is offered by the German National Library as a weekly information service for advance announcements and newly released titles.


Retrospective German Bibliographies

This Union Catalogue of Incunabula Database contains pre-1501 imprints. An English page is available. To start your search, click on "Suche" in the menu on the left.
Bibliography of books printed in the German-speaking countries from 1501 to 1600. The database includes 100,000+ titles.
Bibliography of books printed in the German-speaking countries from 1601 to 1700. Since 2009, also the titles of VD 16 are searchable. Currently, the database includes 270,000+ titles. In addition, more than 29,000 fulltext digital copies are availale. VD 17 will be continuously enlarged and made more complete by contributions from associated libraries. English version available.
 Bibliography of books printed in the German-speaking countries from 1701 to 1800. Continues its predecessors VD 16 and VD 17. In contrast to the latter, VD 18 contains just fulltext digital copies.
Founded in 2005, the Central Index of Digitized Imprints is the basis for a national portal providing a general index of all scholarly digitized resources dating from the beginning of printing to the 21st century. Its aim is to provide comprehensive access to all digital source materials in Germany.

The major gateway for western manuscripts, mainly from German libraries. Provides search tools for manuscripts, manuscript collections as well as manuscript catalogues and can be combinded with cities and countries. Currently, the database contains more than 75,000 manuscripts.  
Catalogue of German-language publications printed worldwide and other-language publications printed in the German-speaking world, 1700-1910.
Catalogue of German-language publications printed worldwide and other-language publications printed in the German-speaking world, 1910-1965.

German Periodicals

Essential bibliography of 4600 German literary and philological journals published between 1700 and 1926. Listed by subject, with chronological sub-arrangement. Title and editor indexes are also available.
Bibliography of German-language periodicals published before 1900.
Bibliography of periodicals published in German after 1945. Also contains German-language periodicals from Austria, Switzerland and other countries.
The Index of German Journals (IDZ) contains records of 100,000+ articles published in approximately 200 journals from 1750 to 1815.

Regional Bibliography

Meta-search-interface for online German regional bibliographies. Regional bibliographies list books, articles, collections, grey literature, etc. for each designated geographical or political region. A wide variety of historical and current topics are covered.

Dissertations and Postdoctoral Theses

For dissertations and theses published at German universities and theses published in German at international universities, consult the printed Hochschulschriften catalogue. It is issued monthly and allows you to search either by subject, title or author. The cumulated print version is included in the Dreijahresverzeichnis.