Skip to Main ContentJohn M. Kelly Library Research Guides

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.

German History in General

A useful guide to identify major resources for studying and researching German history
The free accessible online database ists German- and foreign-language academic publications from the beginnings to the present. This is the most comprehensive subject bibliography of its kind. Monographs, edited volumes, periodical articles, source editions, reference works and bibliographies are registered. All entries from year under review 1974 onward, currently about 510,000 (as of December 2010), are available in the online database, which is updated on a daily basis. For entries concerning ealier years please look at the printed editions.  
A comprehensive guide to German history up to 1945.

A dictionary of German history, focusing on history since the 16th century.

Bibliography of sources and literature on German history, from its beginnings until 1945.

General Dictionaries

A major reference source on politics, covering worldwide political issues with a focus on German politics.
A international bibliography of the history of civil and human rights, covering the years 1500-1850. Text in English, German, French and Dutch.

Electronic Resources

The Bavarian Regional Library Online is the central arts and humanities portal on the history and culture of Bavaria. It combines multiple electronic facilities. The individual modules and areas of collection emphasis can be searched one at a time, but partly also comprehensively with the help of keywords (locations, persons).

German Federal Archives. The internet portal offers a lot of search engines for its various databases, for instance Archive Good Search, picture database, central database for personal papers, film and video media database, ... . Furthermore the "cabinet minutes of the Federal Government" the "Reich Chandellery files" and some more resources are online available. The whole Bundesarchiv platform is available in English.
Historical online resources. Clio-Online is a major subject gateway for historical scholarship in teaching and research. Contains directories, thematic gateways, reviews and more. English instructions available.
A comprehensive platform for historical scholarship in teaching and research. Divided into four parts: "Themen" (texts, essays, images,... to different subjects and eras), "Länder" (comprehensive links to historical internet resources of different European countries), "Recherche" (Introductions for scientific writing) and "Lehren und Lernen" (Tutorials and Material for Teaching in classes).

Documentation of historical literature. Comprises the Yearbook of historical research and the historical bibliography. The two linked databases allow extensive research for historical literature. Both databases are not only focussed on German history, but also on European and non-European history. HBO comprises monographs, thesis and habilitation dissertations as well as journal articles and essays of anthologies. It covers all historical periods.
A specialised forum and an online moderated information and communication platform for historians which publishes specialised academic news and publications. Current articles from the academic world can be accessed via H-Soz-u-Kult’s website, email and RSS-feeds. Having registered with H-Soz-u-Kult, participants can order subscriptions for various editorial sections, and readers can publish relevant information from their ongoing work. English instructions available.

The International Bibliography of Periodical Literature is an international and interdisciplinary bibliography of academic periodical literature, mainly from the Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences. A print version covers the years 1965-2001. The database currently lists more than 3.3 million journal articles from 11,500 journals covering the years 1983 ff. Every year some 120,000 entries are added. IBZ is updated monthly. It now includes abstracts. The database works with an assigned subject classification in English and German based on the German Personennormdatei (PND: name authority file) and Schlagwortnormdatei (SWD: controlled vocabulary). Thus, an easy and fast access to articles is ensured, irrespective of the language in which the original article was written.

A Europe-wide, multi-language platform for reviews of historical literature. 
The reviews and publications on the platform focus on work published in Europe.
and featuring European topics. The platform’s navigational languages are English, German and French, while the reviews may be written in any European language.

An interdisciplinary review journal that ranges freely across historical eras. It presents not only an ever-changing repertoire of reviews but also discussions of both monographs and edited collections in fields such as the history of medicine, law and art. While German language writings form our key focus, research from the rest of Europe and the wider world is continuously being included.


Middle Ages

One of the major international encyclopedias of the Middle Ages.
A substantial English-language volume, covering many different aspects of the German region in the Middle Ages.
Encyclopedia of Latin geographical names of the Middle Ages and Modern times. The Printed Edition is available at Robarts Library.

Early Modern Period (1500-1800)

One of the latest German encyclopedias. 16 Volumes with more than 4,000 articles about individuals, facts and developments during the period of 1450 and 1850.
Johann Heinrich Zedler's Universallexicon, published by Johann Heinrich Zedler between 1731 and 1754, is by far the biggest and most important German encyclopedia of the eighteenth century. To start your search, click on "Suchen im Zedler", to browse through the book, click on "Blättern im Zedler".

German Empire (1871-1918)

Comprehensive English-language volume providing an overview of historical literature pertaining to the German Empire (1871-1918). Combines historiographical analyses with original interpretations and extended bibliographies.

Weimar Republic (1919-1933)

Biographical dictionary covering the Weimar Republic.

Nazi Germany (1933-1945)

A bibliography of publications on National Socialism from 1945 until 2000. The focus is on German publications within the 1980s and 1990s, including English and French standard works. Contains a comprehensive and very useful register.
Biographical dictionary of Nazi Germany.
Biographical dictionary of the elite of the Nazi regime. Contains more than 4,300 entries. Also provides information about the continuation of their careers after 1945.
English edition of a major German encyclopedia. Provides biographical information about those who resisted the Nazi regime, as well as short articles on specific topics.
Enzyklopädie des Nationalsozialismus

A comprehensive dictionary of Germany between 1933 and 1945.
An English-language biographical dictionary, containing more than 350 entries.
Encyclopedia of politics and government during the period of National Socialism (1933-1945). English version.
A comprehensive English-language guide to Nazi Germany, covering topics such as the relationship between Nazism and German society, the role of Hitler within the Nazi party and the Third Reich, and the relationship between Nazi racial and eugenic politics and the Holocaust.

German Democratic Republic (GDR)

A two-volume biographical dictionary of the Soviet Occupation Zone/The German Democratic Republic (1945-1990).
A comprehensive encyclopedia of the DDR-Literature. Provides an overview of trends, institutions, novelists and genres.
Encyclopedia of opposition and resistance towards the government of the German Democratic Republic.
A directory to institutions within the German Democratic Republic: archives, research institutions, libraries, institutions of political education, associations, museums, memorials.
Who was who in the German Democratic Republic (1949-1990).

Contemporary Germany

English-language dictionary of Berlin and Eastern Germany after 1990, providing information about cities, regions, historical sights.
See also this HTML version of this study. This report provides a comprehensive overview of Germany's history, geography, economy, social welfare, and government from ancient times up until the mid-1990s. It includes a useful bibliography.
Comprehensive guide to contemporary Germany: contains information about politics, regions, economics, and culture.
A dictionary of politics and economics in Germany after 1945.
English-language dictionary. Contains key facts and figures relating to the history of Germany since 1945. Includes bibliography, maps, biographical information.

European History

A very comprehensive dictionary of the history of Southeastern Europe. Contains more than 1,500 biographical entries from the end of the Ancient World until World War II.
A major dictionary of the development of German-language countries and territories, beginning in the 11th century. Provides information about sovereigns. Contains a register and bibliographic references.

Specific Aspects

Bibliography of the history of the German labour movement and organization. Contains international publications (monographs, serials, articles) from the movement/organization's inception to the present.