Navigation and service


The German National Library is a public-accessible library offering a wide range of services at its two locations in Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main.

Visitors to the German National Library in Leipzig will find works published in Germany since 1913 as well as German-language publications issued abroad. The collections of the German National Library in Frankfurt am Main comprise works of both categories published since 1945. The German Music Archive (Deutsches Musikarchiv) in Leipzig collects printed music and sound recordings subject to legal deposit. As of 1993, a copy of each item in the collection is also available at the Further information about special collections can be found in the overview of the reading rooms.

The German National Library is a reference library, meaning that publications are available for use in the reading rooms only.
Users must be at least 18 years old and present a valid passport in conjunction with official confirmation of residence or ID card. You can set up a provisional user account in advance via online registration; you will receive a user number for ordering items.
Library use is subject to a charge (annual pass: EUR 42.00, monthly pass: EUR 18.00, day-pass valid until closing time the following day: EUR 6.00).
Refugees may apply for a free library card valid for one month. A valid residence permit for Leipzig or Frankfurt am Main is requested for the application.

As the collections are held in storage areas not accessible to the public, users must first consult the catalogue on site or on the internet and find the entry of the desired publication, enter personal data and activate the order button. The desired publication is available from the issues desk for consultation in one of the reading rooms.

Extensive reference collections located in the reading rooms are openly accessible and can be used without a previous order.

It is also possible to access the Electronic Reference Library (EHB - Elektronische Handbibliothek) containing a permanent collection of roughly 500 works covering all disciplines. Online resources available on the archive server (e.g. e-books, e-papers, university publications) can also be used.

Using the reading rooms
Ordering items
User service for disabled person
Interlibrary loan

Surveys on the use of the German National Library

Survey on the use of the reference collections

In order to ensure that the open-access holdings and the Electronic Reference Library remain appealing for you, up to date and comprehensive, the German National Library conducted a survey on their demand and usage between 16 July and 18 August 2018. 921 people in total took part in the representative survey. This shows how important the holdings of the reference collections are to you.

See the results (available only in German)

2016 User Survey

In order to respond more effectively to the needs of its visitors, the German National Library conducted its first ever user survey in November 2016. A total of 1,942 participants took part in the survey, which yielded interesting results. The German National Library intends to carry out further surveys in the future on an ongoing basis in order to improve the service it provides.

See the results

Last update: 08.01.2019


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Schriftbanner mit Deutscher Nationalbibliothek Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main