German Historical Museum

The German Historical Museum is one of the most important and most visited museums in Berlin, located on the famous Unter den Linden boulevard. The library has a vibrant history as a part of three different institutions. The first library was founded in 1800 as a library of the Royal Armory. It possessed approximately 20,000 books, mostly on military literature. This library existed until 1945. During and after the World War II, as many as three-quarters of the library’s holdings were relocated with many currently in Russian libraries. The remaining quarter of the armory library served as the basis for the library of the Museum of German History founded in 1952 in the German Democratic Republic. This museum existed until 1990 when it merged with the German Historical Museum, founded in 1987 in West Berlin.

Today, the library has about 250,000 volumes, with 35,000 belonging to the Manuscripts/Old and Valuable Prints collection. The library is not only a library for museum staff, but is also publically accessible as one of the museum’s twelve collections. The collection of Manuscripts/Old and Valuable Prints includes about three hundred manuscripts from 850 to 1900 and about 1,550 printed books from 1450 to 1650. Among the prints of the 16th century are numerous texts on the Reformation, including one of the earliest editions of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, printed in Basel in 1517.


Please contact the Keeper of the Library, Dr. Matthias Miller ([email protected]), for further information.


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