The Reading Room of the Institute for the History of Frankfurt is available to researchers, students (secondary and higher education), journalists and citizens with an interest in history. It allows you to view and work with books and archives on the history of Frankfurt. The use of books and archives is subject to our User Regulations, and we should be grateful if you would read these. When you come to us for the first time, you will be given a User Form where you will need to enter your name, address and area of research. You can also download, complete and sign the User Form in advance and then bring it along.
Two workstations are available for you to search through our library stocks as well as two further online databases of our archived material – ISG and ISG Bild (images). Links to the three databases and a search guide can be found here. We also have a workstation for the use of audiovisual media where you can view video footage and listen to audio material. This is also where you can view digital publications as well as digitised images of collection.
Searches and orders
By far the majority of the Institute’s material is now available online. Our Reading Room Supervisors would be pleased to help you in using any of the analogue reference catalogues. If your work or research is more complex or extensive, you can receive help from the relevant in-house expert or specialist, so that you can then decide which of the domains are relevant to your work.
If you need archived material, you can order it via the Archive Database or – particularly in the case of analogue reference catalogues – directly from a Reading Room Supervisor (phone +49 69 212 37914 or send an email).
Unlike archived textual material, original images from the ISG Bild database cannot be ordered directly in the Reading Room, and you will therefore need to make an appointment with the relevant staff member. The names and contact addresses of our staff can be found under “Use of images”.
To preorder books from our Reference Library, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use of equipment
The Reading Room has enough space for up to 32 users. All workplaces are wired, so that you can use your laptop. Free Wi-Fi internet access is available via our Deutsche Telekom hotspot. A reader printer can be found in the Reading Room for any work with microfilm or microfiche material. To work with our reader printer, we would recommend booking a slot, so that you can be sure that it is available when you want it. You can also book the reader printer over the phone (+49 69 212 37 914).
In the Reading Room you can request copies against payment of a fee (up to 120 pages per print job). Alternatively, you can scan in the archived material yourself, using our Book Eye scanner. If scanning is likely to take a long time, we would recommend booking the scanner in advance. The machine is free to use, and you will need to bring along a USB stick. You are also welcome to take photos of documents with your own camera or smartphone. However, if you want to publish any copied material, please remember that a usage licence is required which may be subject to a fee. The Reading Room is situated in the Dormitory of the Carmelite Monastery (first floor).
Operating hours and public holidays
Reading Room opening hours: Mon-Fri 08:30 - 17:00 hrs
Archive access times: Our underground stacks are regularly accessed at 09:00, 11:00 and 14:00 hrs. If you wish to view items from our archives in Borsigallee, you will need to give us one day’s notice.
The Reading Room is closed on German public holidays (New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter, 1 May, Ascension Day, Pentecost Monday, Corpus Christi, 3 October, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve) and also during city-nts (Museumsuferfest – Museum Embankment Festival). The Reading Room closes early, at 12:00 a.m. on the Tuesday after Pentecost (Wäldchestag).