Reading room


The reading room is located in the dormitory on the second floor of the Carmelite monastery. The reading room is open Monday to Friday from 09:00 - 17:00. You are welcome to make an appointment in advance to use the reading room at, but a reservation is not necessary.

The retrieval times for archive materials from the underground stacks are 09:00 and 14:00. Orders from our repository in Borsigallee require one day's notice; however, it is always advisable to order the archive materials two to three days before your planned visit, as they often have to be checked for archival protection periods before they are made available.

The reading room is closed on public holidays in Hesse (New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter, May Day, Ascension Day, Whitsun, Corpus Christi, German Unity Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve). On the Tuesday after Whitsun (Wäldchestag) the reading room closes at 12:00.

Two workstations are available for you to search through our library stocks as well as our online databases of our archived material. 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.

© Institut für Stadtgeschichte, Rechte: Institut für Stadtgeschichte, Foto: Uwe Dettmar

Searches and orders

By far the majority of the Institute’s material is now available online via Arcinsys. Please note that registration via the Arcinsys database is required before ordering the archival records.

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 .

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).

© Institut für Stadtgeschichte; Rechte: Institut für Stadtgeschichte, Foto: Uwe Dettmar


At the reading room, you can request copies of up to 120 pages, which are subject to a charge of 0,50 € in A4 and 0,60 € in A3 format. With regard to pictures, the fee is determined by the size of the original and the resolution requested for the scan. You can find more information in the following table.

Alternatively, you can scan the archived material yourself, using our Book Eye scanner. These scans are also subject to a charge of 0,20 € per scan. Additional hard copies are priced at 0,10 € in A4 and 0,20 € in A3 format. If scanning is likely to take a long time, we recommend booking the scanner in advance. Please bring your own USB flash drive in order to save any copies.

Upon consultation with the reading room staff, you may also use your own camera or smartphone in order to take pictures of the documents for your own private use.

Please note, however, that any replicated material will require a usage license before publication, which may also be subject to a fee.

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).