The Library of the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig is a special research library providing specialized information resources on art history, painting, graphic design, book art/bookmaking, photography, new media art and related subject areas. The library user has access to a total of approx. 65,000 items and more than 80 current periodicals. Historical literature on photography, Academy prints and special collections like artists' books, rare prints and unique copies complement the collection. The Library is open to the public. Resources may be borrowed by members of the Academy as well as by external users, if registered.
Please note the license conditions of each provider!
The Database Information System (Datenbank-Infosystem DBIS) is a cooperative service for the use of scientific databases. Currently, the Database Information System includes approximately 11,500 entries. About 5,000 databases are freely available on the internet. They are are organized by subject. An advanced search with various access points and restriction options / refining capacities is also available. At this piont we have listed relevant databases with a focus on art history, architecture and media- and communication- studies in the database information system for you. Unsuccessful search? Here you have the opportunity to research the total stock of the database information system.
The digital image archive for Art- and Cultural Studies Prometheus provides a convenient image search in picture-libraries, archives, institutes, research- and museum- databases of art, design and architecture, theology, history and archeology. It’s possible to search in more than 1,000,000 images. Prometheus can be used free of charge on the premises of the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig via IP check. If you want to use it at home and make use of the additional services provided by Prometheus (like online sessions, presentations and offline tools), please register here.
The online library ARTstor offers with more than 1.8 million images from art collections, museums, international collections of art, architecture, humanities and natural sciences a great extension to Prometheus. ARTstor offers 360-degree panoramic views of buildings from around the world. The online tutorials quickly teach the handling of collaborative work.
JSTOR (Journal storage) offers a full text search of digitized journals, books and pamphlets. The Library of the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig has subscribed to the "Film and Performing Arts Discipline Package", which includes the following magazines: Building and Landscapes, Film History, Black Camera, Jewish Film and New Media, Framework, The Eugene O'Neil Review, Journal of Film and Video, Moving Image, Visual Arts Research, Mechademia and Future Anterior. Free access is possible on the Academy grounds only.
The IBA (International Bibliography of the History of Art) is the successor to the discontinued BHA (Bibliography of the History of Art). The database is a leader in terms of the repertoire of literature on western art. It contains the collections of the Getty Research Institute from 2008 to 2009 as well as new entries, that have been created using the same thesaurus and the same standard files.
Arthistoricum combines the formerly separate virtual libraries of contemporary art and art history in a specialized information service for art, photography and design. Arthistoricum includes text and image sources and scientifically relevant information across time and media from the Middle Ages to the present.
Goal of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (DDB) (German Digital Library) is to offer everyone unrestricted access to Germany’s cultural and scientific heritage, that is, access to millions of books, archived items, images, sculptures, pieces of music and other sound documents, as well as films and scores, from all over Germany. It’s a central, national portal, aiming to bring together and network digital content from all of Germany’s cultural and scientific institutions.
The Electronic Journals Library (Elektronische Zeitschriften Bibliothek EZB) provides access to nearly 80,000 electronic journals. More than half of them are available for free and can be accessed online. Most other periodicals are available for a pay-per-view fee. Suitable for bibliographic search and retrieval of full texts.
The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) provides an overview of all available open access journals. It is possible to limit the search to specific topics. Suitable for bibliographic search and retrieval of full texts.
BASE - Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) is one of the world's largest search engines, specifically for open access scientific documents on the internet. Operator is the Bielefeld University Library. The index includes more than 70 million documents from over 3,000 sources. About 70% of the indexed documents are available online.
The finc-Discovery System is a search engine based catalogue interface with the possibility to search in the media collection of the HGB as well as in the collections of the following institutions: UB (University Library) Leipzig, HMT (University of Music and Theater Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy) Leipzig and Halle 14. finc offers numerous additional research possibilities, as selective search for media formats, languages, fields etc.
The OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue) is the traditional public online catalogue that lists the library media inventory. When searching for Academic prints and theses, please contact the archive.
The regional discovery system Lerχe is a one stop research solution for numerous libraries and archives in the science region Leipzig. It is also known as Discovery Service for Leipzig’s Science Community.
An overview of all libraries in Leipzig offers the website Bibliotheken und Archive in Leipzig. This portal is a project of students of the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences. The following libraries are important to be mentioned for (visual) artists and enthusiasts:
Stocking almost 100,000 volumes, the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts Reference Library for aesthetics and art history is among Germany’s largest museum libraries. The inventory focuses on art and art history from the 17th to the 19th century. In addition to a rich collection of historical and current artists’ monographies and otherwise barely traceable exhibition- and auction- catalogues, one can find significant source material in aesthetics and art history and also guides through the important European art scenes. Reference use only.
The Library of the Grassi Museum für angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts) offers a comprehensive 60,000 volumes historical and artistic book inventory. They also keep a valuable journal collection, a cover collection and a special stock of books on architecture. The graphic collection includes an exemplary collection of 50,000 sheets, a photographic collection and a poster collection. Reference use only.
The library of the Galerie für Zeitgenössiche Kunst Leipzig (Leipzig Museum of Contemporary Art) owns a collection of about 30,000 items. The main subjects are urban development, art in the public space, art mediation and art educational theory. Moreover, one can find rare literature on art theory, art sociology and other art-related subjects. Reference use only.
More than 35,000 books, media and other materials, which present a cross section in the field of international contemporary art, can be found at the Art Library of the Halle 14 e.V. Moreover, the Halle 14 Library archives the publications of artists, that work at the Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei. Reference use only.
The institute of art history keeps the Library of Arts as part of the Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig with suitable holdings in the Dittrichring 18-20. Research is possible via the Online-catalogue of the UBL. Reference use only.
The Leipzig Public Libraries (Städtische Bibliotheken) are an important part of the municipal services. The main central library on the Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz is the center of collections, information and communication of the public libraries, comprising a stock of approx. 430,000 items. The collection includes numerous special collections as for example the regional library, the literature archive and the Max Schwimmer artistic estate. Besides the main central library exist 15 part-town libraries and one mobile library.
The German National Library collects, archives, bibliographically classifies and makes available to the general public all German and German-language publications from 1913 onwards, foreign publications about Germany, translations of German works, and the works of German-speaking emigrants. The location Leipzig also includes the German Museum of Books and Writing.
The Karlsruher Virtueller Katalog (KVK) provides the possibility of simultaneous search in various domestic and international library- and booktrade- catalogues. Especially suitable for bibliographic research.
The bibliographic database Südwestdeutsche Bibliotheksverbund (SWB) references all kinds of media of more than 1,200 libraries in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Saxony, Saarland, and Rhineland-Palatinate. Especially suitable for bibliographic research and interest in library-holdings in Saxony.
The WorldCat provides information about holdings and services of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide. 2 billion proofs of inventory are available.
The Zeitschriftendatenbank (ZDB) is the world’s largest specialized database for serial titles (journals, annuals, newspapers etc., incl. e-journals). The ZDB actually contains more than 1.7 million bibliographic records of serials from the 16th century onwards, from all countries, in all languages, held in 4,400 German and Austrian libraries, with 13.6 million holdings information. It does not contain contents, i. e. journal articles.
Further research options are available under the menu item “Databases“.
Use of the library is free of charge. Personal registration takes place in the Academy Library with your ID or passport with a valid registration certificate and if, your student ID. Signing up online in our WebOPAC (menu bar on the left, "Sign Up"), will help to speed up the registration process in the Library significantly. When registering you agree to the Library's regulations (Bibliotheksordnung and Gebührenordnung).
Registered users have access to their user account via the WebOPAC (menu bar on the left, „Benutzerkonto“). Here you find an overview of your currently checked-out items, your reservations and potential outstanding fees. You are also able to view your personal information and edit your password. To access your user account, please enter your user ID (found on your library card) in full and without spaces (e.g. HGB01234). The default password is your date of birth (TT.MM.JJJJ).The input of your login data is also required for reservations and orders from the closed stock.
- Books: 4 weeks - up to 4 renewals possible
- DVDs, CD-ROMs etc.: 2 weeks - 1 renewal possible
- Bound periodicals: 2 weeks - up to 2 renewal possible
- Unbound periodicals: 1 week - no renewal possible
- Locker key: 3 days
- Items from a course reserve collection (“Semesterapparat”): 1 or 7 days – no renewal possible”
Loan periods can be extended from the user account 10 days before the deadline expires (see “Registration” to find out how to log in to your user account). However, extensions are only possible if the media has not been pre-ordered by someone else.
Registered users may borrow a total of up to 25 items (including a maximum of five DVDs). The loan periods for staff differ, please ask the Library staff for further information. The latest issues of periodicals, diploma theses, Academy prints and "special location" (Sonderstandort) items are designated as reference material and may only be used inside the Library. On the open shelves, items with red labels bearing the caption "nicht ausleihbar" are not for loan. We offer a reminder service via email! The deadline for returning items is independent of the reminder service. Loan periods need to be observed, even if not receiving the service e-mail for technical reasons.
Orders from the closed stock and reservations
Items located in the closed stock (Magazin), academy prints division (Hochschuldruck) or special location (Sonderstandort) are not obtainable on the open shelves and need to be ordered beforehand. These items are generally available for use the following day. Users may order up to a maximum of five items. The order can be placed via reservation-button on the OPAC or by submitting an order form. These forms are available at the library counter.
Orders and reservations of current loan items may be placed via the online catalogue. Here, users can also access their personal user account and renew their loan items ("Login" -> "Benutzerkonto"). Renewing is only possible if the items have not been pre-ordered or reserved by other users.
Please pay attention to the information on single items and their location in the WebOPAC and manage your placed orders via your user account.
Some lecturers assemble a selection of literature at the beginning of the semester, which corresponds thematically to the contents of their courses. These so-called "Semesterapparate" are placed in the open access area of the Library. The majority of the media can be borrowed for a short-term lending period. Longer-term borrowing from these collections must be confirmed by the respective lecturers.
The history of the Library begins with the inauguration of principal Ludwig Nieper in 1872. As part of the reorganization of the Königliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste zu Leipzig, the Library was founded in the northwest wing of the Pleissenburg. Basis was a donation of artbooks and textbooks by the publishing house E.A. Seemann. The original book collection comprised only 155 titles, but by purchasing and receiving other gifts the Library held 235 volumes in December 1879. From 1890, the Library was managed full-time and expanded successively. In 1930 there were around 6,000 prints and over 25,000 sheets of a graphic collection in the Library. In the meantime, the holdings have multiplied to approximately 65,000 media units, but the Library continues to pursue the original task of providing relevant literature for the studies at the Academy.