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 can be lend by members of the Academy as well as by external users, if registered.
KUNSTFORUM contains 25.000 texts and 200.000 images in the probably most extensive documentation of contemporary art. In addition to the printed edition it offers a source for an online research in all fields of the visual arts, e.g. painting, sculpture, graphics, photography, architecture, design or multimedia. For more information and additional material on the usage click here.
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 3 million 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. Therefore you can use the access description linked here.
The online library ARTstor offers with more than 2,5 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. As an academy member ARTstor can be used for free from home. Please choose our institution first, before login with the data of your HGB email account.
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. Academy members have free access from home. Please choose our institution first, before login with the data of your HGB email account. Here you can find a brief instruction on JSTOR.
All other databases mentioned under “Digital Library” are Open Access and can be used outside the HGB.
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.
WorldCat is the world’s most comprehensive database of information about library collections.
The Zeitschriftendatenbank (ZDB) is the world’s largest specialized database for serial titles (journals, annuals, newspapers etc., incl. e-journals) and is held by 3.700 German and Austrian libraries.
The IBA (International Bibliography of the History of Art) is a leader in terms of the repertoire of literature on occidental art.
Further research options are available under the menu item “Databases“.
Use of the Library is free of charge. Personal registration takes place in the Library of the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig with your ID or passport and 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.
Here you will find the Registration form that you need to fill in/submit in addition to the pre-registration in the local catalog. You can fill it in before your first visit and bring it with you to the registration meeting.
Terms and conditions of use and fee rates (Bibliotheksordnung and Gebührenordnung, PDF, in German only).
Data privacy statement (PDF-Format)
Registered users have access to their user account through the WebOPAC (menu bar on the left, „Benutzerkonto“). Here you have 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 password is your date of birth (TT.MM.JJJJ). The input of your login data is also required for reservations and orders from the storerooms.
- 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 keys: 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 into your user account). Extensions are only possible if the media has not been pre-ordered by someone else.
Loan periods for staff differ, please ask the Librarians for further information. The latest issues of periodicals, diploma theses, Academy prints and "special location" (Sonderstandort) items are 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 lend. We offer a reminder service per 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 and reservations of current loan items can be placed through the online catalogue. Here, you can also access your personal user account and renew the loan period. ("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.
At the beginning of the semester some lecturers put a selection of literature together, that corresponds thematically to the contents of their courses and which we call "Semesterapparate”. They are placed in the open access area of the Library. The majority of the media can be loan for a short time period. Long-term lending from these collections must be confirmed by the 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.