Institute of Modern Languages Research In this section

The Robertson Room in 29 Russell Square
The Robertson Room at the IGS Library in Russell Square © Katherina Hehn

The Germanic Studies Library (formerly the Library of the Institute of Germanic Studies) is now located at the Senate House in Malet Street (access also from Russell Square).

The collection is a unique resource for researchers in the field of Germanic languages, literature, culture and philosophy. Since its inception in 1950, it has been distinguished by the strength of its interdisciplinary and international outlook, and it has for decades supported the study of the German language and literature in its cultural context.

Devoted principally to German language and literature, its holdings trace their evolution and history from their beginnings to the present day. Subsidiary collections on subjects such as other Germanic languages, history, art and folklore are integrated into the holdings supporting the general intellectual thrust of the Library. Works by philosophers are generally integrated into the literature sequences. Books on German film and theatre history, as well as works relating to the the history of German studies in, above all in the UK, but also in the German-speaking countries, are also collected.

The holdings of the Germanic Studies Library are extensive, comprising:

  • books (75,000 volumes)
  • journals (25,000 volumes, nearly 300 current subscriptions)
  • microfiches (over 22,000)
  • theses, and
  • archives

Part of the collection is on open shelves, located in the Middlesex North Library on the fourth floor of the Senate House. The entire collection is for reference only; no books or journals may be borrowed, but photocopying facilities are available. The majority of the material requires German reading skills. Holdings are available electronically via the online catalogue of the Senate House Libraries.

Gundolf Collection

Read Jillian Saucier's blog post about the library of poet and scholar Friedrich Gundolf.

Find out more