Information Centre

Students reading magazines in our Information Centre
Students studying in the Information Centre

Welcome to the Information Centre! In our non-lending Library and Media Library you can find selected books, brochures, magazines, newspapers and audio-visual media relating to German contemporary history, to the topics addressed in our exhibitions and the collection focuses. And you can do research in the extensive specialist Library on the History of Communist East Germany.

Moreover, in the Information Centre there are countless exhibits that tell special stories: In the presentation entitled “Objects tell (Hi)stories”, for example, you can see the original telephone used in the “Derrick” TV series or a lighter used by Chancellor Willy Brandt. The presentation is supplemented by the “Object in the Spotlight”, an exhibit that changes at regular intervals.

Opening hours

Tuesday–Friday: 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Contact

Phone: (0228) 91 65-236
E-Mail: iz(at)hdg.de

Research
Visitors using the library catalogue

Library catalogue

There is an online catalogue to support your research; it includes various data pools. There you can find all the publications by the Bonn Information Centre and the Library on the History of Communist East Germany.

To our library catalogue (German)
Book shelves in the Information Centre

East German magazines

Our Library on the History of Communist East Germany also features an extensive collection of magazines that were available in the country. The magazines in question were published in the former Communist East Germany, in West Germany, the former Warsaw Pact countries, and in other countries in the West.

To the magazines (German)
Besucherinnen im Informationszentrum bei der Recherche am Computer.

East German newspapers

Our collection of East German newspapers includes county newspapers and the local and district supplements, district newspapers and a limited number of specialist newspapers. You can browse through more than 380 newspapers both as original printed editions or on microfilm.

To the newspapers (German)
LIBRARY ACCESS

The non-lending Library in the Information Centre holds around 265,000 books. Alongside a selection of German and foreign daily and weekly newspapers, there are around 25,000 print media and audio-visual media at hand in the reading room. Items kept in the storerooms can be ordered in the Library, by phone or by e-mail. In part, access to books, newspapers and magazines that go on exhibit is limited.

Special features of the holdings
Visitors get an idea of contemporary German history at the Information Centre: Photobooks, books of cartoons, exhibition and auction catalogues, illustrated books, print media and audio-visual media all give history a face. Another focus is on (auto)biographical media on people who are part of political, business or cultural life, as these convey a personal take on historical events.

Our holdings include both scholarly volumes and books and media that are used as exhibits in their own right, and books with special dedications or bibliophile first editions.

Audio-visual media
Around 4,900 film and sound recordings paint an audio-visual picture of contemporary history and feature contemporary witnesses. Selected items from the WDR broadcasting house series “ZeitZeichen”, music and films reflect the spirit of the day and the way people lived. The media holdings also include approx. 41,000 limited-access audio-visual media.

Library on the History of Communist East Germany
The former Bibliothek des Gesamtdeutschen Instituts has been part of the Haus der Geschichte since 1 January 1994 and is integrated into the Information Centre. The holdings include more than 180,000 volumes collected over a period of 50 years, making it one of the leading collections on the history of Communist East Germany and German-German relations. Alongside political history, there is a focus on East German art and on biographical print and audio-visual media that show all the different aspects of the everyday lives of the entire population. Especially noteworthy are the 2,000 magazines and 380 newspapers stocked, including 242 East German newspapers with the local district supplements on microfilm. Covering the period 1953 to 1977, the press clippings archive houses 3.5 million thematically important articles from daily newspapers and other periodicals from both East and West Germany.

You can use the Information Centre resources free of charge in the building. If you have a research enquiry, this will be processed for a fee, which depends on the effort required. In the Information Centre you have free Wi-Fi access, and there are coin-operated photocopiers.

We offer introductions to the Information Centre free of charge for groups. Please register by calling Visitor Services on 0228 91 65-400.

OBJECT IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Exciting exhibits in the Information Centre

The lectern from the Communist East German Press Office, the grand piano damaged by flooding from Dresden’s Semperoper and Gerhard Schröder’s football shirts: The “Object in the Spotlight” in the Information Centre showcases exciting exhibits that are regularly changed. The objects are newcomers to the collection, have a direct link to current events and exhibitions or reference an historical anniversary.

Object in the spotlight: a The Beatles' bass drum
PRESENTATION OF EXHIBITS

Browsing between the books

In the presentation “Objects tell (Hi)stories” in the Information Centre, we showcase selected exhibits that are especially interesting and informative as regards contemporary history: The tax declaration on a beermat written by Friedrich Merz, Detective Derrick’s phone, or the shoes of the first Miss Love Parade are all part of our “cultural memory” and symbolize a particular event or a particular time. Enjoy browsing round and discovering things between the books!

A young man taking a picture in our Information Centre
OBJECT DATABASE

Research museum objects online

Our “Search the Collections” object database enables you to research items in the collections at the four Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Foundation sites. Currently you can explore around 66,000 objects and audio-visual media.

To our object database (German)