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Subject information for students: German Studies


Currently only available in German.

Literature on German Studies is located on the 1st floor of the Central Library and in the Humanities Library, building 24.21. Multiple copies of the same book can be found in the textbook collection on the ground floor of the Central Library. You can find an overview of the library locations here.

The media is arranged thematically following our classification system. The System allows browsing by topic, which is also reflected in the shelving. In addition, you can use the subject classifications for General Linguistics, General Literary Studies and Theatre and Film Studies for browsing. All holdings of a subject are always arranged from the general to the specific. In German Studies, the editions of and secondary literature on the individual writers can be found under “ger u” and “ger w”.

The classification system also determines the call number you will find on each book. Example:


ger = German Studies

b = German literature: Old High German. Middle High German

700 - Literary genres and forms, general

k - Surname of author or editor + cutter number

To search for literature in German Studies, you can use various subject databases which can be found in the Database Information System (DBIS) of the ULB. In contrast to a search in the library catalogue, you can also find scientific articles from anthologies and journals in these databases. The individual articles are indexed by keywords, so that your search is much more precise.  To use the databases from off-campus, you will need to download the VPN client.

The databases focus on different areas:

German literature studies

Bibliographie der deutschen Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften

Germanistik online

German Linguistics

Bibliography of Linguistic Literature

Vergleichende Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften

MLA International Bibliography with Full Text

The information service "Germanistik im Netz" (GiN) is the scientific information and service portal for German Studies. The portal is suitable for research because important German subject databases as well as subject catalogues can be searched simultaneously by one search.

Citing from Wikipedia articles is controversial in academic practice. It is better to use subject-specific reference works. They offer scientifically verified information. Numerous reference works are available in the form of databases or as e-books. Reference Works in electronic form are listed via the catalogue and also in DBIS.

The following reference works are useful for research:

General Linguistics

Handbücher- zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft

Wörterbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft online


Biographical reference works on literary studies


Kindlers Literatur-Lexikon

Kritisches Lexikon zur deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur

E-books on German Studies can be found via our catalogue by entering the desired title and then using the filters to restrict the search to "online".

ULB offers the entire publication and a selection from the publication of some publishers that are also important for German studies as e-books, e.g. from de Gruyter, Metzler, Klostermann.

E-books can also be found on this website, sorted by publisher.

All journals subscribed for German Studies can be found in the Electronic Journals Library (EZB).

Current issues of German Studies journals can be found on the 1st floor of the Central Library in the journal displays. The year-bound journals are located under ger z.

ULB pursues an e-only strategy, i.e. as soon as a journal can be acquired electronically, the printed edition is cancelled in most cases. The journals are accessible via the PCs in the reading room and for HHU members also via VPN from home.

Do you need help with research for your term paper, Bachelor's or Master's thesis in German Studies, or have questions about citation? Do you want to know if you have found the most important literature and/or how you can limit the number of hits? We will be happy to support you! Just send us an with the topic of your academic paper and arrange an appointment.

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