Contacts and opening hours
+49 30 300903-72 / -78
(from 6 July)
- Temporary regulations are in place to protect our users and staff.
Potsdamer Straße 2
The library is on the 5th floor.
Our library catalog contains information about books, DVDs and festival materials. It is currently available only in German. Information on other collections can be found below. To the library catalog in German language
DownloadComplete collection (PDF) Microfilm (PDF) Current subscriptions (PDF)
Zeitschriftendatenbank (ZDB)To the ZDB (in German, switch to English possible)
We currently subscribe to approx. 150 German and international film journals. Our overall collection encompasses roughly 3,800 different titles. The most important German film journals as well as selected English ones from before 1945 can be viewed on microfilm. A portion of our journal collection can be researched using the Zeitschriftendatenbank (ZDB, in German, switch to English website via EN possible).
A limited number of vaccinated, tested or recovered users may use the reading rooms including work desks and browsing the shelves. Please take a basket and fill in your contact details at the library entrance.
Only certain desks may be used according to distancing rules. Desks you may not use are marked and there is no chair. Please refrain from moving chairs and using marked desks.
Tue 10:00–18:00, Thu 12:00–20:00
Copying and scanning in self-service is currently limited. Please take a picture – without activating flash – of the pages you need and confer to copyright rules.
You can take out pre-ordered items without being vaccinated, recovered or tested and without giving contact details. However, if you want to browse the shelves in the library first, you'll need to produce proof of being vaccinated, recovered or tested and you'll need to submit your contact details. If you know exactly which item you wish to lend – e.g. after consulting our online library catalogue – please send us an email to pre-order the item(s) you request. Please include title(s) and call number(s) and send your email to: email@example.com
This minimizes the number of users present in the library and thereby helps to enable as many people as possible to make use of the library.
Orders received before 12 noon are available for pickup and loan the next day the library is open; orders received later than noon require an additional (open) library day to process.
We are unable to process incomplete orders.
Media loans are provided in stacks under your name on the shelf opposite the loan desk. The items will have already been booked to your library account, making the final processing of loans contactless. You simply present the media and your library card at the desk.
You can return items without being vaccinated, recovered or tested and without giving contact details. Media loans being returned are placed on a book cart in the library’s entrance area.
A return receipt, sent by email, will only be issued on request.
Your library account will be updated following a storage period of the returned items, which may take up to three days.
Our library houses a comprehensive inventory of works on the history and aesthetics of film and television. This includes publications on film makers and institutions, edited collections and academic monographs, publications on film theory and film criticism as well as a large collection of film-specific reference works. Beyond our large collection of historical film journals, we subscribe to roughly 150 current periodicals. Beyond this, we also collect ‘gray literature,’ meaning publications and printed matter not intended for commercial sale such as materials related to film festivals, movie theater programs and distribution and exhibition catalogs. Another special feature is our Press Archive, which culls articles daily from German and foreign magazines and serves as a helpful instrument in the research of film and television, persons, institutions and festivals.
Books with blue classification labels are considered reference works and include general lexica, specialist encyclopedias, bibliographies, filmographies, almanacs and directories. These books may not be loaned out.
Our collection of academic monographs (white classification label) is organized by theme and is generally available for loan. Books at the beginning of each thematic grouping (yellow classification label) serve as reference works and are thus not eligible for loan.
The books are listed in the library catalog. You can research based on person name, institution, key words or phrases, book or film titles, series and lines, publisher, signature or ISBN number.
Up to five books may be loaned out at once. Books may loaned for 14 business days.
We currently subscribe to approx. 150 German and international film journals. Our overall collection encompasses roughly 3,800 different titles. Journals are part of our periodicals department and may be read in the library. A list of titles in our journal collection, including signature numbers, is available for review. Beyond this, a portion of our journal collection can be researched using the Zeitschriftendatenbank (ZDB).
To the ZDB
For research into journal articles, we offer in-house access to the FIAF's "International Index to Film and Television Periodicals" database. It lists sources (1972+) for film journals of international significance (FIAF Journal List), most of which are in our collection.
The most important German, and some English language, film journals from before 1945 can be viewed on microfilm. Please arrange in advance for an appointment to use the microfilm readers or the scanning device with storage function.
Electronic journals (licensed)
Archivos de la Filmoteca / Filmoteca de la Generalitat Valenciana (password protection)
Bref - Film-Datenbank (password protection, in Germany without video access)
Cinefex. 118.2009 - 142.2015 (password protection)
Epd Film. 22.2005 - (password protection)
Film-Echo, Filmwoche - Webseite mit Kurzmeldungen (password protection)
FKT. 2010 – (password protection)
Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaft (M&K). 2000 - (password protection)
Monthly Film Bulletin. 1.1934,1(Feb.) - 58.1991,687(Apr.) (password protection)
Sight & Sound. 1932 - (password protection)
SPIO Produktionsspiegel. 2000 - (password protection)
The Press Archive contains clippings from daily and weekly newspapers from Germany and abroad. Our extensive press clippings collection was maintained systematically from 1968 up to 2013.
Research is possible based on a variety of criteria:
– Film criticism (by original title)
– Television criticism (by broadcast date)
– Festival, film and television prizes
– Film and television analysis
– Country (film and television history, broadcast organizations)
– Film and television institutions
– Film and television industry (media hubs, producers)
– The press documentation is available for in-library use only. For copyright reasons we cannot make or send duplicates.
The collection of catalogs from national and international film festivals encompasses roughly 1,200 festivals, with a focus on European – and in particular German-language – festivals. Among other collections, the complete publication archive for the Berlinale (International Film Festival of Berlin) is kept with us. The collection also covers programs, posters and press reviews. The online search form can be used to research based on festival name, location or other keyword. These materials are kept in the closed stacks, in some cases at other locations. Please contact us if you wish to visit the archive.
The Berlinale archive is supplemented by articles kept in our Document archive, which contains materials on individual films shown at the festival.
Movie theater programs
The library’s collection of movie theater programs encompasses roughly 52 meters of shelf space, organized by country, city and movie theater name. The focus of the movie theater program collection is German cinemas from about 1970 up to 2019. Since 2020, the collection only includes Berlin movie theater programs plus movie theaters entering their programs for the yearly “Prize of the Association of German Cinematheques”. The collection of film archive programs is international and covers museums from around the world. Only a few of the programs can be searched via the online library catalogue, so please contact us if you are interested in this collection.
Our holdings are supplemented by the collection in our Document Archive (especially movie theater programs and materials from pre-1970).
An extensive collection of international film archive’s cinema programs (from ca. 1970) is located in FIAF – International Federation of Film Archives’ Brussels office.
DVDs and Blu-Rays
Our DVD collection can be reviewed in the library catalog. Searches can be made based on original title or participating person. DVDs can be loaned for 14 library business days. Three reservable stations are available in the library to view the films. To work at a viewing station, please contact the Loans counter; the desired DVD will be handed out there. Use of the viewing stations is only possible for library members. Guests without library user ID are required to leave a deposit.
Please also see the film offerings from the Film Archive of the Deutsche Kinemathek. There you’ll find a huge number of films from 1895 to today, prepared on various storage media and ready for review at special viewing stations with advance reservation.
The library is open for use by the general public (16 years and older) at no charge. Materials may only be loaned to library members. Library cards can be issued on site. Our premises contain plentiful space for laptop work and three DVD viewing stations. A majority of our collection can be looked up using the online search function and then retrieved from the open stacks. Many of the special collections, such as festival catalogs, movie theater programs, loan materials, DVDs and older publications are in the closed stacks or at different locations. We would be glad to help you determine how you can use those materials and support you in your research.
Library card: free of charge; entitles the user to book/DVD loans
Replacement card due to loss: 5 €
Proof of police registration of address within the Federal Republic of Germany is required for the issuance of a library card. This can be demonstrated through a photo ID showing a valid address or by a passport and police registration form. Citizens of countries outside the European Union or stateless visitors must also provide a copy of a residence permit that is valid for at least three further months, or valid proof of matriculation (‘Immatruklationsbescheinigung’) from a university in Germany. In some cases, a library card may only be issued for a limited period.
Users with a residence in Germany and valid library card can loan out up to five books and five DVDs at once. Books may be loaned for 14 museum business days.
Materials may be extended by email or telephone so long as a hold has not been placed on the book. Overdue books will be assessed at a fee of 0.30 € per museum business day and item. Costs of 1 € per reminder letter will be assessed for written reminders.
Newspapers, ‘gray literature’ (publications and printed matters not intended for commercial sale) and books labeled ‘Nur Lesesaal’ may not be loaned.
Working in the library
A majority of our collection is in the open stacks, including newspapers and the press archive. Workstations for reading or working on a laptop are available in all areas of the library. WiFi is available throughout the entire library.
Please turn off your mobile phones.
A limited number of microfilm readers and DVD viewing stations are available and can be reserved. To use the microfilm readers or the microfilm scan device with memory function, please call to arrange an appointment at +49 30 300903-73 or +49 30 300903-652 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Storing pages to your personal USB drive is free.
Special locations and satellite repository
A portion of the books and magazines as well as the ‘gray literature’ (publications and printed materials not intended for commercial sale) are not located in the open stacks or recorded in full in the library catalog. They are instead stored in the compact shelving system at Potsdamer Platz or in the satellite repository. Materials from the satellite repository must be ordered 8 days before usage. Please contact us and we’d be happy to help you with your research as well as arrange for materials for your use.
Our collections at the special locations:
– Books and magazines published before 1945
– Older editions of reference books and yearbooks
– TV magazines and program galleys
– Festival catalogs
– Corporate catalogs from distribution and production companies
– Trade fair catalogs
– Movie theater and film archive programs
– Gray literature from film institutions
– City events magazines
Copies and scans
Card-operated copiers and a book scanner are available (0,05 €/DIN A4 black-and-white copy; digital scans made to a user’s own USB stick are free of charge). Users may photograph the contents as well, as long as flash is not used.
Media from pre-1945 and university papers that have not been publicly released may not be copied or photographed. Some exceptions to the copying rules may be permitted with the library’s consent.
Coat check and lockers
Please check jackets and bags at the coat check on the ground floor, use the lockers at the library entrance or alternatively the lockers on the 2nd lower level (2.UG). The Loans desk offers transparent bags for storing personal items that you might require while on the library premises.
Comments and criticism
Have an improvement suggestion, praise or criticism for us? Talk to us, write us an email or use the opinion boxes located in the library.