Frobenius-Institute at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main


The Frobenius Institute since its foundation in 1925 has been carrying out ethnological and historical research. From the very beginning the focus of ethnological research was primarily on Africa, supplemented by additional research in South and Southeast Asia, Australia, South and North America as well as in the Pacific region.

The Institute has a long-lasting tradition of international, intercultural and scientific co-operation. Alongside the numerous multi-disciplinary research projects the Frobenius-Institute has been organising during the last decades, a main concern of its work has been intercultural co-operation with regard to joint conferences, publications and exhibitions.

Being the oldest institute of ethnological research in Germany the Frobenius-Institute holds an extensive ethnological collection and archive. The host of the today's collection's stock is made up of objects and photographs of research expeditions carried through by Institute's staff members in the first half of the century. Unique within Europe is the Frobenius Institute's collection of about 100.000 documentary pictures, more precisely photographs, drawings and water colours, amongst them more than 8,600 copies of prehistorical rock paintings. This collection is also accesible via the Frobenius-Online-Archive (websites partly in German).

Also significant and renowned for its outstanding stock of about 110,000 volumes and around 500 continous periodicals of ethnological specialist literature is the Ethnological Library associated to the Frobenius Institute. For literature (as well as other ethnological media) research please consult the Frobenius'-Online-Catalogue search panel (website in German).

Moreover the Institute holds an ethnographic collection (approx. 5,000 objects), the Archive of African Myths and Tales, several excerpts as well as the archival estates of significant German ethnologists as for instance L. Frobenius, A. E. Jensen, E. Haberland, R. Lehmann, K. Hahn-Hissink and others as well as it directs the archive of the German Association of Ethnology.

Being an institution of ethnological and historical research, part of the Frobenius Institute's staff members are also engaged in teaching (giving lectures and holding seminars) as well as in public relations activities (symposia, conferences, exhibitions).

Periodical Publications



Frobenius Institut e.V. an der Johann Wolfgang von Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt a. M.
Grüneburgplatz 1
60323 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: +49 (0)69 798 330 50
Fax: +49 (0)69 798 331 01