Digital use via online catalogue.

The ifa Library is the world’s leading specialised library covering the foreign cultural and educational policies of the German Foreign Office and all aspects of international cultural relations, cultural diplomacy, soft power, language policies, academic relations, national stereotypes and cultural geography. For over 100 years the Library has provided information services to policymakers. It is open to the public, offering the free use of its holdings and services.

The Library’s holdings consist of approx. 440,000 volumes, 700 periodicals and over 100 newspapers on microfilm. They can be searched via its online catalogue. There is also a large number of electronic resources and approximately 120,000 international research papers printed and online.

The Library is linked to the national and international interlibrary loan systems.

Online Catalogue

The Online Catalogue  contains books, journals and articles on all collecting fields of the ifa Library.

Search the Catalogue of the ifa Library

For qualified research into the older holdings, a visit to the ifa Library is recommended.

To the new acquisitions of the ifa Library

Online Resources

Click on the database logo to access the corresponding website.

*(accessible in the ifa Library’s reading room only)


Access to more than 180 mostly German language newspapers, e.g. Die Zeit, Tagesspiegel, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Der Spiegel, etc.; full-text, daily updates, back issues included.*
Access to more than 7,000 newspapers, journals and magazines from 100 countries and in more than 60 languages; daily updates, back issues covering the past 90 days.*

Reference Resources

Extensive database containing biographies, country profiles and a brief overview of important world events since 1986.*
Online edition of the most comprehensive English language encyclopaedia with access to more than 90,000 peer-reviewed articles written by 4,500 authors and 12,500 contributions from the „Britannica Books of the Year“ series.

E-Books & E-Journals

Full-text access to a selection of the Nomos publishing company’s e-books/e-journals covering the field of political sciences.*
Digital library of core periodicals from all disciplines with an emphasis on humanities, social sciences and economics; as a rule, all issues of a periodical are available full-text.*
For access to the ifa Library’s e-books, registration is required. Please turn to to create an account in order to access our holdings outside the library.

Digital Copies

Access to digitised public domain holdings of the ifa Library, e.g. publications on the topic of colonialism. The collection is under development.

Specialised Research

The library attaches particular importance to gathering up-to-date and relevant information. In addition to basic texts on foreign cultural policy, selected full texts on AKBP topics are also increasingly being made available as well as the provision of online access to selected collections. The library offers research advice and accompanies research projects and academic work through continuous specialist research.

On its Facebook page the ifa Library provides information on current events, tenders and contests in the field of international cultural exchanges.

Library Collections

  • Foreign Cultural Policies and International Cultural Relations
    • Concepts of foreign cultural policies
    • Institutions of foreign cultural activity
    • History and development of foreign cultural and educational policies
    • Cultural factors of globalisation
    • Multilateral cultural cooperation (Europe, UNESCO)
    • Foreign language policies
    • Academic relations (student and scholar exchanges)
    • (German) schools abroad
    • Cultural exchanges
    • Art and literature exchanges, research into perceptions
    • Cultural factors of international media policies
    • Human rights as a part of foreign cultural and educational policies
    • Sports exchanges


  • Intercultural Communication and Research of Exchanges
    • Exchanges of individuals (pupils, students, academics) and subsequent changes in values and standards at home and abroad
    • Cultural standards; cultural values and norms (dos and taboos)
    • Research into exchanges (analysis of the process and conditions of intercultural contacts and encounters and their psychological, social, political, cultural and economic consequences)


  • Cultural Area Studies
    • Overviews of Germany’s bilateral relations
    • Cultural situations, cultural systems, cultural policies
    • Cultural factors in mass media, in art, literature and language policies
    • Cultural identities


  • National Stereotypes
    • Images of Germany and images of other countries
    • National stereotypes in the mass media, in the arts, in literature, in schoolbooks etc.
    • Nation branding


  • Minorities and Migration Research
    • Cultural encounters with migrants in Germany as a part of foreign cultural and educational policy
    • Cultural issues of foreign minority groups in Germany
    • Psychological and cultural factors of xenophobia
    • Cultural factors in the migration policies of specific countries


  • German-Speaking Minority Groups in Foreign Countries
    • Support of German minorities as a measure of foreign cultural and educational policy and as a part of cultural relations
    • Comprehensive surveys on the history of German minorities, including new approaches or studies of outstanding quality
    • Academically sound secondary literature on the arts and literature
    • German language press from abroad (primary and secondary literature)
    • Cultural aspects of the overseas exile
    • Cultural factors of Germany’s colonial policies


  • Special Collections
    • Publications of Goethe Institutes  around the world
    • German translations of fiction from Africa, Asia and Latin America, in cooperation with LitProm
    • German language press from abroad
    • Banat Swabian church records on microfilm


Address and Opening Hours

ifa Library
Charlottenplatz 17
D-70173 Stuttgart
E-Mail: bibliothek(at)

Books to be returned can be placed in the letterbox located at the library entrance.

The library is open at the following times:

Tuesday          1pm - 6pm
Thursday      10am - 6pm
Friday            10am - 5pm

Please order the media you would like to borrow by 12:30pm or 9:30am on the respective opening day at the latest via your user account in the online catalogue or by e-mail to: lesesaal(at)

The current guidelines of the Corona Ordinance of the State of Baden-Württemberg as well as the applicable distance and hygiene rules must be observed.




Charlottenplatz 17
D-70173 Stuttgart

Telephone: +49.711.2225.147