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 approx. 120,000 international research papers (printed and/or online).

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

Online catalogue

Books, periodicals and articles covering all fields of collection of the ifa Library

Search the library catalog

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

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 on the website 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.

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/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/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/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/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 and 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

Charlottenplatz 17
D-70173 Stuttgart

Tuesday to Friday 13 – 18
Closed on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays


ifa Library

Charlottenplatz 17
D-70173 Stuttgart

Telephone: +49.711.2225.147