Digital use via the 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.

Search the Catalogue of the ifa Library

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

The current opening hours are on tuesday and thursday from 1pm to 6 pm. Library users have to wear an FFP2 or similar medical mask. They are requested to fill in a form with their contact information.

Books to be returned can be placed in the letterbox for books located at the Library entrance.

Due to current Baden-Württemberg Covid-19 regulations, library users are required to show proof of vaccination, recovery or a (negative) Covid test.
Exception: This is not necessary for merely collecting or returning borrowed items.

ifa Library

Charlottenplatz 17
D-70173 Stuttgart

Telephone: +49.711.2225.147