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The library of the Hans Arnhold Center

The Hans Arnhold Center Library

The Hans Arnhold Center library is a private reference library consisting primarily of materials written and donated by American Academy fellows, Distinguished Visitors, and guest speakers. The library collection include over 9,000 holdings, focusing on the interests of English-speaking scholars, including English translations of classics, key academic texts as well as English texts on Berlin, Germany, and European history and politics.

Library Services

Library services provided at the Academy include book lending, document retrieval, archive-visitation services, subscriptions, music score and entertainment-media lending, and assistance in obtaining online access to proprietary resources via the Berlin public library system.

Access policy: 

The library of the American Academy in Berlin is reference library designed exclusively for the fellows, Distinguished Visitors, trustees, and staff of the American Academy in Berlin. The library unfortunately does not yet participate in the public cooperative library network KOBV or GBV and therefore cannot offer any book lending to external parties. Nevertheless, the archive of the American Academy in Berlin is open for academic or research inquiries from the public. Please address such requests to Ilya Oehring, Manager, Library Services, HAC Library and Archive (see contact below).

Duration of services:

Fellows and Distinguished Visitors may utilize the library services during their stay at the American Academy in Berlin. Library services expire with the end of the fellowship or stay.

Acquisition policy:

The library collection has been created with generous support and donations of American Academy fellows, Distinguished Visitors, trustees, staff, and sponsors. The library does not monitor the print publishing market and does not purchase new holdings.

Reader privileges:

All internal readers may request materials for in-house consultation, order books from public libraries, and submit acquisition proposals to the library manager. The library pursues users’ demand-driven acquisitions. 


Materials do not circulate outside of the American Academy in Berlin. Books borrowed from external libraries may not be delivered or taken beyond the fellowship stay or work at the American Academy in Berlin and must be returned in time.

Frequently Asked Questions

The library in the Hans Arnhold Center was designed as a reference library for our fellowship program, focusing on the interests of English-speaking scholars. Library use is restricted to fellows, Distinguished Visitors, trustees ,and the staff of the American Academy in Berlin. Unfortunately, we are not a lending library and do not yet offer access to external users. There are several libraries in the immediate Wannsee are that do, however, offer access: the Library of the House of the Wannsee Conference, Departmental Library in Babelsberg/Griebnitzsee of the University Potsdam, and Gottfried Benn Library at S-Bahn Zehlendorf. 

Please address all archive requests to Ilya Oehring, Manager, Library Services, HAC Library and Archive (contact below), and include a short project description.  We are still working on the cataloging solution for archived items.

The American Academy in Berlin offers  a wide  range  of  library  services, so you  do not have to ship your own materials to Berlin. The Academy also has special lending terms with  partner  libraries  in Berlin, which  means that  you  may  hold onto your  borrowed  books  and  reference materials  for  the duration of your stay at the Academy.

All  books  will  be  delivered  to  your personal bookshelf  at  the  Hans  Arnhold  Center.  You will be notified per email when your books are ready for pick up.

Yes, fellows may send along their full project bibliographies in advance, so that the Academy’s library service can obtain requested materials before the fellow’s arrival.

Yes. If  fellows  are  at  the  start  of  a  research  project,  the Academy’s library service can  borrow  key  academic  texts  or reading companions in order to  ensure  fellows’ further research success.  Please  email  library services manager Ilya Oehring (contact below) with  a  short  description  of  the subject so the Academy can locate and obtain proper overviews of the research area or subject.

Yes, the Academy assists in integrating Berlin’s rich academic landscape into your research. The capital of Germany not only has several large state and public archives, it also has numerous societies, foundations, and associations with their own private collections and specific archives. At the start of the residency, fellows will receive a list of archive overviews and contacts. To make an appointment to visit an archive, please speak with library services manager Ilya Oehring (contact below) to facilitate the appointment and visit. Should the fellow request assistance in getting to and navigating the archive, the Academy will arrange accompaniment from a library assistant or other staff member.

Unfortunately, the Academy does not have subscriptions for digital dictionaries or online reference resources. If fellows are unable to remotely access the online services of their home university, the Academy’s library service can help you to register at the Berlin state library after your arrival so you can access proprietary online resources that way. Registration and access to online resources are both free of charge.

Yes. If fellows wish to study music scores for their private practice, concert preparations, or other purposes, the library service can borrow sheet music from the public libraries in Berlin.

The Academy’s library team provides a document-delivery service for residential fellows and Distinguished Visitors. Books are normally delivered within three days, depending on the complexity of research and access to materials. Books not obtainable from Berlin libraries can be ordered via inter-library loan and will arrive within two to three weeks (express delivery within 72 hrs). The Academy also offers its fellows research guidelines to facilitate navigation of the rich landscape of libraries and archives in Berlin, with a particular focus on non-lending libraries and state archives. The Academy’s librarian also assists fellows with research questions and preparing visits to archives.

To support fellows’ research, the below links lead to major research databases, encyclopedias and dictionaries, digital libraries, bibliographical and biographical databases, and museum archives that offer open-access document retrieval, primarily from digital collections in the fields of arts and humanities in English and German.

Contact the Librarian

Ilya Oehring

Manager, Library Service
Hans Arnhold Center Library & Archive
+49 (30) 804 83 133

Books Written at the American Academy in Berlin

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