About the German collection
The Library holds vast resources on German history ranging from the Middle Ages to the reunification. The IHR’s collections focus on primary sources with supplementary guides, bibliographies, reference works and periodicals. There are strong holdings for the regional and local history of Germany: half the collection consists of material from the numerous German states, making the IHR a perfect source for both general and regional German History in Britain.
The holdings are particularly strong in medieval history, religious and reformation history as well as in 19th century history. As an example, sources for nineteenth-century political history are very extensive, including nearly 80 volumes of Otto von Bismarck’s collected works of political writing.
Finally the IHR library holds an almost complete set of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica (MGH) on open access. This is the most significant collection of medieval sources for German and European history
The majority of the German collection is located in closed access, either in the onsite store, or for local material (classmark EGL) the offsite store. See further information about requesting items.
Related IHR collections
Due to the interdependency of German history with the histories of other countries the holdings crossover with several other collections in the IHR:
- Carolingian & Holy Roman Empire collection (classmark E.4)
- International Relations collection (classmark IR) see below for further information.
- Military collection (classmark W)
- Colonial Africa collection (for German territories see classmark CLB.5)
- European Jewish history collection (classmark EY)
- Crusades collection (classmark EU)
Organisation of the main German collection (classmark EG)
The items are classified with the letter EG (EGG for oversized material) subdivided as follows:
Bibliographies and Archive Guides, General reference works, Auxiliary sciences, Atlases and Historiography
Works covering all periods: General works including Biographical dictionaries
Organised chronologically as follows:
Each period is then organized by type of source material:
The general material is at the beginning (EG.20) followed by Constitutional & Legal works (EG.21) etc.
The journals cover both general and specific local subjects. German History and Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters are examples of the former and for the latter we find Hansische Geschichtsblätter.
Journals on German history will also be in other sections such as E.9 (general European history) examples include Historische Zeitschrift and Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung and in ER.9 (Religious history) Revue d’Histoire ecclésiastique.
Within the local collection the material is also subdivided by the topic of the material: General, Constitutional & Legal, Government/administration & Political, Religious, Economic & Social History and Miscellaneous.
- EGL.1 General works
- EGL.10 Brandenburg/Prussia to 1701
- EGL.11 Prussia 1701-1947
- EGL.12 Brandenburg from 1947
- EGL.13-EGL.134 Berlin
- EGL.135-EGL.141 Potsdam, incl. neighbouring towns
- EGL.15-EGL.17 East & West Prussia to 1920 [afterwards Poland]
- EGL.18-EGL.20 Pomerania to 1945 [afterwards Mecklenburg Poland]
- EGL.21-EGL.23 Mecklenburg [for Rostock see also EGL.42]
- EGL.24 Posen 968-1316 [afterwards Poland]
- EGL.25 Posen 1815-1918 [afterwards Poland]
- EGL.26-EGL.28 Silesia 1137-1920 [afterwards Poland]
- EGL.29-EGL.32 Saxony
- EGL.33-EGL.36 Anhalt [Saxony-Anhalt from 1952]
- EGL.37-EGL.39 Thuringia
- EGL.40-EGL.41 Schleswig and Holstein [see also Denmark]
- EGL.42-EGL.44 Hansa Towns (incl. Bremen, Hamburg, Lübeck, for Rostock see also EGL.22)
- EGL.45 Braunschweig: Duchy, etc., to 1946 [see EGL.50 for local history]
- EGL.46 Hanover: Duchy/Electorate/Kingdom to 1946 [see EGL.52 for local history]
- EGL.47 Oldenburg to 1946
- EGL.48 Schaumburg-Lippe to 1946
- EGL.49-EGL.55 Lower Saxony from 1946
- EGL.56-EGL.626 (Prussian) North Rhine to 1946
- EGL.627-EGL.632 Westphalia to 1946, incl. Lippe-Detmold
- EGL.633-EGL.69 North Rhine-Westphalia from 1946
- EGL.70-EGL.741 Hesse, incl. Hesse-Marburg, Hesse-Cassel, Hesse-Darmstadt, Nassau, Hesse-Nassau, Waldeck
- EGL.742-EGL.747 Palatinate to 1815
- EGL.748-EGL.753 Rhineland-Palatinate (Bavaria) from 1815 to 1945
- EGL.754-EGL.791 Rhineland-Palatinate from 1945
- EGL.792-EGL.799 Saarland
- EGL.80-EGL.841 Baden to 1951
- EGL.842-EGL.847 Württemberg to 1951
- EGL.848-EGL.853 Hohenzollern
- EGL.854-EGL.891 Swabia, Duchy/Kreis to 1805
- EGL.892-EGL.897 Baden-Württemberg from 1952
- EGL.90-EGL.97 Bavaria
The MGH is the most significant collection of medieval sources for German and European history. It is organized by series:
- EGM/A Antiquitates
- EGM/D Diplomata
- EGM/E Epistolæ
- EGM/L Leges
- EGM/M Miscellaneous series
- EGM/S Scriptores
- EGM/T Schriften
Further information can be found on the MGH website.
This collection focuses on sources relating to the interdependency of European powers and the United States over the last two hundred years. The sections on diplomatic history within this collection have been divided into four chronological groups: pre-1870 (IR.4), 1870-1919 (IR.5), 1919-1945 (IR.6-IR.7) and post-1945 (IR.8). The importance of German history for this chronological order is evident, as it has been organized around war with German participation. Major parts of the collection relate to debates on the origins of the wars, peace negotiations or the Nuremberg trials.
Subsections within the International Relations collection explicitly devoted to Germany:
- IR.41/Ger Diplomatic History: General Collected Sources: Germany
- IR.42/Ger Diplomatic History: General Secondary Works: Germany
- IR.513 Diplomatic History: 1870 – 1919: Collections of Diplomatic Papers: Germany
- IR.523 Diplomatic History: 1870 – 1919: Autobiographies, Memoirs, Speeches, etc.: Germany
- IR.548 Diplomatic History: 1870 – 1919: Immediate Origins of World War One
- IR.549 Diplomatic History: 1870 – 1919: 1914 – 1918
- IR.64 Diplomatic History: From 1919 to Present Day: War Guilt Controversy
- IR.65 Diplomatic History: From 1919 to Present Day: Peace Conference & Treaties
- IR.712 Diplomatic History: 1919 – 1945: Collections of Diplomatic Papers: Germany
- IR.722 Diplomatic History: 1919 – 1945: Autobiographies, Memoirs, Speeches, etc.: Germany
- IR.81/Ger Diplomatic History: Since 1945: Collections of Diplomatic Papers: Germany
- IR.82/Ger Diplomatic History: Since 1945: Autobiographies, Memoirs, Speeches, etc.
- IR.84 Diplomatic History: Since 1945: Nuremburg Trials