Complementing our own collections, the library is networked to the holdings of other libraries. Our interlibrary loan (ILL) service enables the rapid delivery of documents and provides books and articles from a wide network of research libraries within days of a request. The network includes special usage conditions, including lending privileges for older books that otherwise would not be for loan. Books from Berlin libraries are transported by a special shuttle service several times a week, while books from more distant libraries are sent by mail. Journal articles are provided as photocopies or as PDFs.
In general all types of material can be ordered: books, periodicals, DVDs, CDs, musical scores, microfiches, microfilms and reproductions of manuscripts or books published prior to 1800.
There is an Interlibrary Loan shelf placed in the reading area of the South Side of the Library. On this shelf you will find the books you have ordered under your name. They are already charged to your name. You do not need to fill out a borrowing slip.
As we borrow from so many different libraries, there are no uniform loan periods. The due date of a book depends on the borrowing library. As a rule of thumb it is good to remember that books from the Staatsbibliothek and the central libraries of the three universities can be kept for a couple of months, ranging from six months at the university libraries to 12 months at the Staatsbibliothek, whereas books from the universities’ branch libraries need to be returned after a couple of weeks.
We renew the books for you automatically as long as it is possible. Books from outside of Berlin will have a paper with a due date. If you need to extend this due date, please contact someone from the ILL staff—Ruth Kessentini, Matthias Schwerdt, or Ellen Garske. We will try to arrange an extension with the borrowing library.
You may place an interlibrary loan request and the librarians will either order an additional copy or recall the book for you. Make sure you let one of our librarians know if a copy changes hands.
Make sure to contact the ILL staff a couple of days before leaving the Institute. They will provide a list of books charged to your name.
Access to Asian Resources
The library is the central service department for research information and documentation for those working at the Institute. When searching for a document, please first consult the internal library catalog. If the document is not available in the library, request a delivery via interlibrary loan.
For electronic Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other Asian language content, you are eligible for a CrossAsia account with the Berlin State Library while you are at the Institute (details see below). CrossAsia provides access to nearly 150 licensed electronic databases related to Asian studies.
Please note: As Interlibrary Loan staff do not read Chinese, Japanese, etc., you are required to provide as much information as possible to order efficiently. Copying and pasting Chinese characters will not suffice. Apart from title and author (both in Chinese characters and in Romanization), please also enter the ISBN (if available) or search for the text yourself following the instructions outlined below. When you have located the document in a library, please note the owning institution and the shelf-mark of the requested document in the interlibrary loan form in “source of reference/comments.”
- Use the MPIWG internal library catalog
- Entries of Asian material are in original script.
- Chinese entries may be either in simplified or traditional characters. Try both, as the catalog does not cross reference between entries in traditional and in simplified characters.
- When using romanization (Hanyu pinyin), separate all syllables except those for place names and person’s names like Beijing, Zhongguo, Xu Guangqi etc. For titles published after January 2017, please separate all syllables including those for place names and person’s names, e.g., Bei jing, Zhong guo, and Xu Guang qi (e.g., Xu Guang qi quan ji). For names of authors and editors both kinds will work (e.g., Sun Yingxing or Sun Ying xing).
Please note that the collectanea are only listed with their collectanea titles, not with the titles of the individual works they contain.
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin: East Asia Department (EAD)
The Berlin State Library (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin) holds the largest modern collection of East Asian and Central Asian documents in Europe. You may use the catalog for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and languages of Central Asia.
- Check “E-Books” to include a selection of CrossAsia-database resources in your search.
- Check “Electronic Journals CrossAsia” to search article titles in the databases within CrossAsia (but to access the most recent additions of Asian Electronic Journals go to CrossAsia directly, and select the databases and search articles there).
- You can also go to CrossAsia and select “CrossAsia (CJK)” to search with Chinese-Japanese-Korean character mapping in the EAD holdings, a selection of CrossAsia databases and other free resources. ("?" Next to the search button opens a list of the resources searched); select “Extended Search Area ” for hits with exact character matches from an extended search space for bibliographical data of other relevant collections and libraries.
To register for CrossAsia via MPIWG, go to the registration page, select “Berlin” as “Location of your institution” and choose “Max Planck Institute for the History of Sciences, From Invention to Innovation: Cultural Traditions of Tech. Develop. in China” from the pulldown menu. Enter your personal data and print out and sign the form. The MPIWG library staff will stamp your form and forward it to the Berlin State Library. You will receive an email after your account has been activated.
After your account is activated go to the Login Page. Select "CrossAsia.org (VHO)" as your organization and put in your username and password. Please use an internet browser that supports Java (such as Internet Explorer, Safari). you also need a Java Runtime Environment. (for detailed information see here).
- Humboldt University Library with branch libraries for Regional Studies (including China) and the library of the Centre for Japanese Studies
- Free University Berlin Library
Other options in Berlin include Free University and Humboldt University, which both also hold collections of East Asian texts. If neither the MPIWG nor the Berlin State Library have entries to your document, WorldCat is a recommended resource for further bibliographic search or for preparing an Interlibrary Loan request.
- Access the WorldCat catalog.
- Holdings of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide including holdings of the Bavarian State Library, East Asian libraries, and digitized objects from Harvard. Please note that the collection of the Berlin State Library is not included.