Image adapted from sketch by Montserrat de Pablo.

About the Library

Welcome to the library of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG). The development of our collections and services is closely tailored to the needs of the researchers working here at the Institute and their very diverse research topics. We exclusively provide support to our scholars for their research, delivering whatever they need as quickly as possible. We have a large collection of print and digital sources and secondary literature here in the library, and offer MPIWG scholars round-the-clock access to our extensive print and digital collections and to study desks.


We provide a range of collections and services, including:

  • Special interlibrary loan service to bring you print and digital sources straight from other collections worldwide
  • Digitization of sources for research and publications
  • Help with optical character recognition and image processing
  • Copyright research and help with obtaining permission to reproduce materials for publications
  • Assistance with bibliography management, including software such as Zotero or EndNote

Opening Times

As an internal research library, collections and services are accessible to all collaborators of the Institute 24/7. Personal support and advice are provided weekdays 9:00 to 17:00.

Library Regulations

  1. The library of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) is the central unit for research information and documentation. As a service unit for the research groups at the Institute, privileges for accessing the collections and services are restricted to members, Visiting Scholars, and cooperation partners of the Institute.
  2. As an internal research library, the collections and services are continuously accessible to all collaborators of the Institute, also in the evenings and at weekends. Personal support and advice are currently provided during office hours weekdays 9:00 to 17:00.
  3. All items of the printed collections—with the exception of the rare book and reference collections, single issues of journals, and newspapers—can be borrowed directly on a self-service basis and lent to the user's office. To check out items, please use the check-out terminals available at the library exits. Items provided by the interlibrary loan service (ILL) are automatically checked out on the user's account when they are made available on the ILL shelf.
  4. The library is for in-house use only. All items have to remain permanently available either at the library or in the offices. Therefore, taking books out of the Institute is not permitted. This holds for both MPIWG and ILL items. The users are responsible for all items they have borrowed.
  5. In cases of usage not complying with these regulations, library privileges such as borrowing or the ILL service can be revoked.
  6. Additional information on the usage of the library, its collections, and services is given during the regular library introductions.