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The Reading Room offers 40 desks and 3 desktop computers for research. The desks have electrical outlets for laptop computers.

The materials may be used in the Reading Room without borrowing privileges.

You can scan material at our work stations. A Xerox machine is located in the foyer of the Philosophikum. You need to buy a copy card.

A microfiche/microfilm reader is available. Please ask the librarian for help.


The books in the library are classified using the Dewey Decimal System. This system uses numbers from 000 to 999 to classify books by subject. Further specification, if needed, is given by the addition of numbers after a decimal point. 

Here is a list of the main classes. 

Here is a list of the classes, divisions and sections most used in our library..


The collection concentrates on American history with a special emphasis on the following areas:

  • Social history
  • Immigration and ethnic minorities
  • Transnational networks in the Atlantic and Pacific worlds


  • 68.000 books
  • 85 journals and newspapers
  • CD-Roms
  • Maps
  • DVDs
  • Collection on microfilm, including for example General records of the Department of State, COINTELPRO, Despatches from U.S. ministers, Slaves narratives etc. A list can be viewed here.