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Universitätsbibliothek » Germanic Studies, German Language and Literature

Germanic Studies, German Language and Literature

Special Collection 7.20 of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

ViFa Germanistik

» General information
» Stocks
» Collection principle
» Catalogues, New acquisitions lists
» Information services
» User information
» Germanic Studies databases at the University Library (UB)
» Special collections at the UB
» Internet resources referring to Germanic Studies

General information

In 1950 the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft commissioned UB Frankfurt to be responsible for the Special Collection (Sondersammelgebiet, SSG) 7.20 "Germanic Studies, German Language and Literature" (Germanistik, Deutsche Sprache und Literatur), because the UB had already strong collections in this area. It has been the library's duty since then to buy foreign and German literature on this subject.
Complementary special collections, also maintained at UB Frankfurt, are:


This Special Collection comprises monographs, periodicals, audio-visual media, electronic documents, and non-book material. We currently subscribe to around 450 specialist periodicals, of which 140 are published abroad.
Approximately 4.500 bibliographic units are bought annually.

Important parts of the collection:

  • Baroque literature
  • Gustav Freytag collection of 16th century pamphlets
  • 19th century literature and literary journals
  • Rothschild Library, approx. 20.000 items
  • Expressionism
  • Literature of the Weimar Republic (1919-1933) and exile literature
  • First editions of the German literature of the present
  • Children's literature
  • Unpublished works by authors, e.g., Karoline von Günderrode, Ludwig Börne, Karl Gutzkow, Alfons Paquet
  • Autographs, e.g., of Goethe, Schiller, Tieck, Jean Paul, Clemens Brentano, Wilhelm von Humboldt
  • Franz-Lennartz-Literaturarchiv (source material about literature, authors and literary life)

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Collection profile

Part "German language and linguistics":

  • Primary texts, source literature
  • Secondary literature with theoretical, historical, comparative, interdisciplinary and applied aspects about the German language from pre-Germanic times until today
  • Publications on Germanic languages in general
  • Comparative linguistic literature, if German is a subject, too
  • Literature about geographical linguistics, dialects, language teaching
  • Literature about German as a foreign language
  • Grammars, dictionaries, linguistic and word maps

Part "German literature":

  • Primary texts:
    We acquire as comprehensively as possible both literature from all German-speaking countries and German literature from other countries:
    • Collected works and single editions of German authors of all times, genres, and styles
    • Relevant translations
    • Children's literature
    • Literary records, CD-ROMs, and talking books
    • Literary journals
    • Libretti of German authors
  • Research literature:
    We acquire as comprehensively as possible:
    • Literature about any German literature
    • Comparative works with reference to German literature
    • Theoretical works on literature teaching
    • Literature about interdisciplinary subjects, like German and Germanic mythology, motifs, themes, and topoi
    • Literature about rhetoric and style
    • Literary semantics and semiotics
    • Literary communication, criticism, and life
    • Literature about children's books
    • Programs of theatre productions
    • Publications on German literature in foreign countries
    • Publications on Germanic literatures in general
    • Books about the history of Germanic Studies and Germanic Studies institutions

Radio plays, stage manuscripts, audio records of theatre performances are collected by our Special Collection Theatre and Film.

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Catalogues, New acquisitions lists

All the library's holdings in Germanic literature are recorded in the library's general catalogues. All journals can be found in the online-catalogue OPAC and in the Zeitschriftendatenbank (ZDB, periodicals database). Lists of the library's recent acquisitions are compiled monthly. The title entries are linked to the OPAC for direct orders.

Information services

  • Bibliograpie der deutschen Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft (BDSL)
    As the most important source of bibliographical information in the field of Germanic Studies, this international bibliographiy - also known as the quoting title "Eppelsheimer-Köttelwesch" - is an indispensable reference work. It is compiled via autopsy on the basis of the acquisitions in this Special Collection. it comprises world-wide coverage of published literature on the German language, literature and general Germanic studies, including monographs, journals, and reviews of primary literature. The traditional print edition of BDSL continues to be published.

    The online version contains documents of the period from 1985 onwards. The file is updated every three months, containing approx. 330.000 entries for the period mentioned. Subject headings and names of authors are linked to GiNFix, a list of web sources, which is maintained by GiN (Germanistik im Netz), The Virtuelle Fachbibliothek Germanistik. (see below)

  • Germanistik im Netz (GiN) - Die Virtuelle Fachbibliothek Germanistik
    Our "meta search" comprises a large virtual catalogue for Germanic studies. You can search the Germanic studies stocks at the University Library of Frankfurt, the catalogues at the DLA Marbach, HAAB Weimar, HAB Wolfenbüttel, two central bibliographic subject databases (BDSL, BLLDB), full-text databases (scholarly literature reviews, central register for digitized documents, digital journals) as well as two internet search catalogues. Both these internet source lists have been developed from own initiative; currently they each comprise approx. 1.300 selected and commented links to authors and full texts, reference works and research papers. Websites from events and job placements are also included, as well as websites from university institutes and research projects.

    In order to give our users an overview of new publications we have set up a link which automatically targets the catalogue check at the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (selected areas: linguistics, scholarly literature as well as fiction), and we provide the monthly new acquisitions list for Germanic studies at the UB.

    A quality selection of German databases and E-journals, including a database with lists of contents for journals, concludes the service.

    "Germanistik im Netz" is supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and is still being developed. Individual components are being continually added, new resources expanded and additional functionalities supplemented.

User information

Most of the library's holdings are kept in closed stacks rather than being directly accessible and have to be ordered a few days in advance.

External users are advised to inquire by post, fax or e-mail whether the books they need are available, or to contact the Special Collection specialist or the Info desk (Tel.: +49 +69-798-39205).

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zuletzt geändert am 27. April 2016


Dr. Volker Michel
Tel: 069/ 798-39786
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