Opening hours

In the sense of a limited regular operation, the library of the State Institute for Music Research will resume its lending operations for holders of a library annual pass for out-of-house lending from 5 May 2020 until further notice. The reading room will remain closed. Our regulations for the use of the reading room remain unchanged in principle. For the time being we will not admit new users.

1. Research

Please research your literature needs in our catalogue, which lists just over 90% of our holdings of books, journals and sheet music. We will answer questions about the catalogue and the holdings not included in it within our attendance hours Tuesdays to Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. by e-mail or by phone at +49 (0)30 254 81-155.

2. Order

If possible, please use the order function of the catalogue or send us your order requests via e-mail. Please make sure that you give us your name, your address and your library card number at the same time.

3. Pick up

Provided the title is available and borrowable, we will prepare your order until the loan is booked and notify you by e-mail or telephone as soon as you can pick up the title at the institute's gate. Please contact the staff on duty at the gate via intercom and state your name and the reason for your visit. Your order will be handed to you outside in a carrier bag.

4. Extension of time limit

As before, we will accept extensions of deadlines by e-mail or telephone.

5. Return

Titles are also returned at the gate of the institute. Please register there by calling +49 (0)30 254 81-192. You will receive a confirmation of return by e-mail upon request.

Contact us:  Library
Phone +49 (0)30 254 81-155

The library of the Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung is a musicological research library which primarily serves the institute's staff. Nevertheless, it's reading room is open to the public and external visitors may borrow books from the library, with certain restrictions.

Information for Visitors

A library card can be issued to anyone over the age of 18 who is a legal resident of Berlin. Applicants are requested to bring a personal identity card or passport and a police registration document. The annual utilisation fee is 15 - for a card with borrowing privileges. Persons who have reached the age of 16, may be issued an annual pass for use of collection in the reading room of the SIMPK only, after submitting valid identification documents and paying a registration fee of 5,- EUR. The library card is issued without further cost if the applicant already has an annual pass from any other library of the    Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz.

The loan period is 30 days. It can be extended up to three times by phone, fax or in writing. Thereafter, the books need to be presented at the library for further renewal. If the loan period has been exceeded, the fee is 1,- EUR per book per commenced week.

The library's regulations on fees and usage, all listed fees for library services, the leaflet for the usage of special collections in the library as well as all necessary forms can be found online:



As part of the library network of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz the library of the SIMPK belongs to the GBV (Gemeinsamer Bibliotheksverbund); its    Online-Catalogue has not been completed yet. To date, the catalogue contains all acquisitions after January 2003, as well as selected parts of the collection in accordance with the research projects of the institute. The card index (alphabetical catalogue, systematic catalogue, keyword catalogue and an index for articles) contains all older titles. Books published prior to 1990 are also represented by the    Berliner Gesamtkatalog (BGK) with the ID B 763 for the SIMPK. All periodicals are also covered in the    Zeitschriftendatenbank (ZDB). Archival documents and letters can be retrieved via the portal    Kalliope.


The library has a reading room with twelve workplaces and a carrel which can be used on request by scholars for long-term projects. Every workplace is equipped with an electrical outlet for laptops; audio-equipment and a micromedia-readerprinter are located in a separate carrel. Two computer workstations provide access to the following online resources and databases: RILM Abstracts of Music Literature, Oxford Music Online (incl. Grove Music Online), JSTOR, Periodicals Index Online and DIGIZeitschriften.

Collections and focus of acquisition

The library of the SIMPK owns approximately 57,000 bibliographic items, most of them accessible on site. The library holds nearly 200 current periodicals. The focus of new acquisitions is mainly oriented towards the research projects of the institute: music theory, music history, organology and systematic musicology. The library is part of the German and international interlibrary loan system. As a special collection, the SIMPK possesses the library of the music critic and author Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt (1901-1988). The collection consists mainly of books, records as well as printed music of the 20th century.

Manuscript archive and collection of photographic reproductions

The library collection also includes a manuscript archive with about 650 music manuscripts (about 320 of them autographs), more than 6,000 letters by musicians - partly from the estates of Joseph Joachim, Franz Wüllner and August Eduard Grell, early photographic reproductions ("photocopies") of music manuscripts and prints, as well as the estates of important figures of the musical scene. Please note that the use of manuscripts, photocopies and material from the estates is only possible upon prior arrangement.

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