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library

Collections

The library’s collections consist of more than 25,000 titles including humanities, social science, sexological, and fine arts texts concerning LGBTIQ* themes, rare pornographic magazines, “gray literature” from the early days of the gay, lesbian, and trans* rights movements, and a nearly-complete collection of German-language LGBTIQ* movement periodicals as well as strong and extensive collections of international movement periodicals and thousands of books in English.

While our library contains many titles related to lesbian, queer, and trans* lives and experiences, for queer-feminist research we additionally recommend a visit to Lesbenarchiv Spinnboden, where Berlin’s largest collection with this focus is maintained. Other collections we work with closely are FFBiZ – Das Feministische Archiv, ein feministisches Dokumentations- und –informationszentrum and Lili-Elbe-Archiv for Inter, Trans and Queer History…

Online Catalogue

Our book holdings can be searched in the online catalogue, although online orders are not possible. A complete list of periodicals is available at the reference desk in the library.

Book Sponsorship Program & Donations

Our extensive library has been assembled almost exclusively through donations. Even today, we rely on donations of books, magazines and other media. Every donation is accepted, and whatever we cannot use ourselves is exchanged with other institutions or offered second hand.

However, we also rely on monetary donations for the purchase of rare titles and the restoration of those already in our collection. To this end, we have established a book sponsorship program, through which a very small contribution can make a very big difference. We kindly ask you to contact us before sending us any books or other objects of interest!

Opening Hours

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 2-6 pm

The use of the library and archive is possible without prior registration. Wearing a medical mask is recommended.

The library of the Schwules Museum is situated in the upper floor of the building at Lützowstraße 73. Please register your visit one week in advance via e-mail. It is a reference library only, with desks for visitors and a coin-operated copy machine. The information/help desk in the reading room offers assistance with any further questions.

Any item from the archive can be used without charge for standard private purposes. Commercial use and research is subject to fees (for details see our fee schedule).

Magazines

Our magazine holdings cannot yet be searched online, only in the library itself. The collections include 1500 titles from all over the world, ranging from political flyers to pornography, program brochures to lifestyle magazines. The collection of German-language publications from 1868 onwards is nearly complete; additionally we have hundreds of English-language titles as well as titles from across Europe and around the world.

Films

Our film holdings cannot yet be searched online, only in the library itself. The continually-growing collection includes approximately 4000 films, mostly video in VHS format, as well as ca. 600 Super8 films (porn) from the seventies. This includes around 1000 films on the topic of AIDS. Films can be viewed by appointment only at the media work station in the library.

Other Media

Other media such as records, cassettes, audiotapes, CDs and digitalized items of all sorts cannot yet be searched online, only in the library itself. Our holdings consist of an extensive record collection, live recordings of gay and lesbian radio productions, and oral history.