Registration & First Visit

Welcome at the BBF! Here you will find helpful information regarding your registration and your first visit to the BBF.

General Information

The BBF is a scientific institute that is open to the public. The BBF library and archive are open to anyone with scientific, journalist or personal interests. Principally, using and borrowing library holdings and  consulting archived materials is free of charge. We are also happy to answer your questions regarding our holdings and help with their usage, also free of charge. Fees will be charged for reproductions and other special services. For further information regarding our terms of use and the special services we offer, please check the  Conditions of Use and Fees for Use and Expenditures Regulations of the BBF (Benutzungs- und Gebührenordnung, PDF, in German).

If you would like to register, please provide an official document (identity card, passport) stating your current address.

You will find the entrance to our library and archive in Warschauer Straße 34 on the first floor. Coin-operated lockers are provided (money is returned). Our reading areas are equipped with safety catches for notebooks and sockets.

The link “How to find us“ will guide you to the BBF.

Special Information Regarding the Library

During opening hours, you can register with the library any time. You only need your valid ID card (=Personalausweis) or passport with proof of your current address. In addition, we offer you the option of registering provisionally in advance via an online form and pre-ordering the desired media directly from the library catalog. These will then be ready for you when you visit the library. After presenting your identity documents, you will receive your library card, which is usually valid for twelve months, and you can borrow or view the pre-ordered media. The temporary registration is valid for four weeks. You need to be at least 18 years old if you wish to register with our library. Individuals who are at least 16 years old can register if they can provide parental (or their legal guardian’s) permission.

The entire library holdings are indexed in the library catalog. Parts of the holdings are immediately accessible on open shelves in the library, while others are kept in closed stacks. In the latter case, you need to order the items via the online catalog beforehand or ask for them on site at the desk and wait approximately 15 minutes for their delivery to the reading room.

Many of the items from our holdings are available on loan for people with a current address in Berlin or Brandenburg. However, we also hold items you can only use on our premises. For further information, follow the link on “Ordering & Borrowing".

Special Information Regarding the Archive

Stricter rules are applicable to the use of archived material than for library holdings for legal reasons, e.g. regarding retention periods. The BBF archive is legally tied to the stipulations of the Archive Law of the State of Hesse (Hessisches Archivgesetz) and the  Conditions of Use and Fees for Use and Expenditures Regulations of the BBF. Owing to deposital agreements, terms of use might differ for holdings we have contracted.

If you wish to study our archival materials, you need to submit a written application form for readers (Benutzungsantrag). You can download the application form online and submit the completed form on the day of your registration. Subject to this application form, you will let us know about the purpose of your use and confirm you have accepted the terms of use and comply with them. A new request form needs to be submitted at the end of the calendar year and in the case of a changed intention of use.

We kindly ask you to make an appointment, preferably a week ahead of your intended visit by e-mail (YXJjaGl2QGRpcGYuZGU=) or telephone (+49 (0)30 293360 – 996). This way we are optimally prepared and you can avoid periods of waiting.

The delivery of archival materials  may take up to three working days. Once you know which documents exactly you wish to view and duly inform us about their shelf numbers, the respective items will be waiting for you on your arrival in the reading room.

Guides Tours

The library offers guided tours for individuals or groups upon request. On the occasion, you will be given an overview of the library holdings, its shelving and use, and an introduction to using the library catalogs and digital services. We also make sure there is enough time to answer your questions.

Please contact us to arrange a visit calling +49 (0)30 293360 – 612, e-mailing YXVzbGVpaGUtYmJmQGRpcGYuZGU= or on site.