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Seek. Find. Discover: Open day at the German National Library in Frankfurt am Main

From 10:00 to 17:00 on Sunday 26 May 2019, we invite you to our premises at Adickesallee 1 in Frankfurt am Main to enjoy a varied programme of events.

Free admission. Free tickets for every guided tour will be available on site from 10:00 onwards – as well as afternoon tickets from 13:00.
Programme of events (available only in german)
With the kind support of Gesellschaft für das Buch.

A look behind the scenes

During the tour of our premises and the underground stacks, you will learn lots of interesting things about the history and tasks of the German National Library.
Duration: 60 Minutes
Start: 10:30 │ 11:00 │ 11:30 │ 12:00 │ 12:30 │ 13:00 │ 13:30 │ 14:00 │ 14:30│ 15:00 │ 15:30 │ 16:00

Seek and you shall find

Tour of the reading room, with an introduction to the many research options online and on site.
Duration: 30 Minutes
Start: 11:00 │ 12:00 │ 13:00 │ 14:00 │ 15:00 │ 16:00

Descent into the underworld

A guided tour of the underground stacks, the nation’s knowledge repository.
Duration: 40 Minutes
Start: 10:30 │ 11:30 │ 14:00 │ 15:00 │ 16:00

Discs, cylinders, scores: music at the library

The German Music Archive in Leipzig also forms part of the German National Library. Sheet music and sound carriers are collected here. There is also an impressive exhibition, a special reading room, historical playback devices, and a listening booth. We will present all of this to you and show you how you can also use our music collection in Frankfurt am Main.
Location: Conference room on 1st floor
Duration: 45 Minutes
Start: 11:00 │ 12:30 │ 14:30 │ 15:45

A closer look at books

Cataloguing makes it possible to search for, find and discover a book in the library catalogue. Find out what cataloguing involves, what the difference is between a “headword” and a “keyword”, and which tools we use for our cataloguing work.
Duration: 45 Minutes
Start: 10:30 │ 11:45 │ 13:00

Computers catalogue e-books

In order to make e-books and online dissertations findable in the catalogue, they must be indexed and catalogued. We show you how a computer analyses the text of an online publication before assigning it to a subject area and allocating headwords to it.
Duration: 45 Minutes
Start: 13:30 │ 14:45 │ 16:00

What do we digitise?

We scan all tables of content from publication year 1945 onwards and make our collections more easily searchable. An introduction to the digitisation process directly in the stack.
Duration: 40 Minutes
Start: 10:00 │ 11:00 │ 12:00

A journey through our IT infrastructure

This tour of the data centre provides insights into the data streams involved in the German National Library’s information infrastructure.
Duration: 50 Minutes
Start: 11:00 │ 12:30 │ 14:30 │ 16:00

Between climate and electricity: technology

Guided tour of the National Library’s technical facilities, ventilation channels and cooling machines, from the rooftop to the underground levels.
Duration: 80 Minutes
Start: 11:15 │ 14:00 │ 15:30

What remains from the time of flight and exile?

Insights into the work of the German Exile Archive 1933–1943

The German Exile Archive 1933–1945 is a platform for discussing the subjects of exile and emigration during the Nazi era. The experience of exile affects all areas of life. The holdings of the German Exile Archive 1933–1945 and the scope of its collection reflect this diversity. The Exile Archive collects exile publications, personal legacies from people forced into exile, and archives belonging to exile organisations.

What did the author Stefanie Zweig experience during her exile in Kenya? Which documents from this time did she keep? Is it worth archiving hotel receipts and sheets of notepaper for posterity? We provide insights into our work using exhibits from the permanent exhibition “Exile. Experience and Testimony”, the temporary exhibition “Oskar Maria Graf: Rebel, Global Citizen, Storyteller” and selected documents.

Duration: 30 Minutes
10:30: Guided tour of the permanent exhibition
11:30: Stefanie Zweig – insights into her legacy
12:00: “Oskar Maria Graf: Rebel, Global citizen, Storyteller”. Guided tour of the temporary exhibition
12:30: How do objects find their way into the archive? Insights into archive work
13:30 Escape across the Pyrenees – insights into a legacy
14:30: Guided tour of the permanent exhibition for children from the age of 10 accompanied by an adult
15:00: “Oskar Maria Graf: Rebel, Global citizen, Storyteller”. Guided tour of the temporary exhibition
15:30: How do objects find their way into the archive? Insights into archive work
16:30: Guided tour of the permanent exhibition

Meet the director!

After enjoying the view of the Frankfurt skyline, you can take a seat at the round table in the director’s office: Ute Schwens, director and permanent representative of the director general in Frankfurt am Main, explains the tasks of the German National Library and answers your questions.
Duration: 30 Minutes
Start: 13:30 Uhr │ 15 Uhr

Cineasts’ delight

Guided tour of the text archive and library of the DFF – German Film Institute and Film Museum, one of the key specialist collections and libraries for the medium of film. Here you will see newspaper articles, lending and press materials as well as censorship cards, film programmes and film magazines.
Duration: 45 Minutes
Start: 12:00 │ 14:00 │ 15:30

Art for architecture

The art historian Ruth Langen-Wettengl, author of the book “Zugabe. Kunst in der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek in Frankfurt am Main” (“Encore. Art in the German Library in Frankfurt am Main”), takes visitors on a guided tour of the artworks by Per Kirkeby, Georg Baselitz, Ilya Kabakov, Candida Höfer, Tobias Rehberger and Jochen Gerz.
Duration: 60 Minutes
Start: 11:30 │ 13:00│ 15:00

Offers for families:

Do you have my favourite book?

Guided tour for children aged 6 to 10 accompanied by an adult
What journeys do the books go on? Where are the books, anyway? And how do we find them? Join us on a tour of discovery through the entire library.
Duration: 60 Minutes
Start: 10:30 │ 12:15 │ 15:45

From pages to books: a step-by-step introduction to bookbinding

Workshop for children from the age of 7

What holds a book together and envelops it? From folding the paper and stitching the pages to decorating the book cover, we introduce the tools and different stages of the bookbinder's craft.
Location: Lecture room on 1st floor
Start: 11:00

Exil. Erfahrung und Zeugnis

Führung durch die Dauerausstellung „Exil. Erfahrung und Zeugnis“ für Kinder ab 10 Jahren in Begleitung Erwachsener
Dauer: 30 Minuten
Start: 14:30 Uhr

Search and discover

Guided tour for young people from the age of 11

What does a national library actually do? A paper chase with questions and answers guides us through the library. Seeing, hearing – learning!
Duration: 60 Minutes
Start: 13:45

These offers can be booked throughout the day:

E-quiz: this is where we play music!

A quiz to discover different online resources relating to music. 500,000 hours of digitised music, directly accessible on the library’s computers. If your answers to the questions generate the correct solution, an instant prize awaits!Location: Main reading room


Pop-up books, literature in a suitcase, a novel on index files: an exhibition at the issues desk in the main reading room presents special exhibits from the collection of the German National Library.
Location: Main reading room

Where books live

The actress Sarah C. Baumann reads texts by Umberto Eco, Walter Moers, Graham Swift and others. She spirits us away to mysterious libraries and places of disorder, tells us stories about the smell of leather and paper, and relates tales of curious creatures that seek to keep literature alive.
Location: Reading room
Duration: around 10 minutes, starts several times an hour

Work and career

Find out about the German National Library as an employer! Talk to our HR department, IT staff and trainees. They will answer your questions regarding training, dual degree courses and job vacancies.
Location: Foyer on 1st floor

30 years of Friends of the Library

Meet the friends of the German National Library! The members of “Gesellschaft für das Buch” (“The Book Association”) inform you about their 30 years of dedication, sponsored projects, their activities and the benefits of membership. Get to know people who actively support the library.
Location: Foyer on 1st floor
Time: 12:00 to 15:00


“Rob´s Kulinarium” in the cafeteria and restaurant offers everything you need to keep your strength up between tours: filled bread rolls, various menus including vegetarian cuisine, a large salad buffet, fruit salad, and a generous selection of cakes and drinks.

Photographs will be taken at this event, which may be published. Among other things, please see the data protection notification at the event regarding your right to object.

Last update: 04.04.2019

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