Simple search

Simple Search

(1) Enter your search term in the search field.

(2) Click the magnifying glass icon or press Enter.

The results list shows all entries in the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek that match your search term.

Further information

Upper/lower case

The case of the search terms is irrelevant. The entries alter Friedhof and Alter Friedhof produce the same results.

Number of search terms

You can enter multiple search terms in the search field, for example the first and last name of a person and the place where they lived. The results list only includes entries which contain all the search terms. So the more search terms you enter, the fewer results you will get.

Tip: Start off with 1-3 search terms and refine the results using filters, Filtering search results


In your search you can use the wildcards question mark ? and asterisk * for certain characters in search terms. The question mark ? stands for an individual character, while the asterisk * stands for any number of characters. Permitted characters are letters and numbers.

You would typically use wildcards when a term has several spellings or could also occur as part of a word.


  • With the entry Schmi* you would find the names Schmidt and Schmitt.
  • The entry Schiller*museum will find Schillermuseum, Schillernationalmuseum, Schiller-Museum etc.

Wildcards can be placed at the end or anywhere within the search term.

Note: Wildcards cannot be placed at the beginning of a word.

Displaying all contents

To display the entire contents of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek, enter an asterisk * in the search field and press Enter. Alternatively you can just leave the search field blank and press Enter.

The search results will be displayed in random order. You can page through the results list and narrow it down using the filters, Filtering search results


Apart from the upper/lower case, make sure you spell your search terms correctly. The search function does not offer a spellcheck and cannot find search terms with typos.

Umlauts and other diacritical characters

The umlauts ä, ö, and ü are identical to ae, oe and ue in the search. So a search for Bär would also find Baer. And vice versa - a search for Baer would also find Bär.

For the purposes of the search, letters with an accent, tilde or other diacritical mark are identical to the basic form of the letter. So, for example, a search for été (French for "summer") would also find ete and vice versa.


Hyphens are treated by the search function as blanks. So the search terms Schiller-Museum and "Schiller Museum" produce the same results.

Boolean operators

You can work with Boolean operators to refine your search. To search for results that contain the word “Schillermuseum” but not the word “Weimar” enter “Schillermuseum NOT Weimar“. If you are looking for results that contain „Schillermuseum“ or „Weimar“ enter „Schillermuseum OR Weimar“. The Operators must be in English and in upper case letters.

At the present time, searching with Boolean operators is possible in the search field of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (German Digital Library), but not in the newspaper portal.

Spacing search

A spacing search makes it possible to limit the sometimes very high number of hits. By doing this, the maximum number of words which may be found between two search words can be stipulated with the format “search word search word”~number of words.

If you enter "Schillermuseum Weimar"~17, then no more (but fewer) than 17 words may be between the words "Schillermuseum" and "Weimar". The order in which "Schillermuseum" and "Weimar" occur is not taken into consideration here; occurrences of "Weimar"..."Schillermuseum" will therefore also be found. The minimum spacing that can be searched for is one word.

Phrase search

A phrase search makes it possible to search for words in the immediate vicinity of one another; this is done by using quotation marks to group together individual words into a phrase.

Whereas, for example, a search for Schillermuseum Weimar would deliver results from all those issues in which the words Schillermuseum and Weimar occur in any position whatsoever (e.g. … the Schillermuseum in Weimar ... City of Weimar and the Schillermuseum ...), a phrase search for "Schillermuseum Weimar" would limit the results to issues in which the words Schillermuseum and Weimar follow each other in this exact order.

A combination of phrase search and wildcard search is supported; when searching for "Schillermuseum Weimar" Goethe?, you would get hits containing the phrase searched for as well as the term searched for via the wildcard. Using wildcards within a phrase search is not supported.