Who we are

Paintings, books, music, sculptures, films, photographs, files, manuscripts and much, much more: the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (German Digital Library) gives all users access to Germany's digitised cultural and scientific heritage. 

The word "library" in our name is to be understood as the English word "library": We offer a collection of different media and objects that can be researched, viewed and often downloaded.

We are a database for cultural objects, a cultural search engine in which you can read or download books or full texts that you find here in their entirety, provided they are no longer subject to copyright restrictions. In addition to books and texts, you will also find archives, pictures and photographs, sculptures, pieces of music and other audio documents, films and sheet music, paintings, manuscripts and much more. Ultimately, everything that can be found in German museums, libraries, archives and media libraries - only digitally and in one central location. We are not an online library where you can borrow the latest e-books, for example.

We have compiled separate search tips for beginners, for schools, for research and education as well as for family research.

Why does the German Digital Library exist?

Our aim is to make Germany's cultural heritage accessible digitally, free of charge and at any time. We network the digital offerings of German museums, archives and libraries and other cultural heritage institutions so that you can search and use the digital cultural heritage in our database. All object pages also indicate how you may use an object or whether this is not permitted.

Dossiers, picture galleries and virtual exhibitions

We invite you to discover the exciting cultural objects from the German Digital Library in new contexts - organised thematically in our dossiers. Find out more about German-German history, explore other countries in the travel dossier or enjoy art and artists in our art dossier. We have compiled more than 20 dossiers for you, and counting!

Visit our virtual exhibitions too! All cultural heritage institutions in the German Digital Library can develop exhibitions with their objects and many have already made use of this offer. New exhibitions are added almost every week - you can find an overview here.

With our "DDBspotlight" we offer you a different kind of insight into our collections! We tell stories on a variety of topics and illustrate them with a wide range of cultural artefacts from the German Digital Library.

Is there a charge for using the German Digital Library?


No registration, just start searching

You can set up a user account to save search results and objects. You do not need a user account to use the German Digital Library.

Simply enter your search term (how about the city of birth as a test?) and have the results displayed. You can then refine your search with our search facets: for example, you can display only images or only texts, only objects in the public domain or only objects from museums!

Follow us!

We report on our latest developments, projects, exhibitions and much more in our newsletter (subscribe now!), on our blog and on our social media channels (Mastodon - LinkedIn - Facebook - Instagram).

Questions, suggestions or comments? Write to us! (by email to geschaeftsstelle [at] deutsche-digitale-bibliothek.de (geschaeftsstelle[at]deutsche-digitale-bibliothek[dot]de)).