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General Regulations for Library Use

General Information for Library Use |Version: 05/20

Legal basis: General Regulations on the Use of the Bavarian State Libraries (ABOB) from 18 August 1993 (GVBl. p. 635),

Library Mission

The library of the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (ZI) is a special state academic reference library with limited access. It primarily serves scholarly research and, further, professional activity and education.

Requirements for Admission

The following groups of people are admitted as library users: scholars holding a degree in art history and its related disciplines or students pursuing such a degree, as well as interested parties who need to consult the special literature of the institute for professional or other reasons. A justified interest in the use of the library must be reliably demonstrated in any case.
Admission to use the library must be applied for in person. Admission will be granted either for one-time use, or as a limited, renewable (permanent) authorization. For a single use, no reader’s card will be issued. Instead, the library requires the presentation of a photo ID and the entry of your name and address in the user book. Generally, admission is granted by issuing a reader’s card (user ID). The card is issued for a limited period. It bears a usernumber. The reader’s card is not transferrable. The reader’s card must be shown when entering the library. It is also required for consulting the holdings in closed storage.
With the permission to access the library, the user accepts the library regulations and gives his approval for the gathering and processing of his personal data. The data is not transmitted to third parties. In regard to the personal data, the user has the rights of information, correction, deletion, restriction, objection and portability. Deletion of the data has the consequence that the user may no longer use the library.
Coats, luggage, briefcases, and large bags may not be brought into the library area. Lockers with coin deposit locks are available to store these items. Books, manuscripts, documents, purses, and similar items taken into the librarymust be shown voluntarily to the desk staff for inspection when leaving.
Telephoning with mobile phones is prohibited in the reading rooms. Food and beverages may not be brought into the reading rooms or stacks.


Staff at the entrance desk can provide initial information, with further information provided by the library information desk. For questions regarding researching in art historical literature, members of the academic staff of the library are available.

Media Arrangement and Use

The library of the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte is primarily operated as a systematically organized self-service open stack library. Exceptions to this are so-called works deserving special safeguards (R- or PL- notation, Rarissima, Graphzines), auction catalogues and other sales catalogues not located in the open shelves, non-book materials, as well as media belonging to certain groups of call numbers that have been placed in storage because of lack of space. In these cases, a formal ordering procedure is required. In conformance with the character of a reference library, loans are fundamentally prohibited. (Exceptions: Use in staff offices in-house, in exceptional cases for interlibrary loan, further exceptions according to the decision of the head of the library.)
Internet resources for purposes of research and teaching may be consulted at special work stations, as well as via WLAN. Certain work stations are available to library users for connecting a personal laptop to the internet via cable.
Use the books only in the reading rooms. The open stacks should be entered only briefly to select the necessary volumes.
Regular work stations cannot be claimed in the reading rooms. Each user is required to return the books he or she has removed daily, unless they are placed on a reserve shelf. Books are returned – if not otherwise specified (Rara, etc.) – by placing them on the return shelves located in the reading room area. The number of volumes used simultaneously by a user should not exceed ten. A user may place a maximum of seven volumes from the open shelf holdings in a personal reserve collection. The shelf for personal reserves is located in the large reading room. Please note the signs with instructions for setting up a personal reserve.
In the various stack floors of the library, the works are systematically arranged corresponding to their call numbers according to thematic groups (noted with capital letters). The signage indicates on which level which topics can be found. The main floor of the library is designated as level 4. A textual overview describing the general arrangement of the topics is displayed. For orientation within the shelves, please note the labels with call numbers posted on the end of each shelf unit.

Catalogue System

Going directly to the shelf only makes sense in certain cases. The library maintains a catalogue system to record its holdings, which allows both the targeted access to the call number of a specific work as well as supporting thematic searches.
The internet catalogue kubikat of the Kunstbibliotheken-Fachverbund Florenz – München – Paris – Rom ( is the tool for finding the current call numbers (use the possibility to limit the search to the “Library of the Zentralinstitut, Munich”). It comprises title records for all media (books, auction catalogues, microforms, CDs, etc., and all periodicals), furthermore articles and reviews from art historical periodicals and collected volumes (conference publications, festschrifts, exhibition catalogues, etc.). In addition, selected electronic publications, such as articles from online journals, are catalogued and links to digitized publications are shown.
Media that are not yet on the shelves bear an additional status notice (“in process”, “bookbinder”).
The card catalogue system, discontinued in autumn 1996 and removed for the most part in December 2010, comprised the following components: the main alphabetical catalogue, a catalogue of articles, and a thematic catalogue. Of these, only those portions of the old thematic catalogue remain that have not yet been converted to digital format (without indication of call numbers).


In order to make scans from library holdings, book scanners are available at no charge.

Electronic Document Delivery System

The ZI Library offers electronic ordering and delivery of articles or individual chapters from journals and books for a fee. Following a search in kubikat, you can place your order via the button provided. Delivery occurs either in electronic format or as a hard copy via the post office. The fees depend on the quantity of material, the delivery format, and your classification within the various user groups. Detailed information about the ZI Document Delivery Service can be found on our website at: