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The GIGA is home to the largest non-university information centre for area studies and comparative area studies in Germany. The four regional libraries collect literature on economic, political, and social developments in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The collection comprises about 200,000 books and approximately 11,000 online journals – plus more than 120,000 online documents.

The Information Centre (IZ) is publicly accessible and operates as a reference library with the option of weekend lending. The publications are largely available for inter-library loan. Identified as an “outstanding research library,” the IZ was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Opening Hours

Location Neuer Jungfernstieg 21, Collection Africa, Latin Amerika, Middle East and Global (Comparative Area Studies, Theory and Methods) Phone: +49 (0)40 - 428 25 - 580 | +49 (0)40 - 428 25 - 519 (Periodicals)

Location Rothenbaumchaussee 32, Collection Asia Phone: +49 (0)40 - 42 88 74-14 / -16

Due to the Corona pandemic, borrowing of ordered media by prior appointment: Tuesday and Thursday: 11 a.m.–4 p.m. We try to be reachable by phone at these times.

The GIGA Information Centre will remain closed for use. Starting in July 2021, it will once again be possible to order media by e-mail and to borrow them for three weeks.

Media can be ordered by e-mail to ausleihe@giga-hamburg.de. Incoming orders are processed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On these days, borrowing is possible in the time frame between 11 am and 4 pm by prior appointment.

Please take note of the following information: Hygienic concept of the GIGA Information Centre

When it will be possible to use the premises again depends on the further course of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Phone: +49 (0)40 - 428 25-580

Email: iz@giga-hamburg.de

Regional Libraries

The GIGA Information Centre comprises four regional libraries (Africa , Asia, Latin America, and Middle East) and a trans-regional collection on comparative area studies, theory, and methods.


In our online public access catalogue (OPAC) you can find our:

  • books

  • papers

  • book articles

  • journal articles

  • magazines

in both printed and electronic form.

You can also search the World Affairs Online (WAO) database, which offers approximately 960,000 titles on international relations and area studies – of which 123,000 have links to online full texts. The WAO is one of the largest social science literature databases in Europe. The catalogue is available in German, English, and French.

More databases

Electronic Journals Library (EZB)

German Union Catalogue of Serials (ZDB) for printed journals

Database Information System (DBIS): Here you can find information on bibliographic databases, reference books and encyclopaedias that are managed at the IZ.

Online Catalogue (OPAC)



A weekend loan service from Friday till Tuesday is available; however, an ID card or equivalent document must be presented to use this service.

Inter-library loaning

  • A regular inter-library loan service

  • Books: Four-week loan period

  • Journal articles: Preparation of photocopies (up to 20 pages free of charge, larger quantities € 0.30 + 19 per cent VAT per page, payment in advance)


  • 7 PC workstations

  • 14 reading or notebook workplaces

  • free Internet access (eduroam, guest WIFI) (Neuer Jungfernstieg only)

  • copier/scanner with USB port.


The GIGA IZ publishes short bibliographies on current issues and countries: as part of the dok-line series , on GIGA Forum events and in the journal World Comparative Law WCL (in German, Verfassung und Recht in Übersee)

New Acquisitions

The GIGA IZ publishes lists of newly acquired books to keep you up to date with its latest acquisitions. The lists can be found in the IZ Online Catalogue. A separate list is published for each of the four regional libraries and the trans-regional collection.

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Open Access

The concept of "open access" has empowered the GIGA to virtually eliminate the financial, technical, and legal barriers normally faced by many of those seeking to access the institute’s research findings. This publication strategy ensures that people all around the world have equal opportunities to keep up with scholarly advances.

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GIGA Research Data

The GIGA Metadata Database provides an overview of the large amount of quantitative and qualitative research data generated at GIGA as well as the available access options.