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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 10,000 online journals – plus more than 100,000 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

Tuesday–Thursday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Friday: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. The GIGA Information Centre is closed again at least until the end of January 2021. This also affects the limited operation (ordering by e-mail and lending).


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.

Opening Hours

The GIGA Information Centre is closed again now until at least 10 January 2021. This also affects the limited operation (ordering by e-mail and lending).



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)


In each regional library there are:

  • user workplaces

  • computers with free Internet access

  • copier/scanner with USB port

  • free WiFi (Neuer Jungfernstieg only).


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 859,000 titles on international relations and area studies – of which 99,000 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)

Picture of blue lock

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.

Grafik of a World map

GIGA Research Data

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