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The Art Library has approximately 400,000 volumes and ranks among Germany's leading institutions specializing in literature concerning the history of art. The library attracts 35,000 visitors annually.
The Art Library acquires and researches scientific literature on the history of European art from late antiquity to the present. It also subscribes to 1,400 current international periodicals. In addition, it collects drawings and prints in the area of applied arts and possesses a comprehensive collection of photographs.
The library offers visitors a broad range of impressive collections including: architectural and ornamental prints and drawings, the Lipperheide costume library, posters and advertisements, graphic design, book design, photographs. All items are available to visitors in the reading rooms.
Selections of works from the library's many collections are regularly presented in special exhibitions. The neighbouring Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings) concentrates primarily on fine art drawings and prints.