The Institut für Museumsforschung has its own specialized library on museum research. The library collects literature relating to general museum activities, such as collecting, preservation, and so on. Its holdings reflect developments and new practices in museology worldwide as they unfold in the modern information society.
The collection activity focuses on topics such as presenting exhibitions, visitor research, leisure-time research, museum education, media, conservation, cultural statistics, cultural policy, cultural heritage protection, museum design, museum construction, the history of museums and collections, ownership and copyright, museum technology and facilities, cataloguing, documentation, marketing, and sponsorship. In addition the library includes national and international museum guides, handbooks and reference books, standard texts on museology, and a collection of approximately 95 museum-related journals and electronic resources. As a public library, the library is open to visitors from within Germany and abroad. Art historians, cultural theorists, students, artists, curators, exhibition planners, museologists, and researchers are all making increasing use of the library and its resources.
In addition to monographs and periodicals collected in the library, the Institut für Museumsforschung also archives so-called 'grey literature' on museum-related research topics: printed matter on special events and temporary exhibitions at all German museums (museum brochures, leaflets, flyers, and so on), press cuttings on museum-related topics (Press Archive, 1981–2000), as well as all application material for the European Museum of the Year Award, EMYA Archive).
These archives form an essential and comprehensive component of the work that the institute carries out, as they provide an overview of current developments and emerging problems in the museum world. They allow us to give effective advice and useful, up-to-date information and are a fundamental tool to stimulate fresh research in various museum-related topics.