Please note the changed opening hours of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin since 16 April 2024. More

Locations of the Kunstbibliothek

Museum für Fotografie
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Jebensstraße 2
10623 Berlin

The Museum für Fotografie at Berlin Zoologischer Garten is the Kunstbibliothek’s exhibition venue entirely dedicated to the history of photography and the camera. The Kunstbibliothek shares the premises with its partner institution, the Helmut Newton Foundation which occupies the ground floor and first floor. Before moving to the Kulturforum in 1994, this building housed all the Kunstbibliothek’s other facilities and services: its museum collections, the book holdings, reading room and administrative offices.

The historical Kaisersaal, located on the 2nd floor, is now home to temporary exhibitions, in which the Kunstbibliothek showcases its photographic treasures and reveals fresh perspectives on core themes in the history of photography. The museum quickly gained international appeal and standing thanks to its ambitious exhibitions, such as 'A Fresh Look – Architectural Photography from the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin' (2010), 'Microphotography – Beauty beyond the Visible' (2010/11) and 'The Colonial Eye – Early Portrait Photography in India' (2012).

The adjacent north-facing Fürstensaal, is not only home to the offices of the museum’s patron society (Verein der Freunde des Museum für Fotografie) but also provides space for lectures, symposia, and lectures. Plans are afoot for the south-facing Fürstensaal: the Kunstbibliothek is joining forces with Berlin’s Universität der Künste in setting up an ideas lab here in which to test out innovative curatorial and photography-related artistic concepts.

Archäologisches Zentrum
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 6
10117 Berlin

The Kunstbibliothek’s archaeological department took up residency in the newly opened Archäologisches Zentrum opposite the Museumsinsel Berlin in 2012. It was formed by merging the collections of archival and research material from the major archaeological collections at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin which had evolved over more than 150 years: the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, the Antikensammlung, the Museum für Islamische Kunst, the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte, and the Vorderasiatisches Museum.

The new premises now provide more than 1000 square metres in which to store and use the combined holdings of some 150,000 items that have been systematized according to international library standards and are now mostly accessible in open-shelf areas. The archaeological department of the Kunstbibliothek has been purposefully designed as a lively place of research and scholarship, in which archive and source studies, primary research with collection objects, library use and digital information sharing are all simultaneously possible.

In addition, the reading room is also open to users of the Zentralarchiv. The Zentralarchiv (Central Archive) holds historical records relating to the history of the organization known today as the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, known formerly as the Royal Museums in Berlin. It sees itself as a place of learning and at the same time as the ‘historical memory’ of the museums. The Kunstbibliothek offers users of the archive instant, open-shelf access to diverse literature on the history of the individual museums, as well as a complete collection of all catalogue and research literature published by the Royal Museums/Staatliche Museen since its inception in the year 1830. 

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Matthäikirchplatz 6
10785 Berlin

The Kunstbibliothek’s main site at the Kulturforum amounts to a research centre with one of the world’s largest specialist libraries dedicated to the history of art in the Western world from late antiquity to the present day. The Kunstbibliothek is more than a library and this site also contains its extremely diverse extensive museum collections of architecture-related material, book art and media art, graphic design, photography, and fashion.

The research centre is equipped with a public reading room for the library collections and a study room for the museum collections. Scholars from all over the world enjoy ideal working conditions here in which to conduct their research. The Kulturforum site is also a bountiful source of inspiration and stimulation for anyone exploring the history of design and styles in art.

Adding to the vibrancy of the research activity at the Kulturforum is the Kunstbibliothek’s varied programme of lecture series, book presentations, artist talks, and guided tours. The Kunstbibliothek’s exhibition room also features rotating exhibitions on selected topics that arise from and are reflected in the collections and current research. Large exhibitions on major themes that span several epochs and collection areas at the Staatliche Museen at once are presented to the public in the galleries for special exhibitions at the Kulturforum.