The Kunstbibliothek is one of the largest museum libraries dedicated to all facets of art history and cultural studies. Above and beyond this, however, it also boasts valuable collections on the history of architecture, photography, graphic design, fashion, book art, and media art. Its extremely diverse vast holdings include works in a wide variety of media: first editions and historical postcards, illustrated placards and posters, fashion designs, architectural drawings and models, bequests of photograph collections, and Fluxus assemblages. Together, the library and the various museum collections it contains represent the full spectrum of source material on the history of art.
The intermeshing of art and cultural studies lies at the heart of the Kunstbibliothek’s mission. Its research activities and exhibitions open new, interdisciplinary perspectives on important themes in art: the rise and evolution of international art styles and movements, the history of the art trade, and the shared origins of Occidental and non-European art.
The Kunstbibliothek is not located at a single site but rather forms a network of facilities, whose holdings are found at three separate venues in Berlin. The library of art history and the museum collections are situated at the Kulturforum near Potsdamer Platz. The Archaeological Library is accessible in its new home at the Archäologisches Zentrum, directly opposite the Museumsinsel Berlin. The Kunstbibliothek presents its Collection of Photography at the Museum für Fotografie, situated opposite Berlin Zoologischer Garten station. And finally, a library specializing in non-European ethnology and non-European art is planned as the Kunstbibliothek’s fourth site in the soon-to-be contructed Humboldt-Forum on Schlossplatz in the historical heart of the city.