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Founded in 1898 as the reference library of Leo Frobenius, the Leo Frobenius Ethnological Library (formerly the Ethnological Library) today comprises the holdings of the Frobenius Institute, the Institute for Ethnology of the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main and the valuable old holdings of the World Culture Museum of the City of Frankfurt. With 134,050 volumes (end of 2020), it is thus the most important specialist library for ethnology in the German-speaking world. Its special features include a large old collection (more than 30,000 volumes), almost 500 current journals and series, the collection of book and journal articles, a map collection (1,740) and a film collection (more than 2,000 DVDs). A large part of the holdings is due to donations and bequests from renowned ethnologists as well as publication exchanges with approx. 200 international institutions.
IG Building, Basement Q6, 0.615, Telephone: 069/798-33248
Tuesday to Friday: 11-16 Uhr
Opening hours during the semester break (February 13 - April 10, 2023):
Tuesday to Thursday: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., closed on Fridays.
Any interested person is welcome to use the collections of the library in the reading room.
The regulations of the Leo Frobenius Library of Cultural Anthropology apply.
- Employees and students of the university
- Members of the Frobenius Institute, the Weltkulturenmuseum and the Frobenius Society
- Residents of Frankfurt and its environs
Regional foci: Africa, America, Indonesia, Oceania
Thematic foci: Prehistory and early history, cultural history, rock paintings, material culture, anthropology of religion
Size of collections: 134,050 volumes (by December 2020), 500 current journals and series, 1,800 films
Partner institutions: Exchanges with more than 185 institutions worldwide
- Online catalogue
- Card catalogue (literature to 1993)
- Information sheet on the database for anthropologists
- Monographs are catalogued by means of a detailed thesaurus
- The catalogues contain articles from collected volumes and journals
Databases for ethnologists
You can find tips on researching digital sources for ethnologists here.