New data sources on union catalogues and collections from Berlin is a supra-regional portal that serves to supply the Comparative Literature research community with scholarly publications and information. To this end, the catalogue index of the Finding literature module contained in the portal has recently been considerably expanded by almost three million bibliographic references of scholarly publications. This selection reflects the Comparative Literature collections of all university libraries in Germany.

What is available where, and what else is there? Collections from the union catalogues

The library system in Germany is organised in six library unions, whose virtual union catalogues contain all records from the member libraries. All six union catalogues contribute to the Combined Consortial Library Index (Gemeinsamer Verbünde-Index – GVI), which primarily serves to simplify interlibrary loan within Germany. For, from this index's millions of catalogue entries, those references are selected that are relevant to our Comparative Literature target group. The selection follows the "broad profile" of the content and information available on

The selection via the GVI makes it possible to offer not only catalogue data but also availability information from almost all academic libraries in Germany. Users can thus see whether a title is available at their local library and can be borrowed or whether it has to be ordered via interlibrary loan.

Give it a try! Type in a search term into our search box in the top right-hand corner of the portal, and then click on the "Access" tab in one of the hits – you will see which libraries have the book (if it is a printed book). By clicking on the "Link to the union catalogue" you will be directed to the portal of the associated library union, where you can either order the book directly (if it can be borrowed from your home library) or initiate an interlibrary loan.

Collections at two renowned libraries in Berlin

Two specialised collections of libraries in Berlin represent a special share of the large number of titles integrated via the GVI: The Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and the Philological Library of Freie Universität (FU) Berlin.

The Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Berlin State Library – Prussian Cultural Heritage) has an extensive collection of general and comparative linguistics and literature. Here both the intensive publication activity of Anglo-American comparative literature and the interdisciplinary character of the subject are taken into account. Relevant titles are selected from this extensive collection according to the "broad profile" of In this way, 965,000 bibliographic references can currently be made available via the Finding literature module.

The Philological Library of Freie Universität Berlin is one of the largest departmental libraries with a focus on philology in Germany. Not only due to the presence of the Peter Szondi Institute and the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies, the collections of the Philological Library include numerous works relevant to research in Comparative Literature. From its collections, a specialised selection has been made to extend the index of by currently more than 220,000 titles.

The integrated catalogue data is updated every three months. Three million data records are not exactly a small number: it takes several days to import an update, during which time the portal's search function slows down somewhat. For this reason, the frequency of updates needs to be well-balanced – so that the portal can offer you a wide selection of research literature that is both quickly and conveniently available and as up-to-date as possible.

You are cordially invited to browse through our now significantly expanded range of references. Are you missing a title that you would have expected to find in the three million publications, or is an important research area underrepresented? We would be pleased to receive feedback via our contact form! We are constantly working to optimise our selection of content for the portal and acquire the latest publications in the field for the Specialised Catalogue of Comparative Literature, which is the starting point for our index.


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