© MARKK, Brigitte Saal

“A blank spot on my map of undiscovered places – to me the MARKK library was exactly that for a very long time. I would never have expected the abundance of unique treasures hidden there.”
– Bärbel (library user since 2013)

Welcome to the smallest and most beautiful reading room in town!

The MARKK library is open to the public, and Hamburg residents can use it as a lending library.
A total of approx. 95,000 books and 150 current periodicals are available to be researched and discovered. Click here for our library catalogue. The exchange of publications with numerous libraries all over the world has resulted in a particularly multilingual collection. You will find literature in English and Spanish, furthermore in Korean, Chinese and Japanese. But even less common languages like Pashto, Farsi or Modern Hebrew are represented in our library. In many cases these are books that Germany-wide can only be found in our library.

Since 1912, the library has been located in its historical rooms. However, the foundation of the library dates back to around 1850, when the first collection of ethnographic objects in the municipal library was established, and with it a library including travelogues dating back to the 16th century.
For the purpose of researching the MARKK’s object collection, we are continuously expanding our stock with current literature. Here, the focus is on non-European cultures and arts.
A computer is available for your research, the library team will be happy to assist you! In addition, you can use the work area, the scanner and photocopier as well as our WiFi.


Search the library catalog of the Museum am Rothenbaum. You can find detailed information about further research strategies on the help pages of the library catalog! We are happy to assist you personally with your research – please contact us during the opening hours of the library!


Statement of the library regarding holdings from colonial contexts

The Museum am Rothenbaum promotes the appreciation for and the knowledge of the cultures and arts of the world.

Please note that parts of the MARKK’s literature collection were formed during a period of colonial power divide. Among them are works containing derogatory and discriminating terms or concepts as well as racist depictions.

As a scientific research library of archival nature, we retain this literature in our collection and make it accessible to researchers. By providing historical sources, we aim to support the examination and critical analysis of colonial history and its enduring ramifications.

In order to represent diverse perspectives on the past and current discourse, our holdings are continuously being expanded with current literature. We are happy to receive your acquisition suggestions!

The library of the Museum am Rothenbaum is a place of knowledge and exchange that welcomes all.

Hamburg, 2022


Opening hours of the library

Thu to Sun 1 – 6 p.m. 

fon 040 428879 601, -518, -604, -691

The library is closed between Christmas and New Year.

Accessible for all interested parties, even without admission ticket to the museum!

Terms of use
The library also has a photocopier (subject to a charge), a scanner and free WiFi!

Guided tour of the library
by appointment: or by phone: +49 40 42 88 79 – 601


Information and loans

fon  +49 40 42 88 79 – 601

Library & Media Library

Jantje Bruns Library Management
fon +49 40 42 88 79 – 518
efax +49 40 42 79 29 – 618

Elisabeth Quenstedt Library Management
fon +49 40 42 88 79 – 691
efax +49 40 42 79 29 – 691

Maike Mewes
fon +49 40 42 88 79 – 604
efax +49 40 42 79 29 – 691

Temawa Nortmann Trainee
fon +49 40 42 88 79 – 691
efax +49 40 42 79 29 – 691