Address, Contact, Opening Hours 

Northeast Library (IKGN e.V.)
Lindenstraße 31 
21335 Lüneburg 

Visitors’ entrance on Roten Straße

Telephone: + 49 4131 40059 - 21 
FAX: + 49 4131 40059 - 59 


Opening hours 
Tuesday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., after email contact or by appointment.

Ihr Kontakt zur Terminvereinbarung und Bestellung von Büchern:


Extensive media and language holdings

With about 170,000 individual items including books, periodicals, picture postcards, vedutas and maps, the Northeast Library offers a broad spectrum of literature in German, English, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian and other languages.

The bulk of the library’s collection belongs to the field of historical scholarship, but with a special emphasis on contemporary, cultural and educational history. The collection also includes materials on geography and applied geography relating to the regional research interests of the Institute.

The collection encompasses northeastern Europe both in its present-day form and in retrospect as regards its historical areas, provinces and regions. Thus Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and other members of the Community of Independent States fall within the focus of the collection, as do the former east Prussian provinces, East and West Prussia, Pomerania and Poznan.

Picture postcards and vedutas
The picture archive contains about 35,000 picture postcards and about 3,000 prints.

All the postcards are systematically archived.
An on-site catalog in the form of an electronic database includes about 12,000 picture postcards (from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the former Prussian provinces, East Prussia, West Prussia and Poznan).

The process of digitizing the picture postcard collection began in 2013 as part of the “Digital Library Riga” project and in cooperation with the Martin Opitz Library in Herne and the Digital Forum for Central and East Europe e.V/Munich.

The map inventory extends to some 12,500 leaves of which about 4,500 have been entered into the campus catalog so far. The map collection includes approximately 1,000 leaves of antique maps; the digitalization of these began in 2008 in cooperation with the Martin Opitz Library in Herne.

The Heise Collection
The collection includes about 12,000 volumes of work written mostly in Polish (about 70%) and German (about 24%) on the subjects of Poland, the provinces of Poznan and West Prussia, the Germans in Poland and German-Polish relations. A considerable part of the inventory deals with the history of Protestant churches in Poland.

The Kaegbein Collection
The collection includes about 12,000 digitally-catalogued volumes on the history and culture of the Baltic Germans.

The Undritz Collection
The collection of some 1,400 volumes consists mainly of materials on Baltic history, cultural history and geography, as well as on Russian history.


The Northeast Institute (IKGN e. V.) participates in the “Riga digitalis” project supported by the Digital Forum for Central and Eastern Europe e. V./ Munich (DiFMOE). More than 300 picture postcards as well as over 100 books (primarily from the Kaegbein and Undritz special collections), short texts, bound periodicals and maps from the on-site inventory are presented.

Riga, the capital of Latvia and largest city in the Baltic states, earned the title of “European Capital of Culture” in 2014. The aim of the project is to create an online library that reflects the multilingual and multicultural past of the city of Riga, and to make it attractive and freely available to scholars and the general public. The selected period extends chronologically from the beginnings of the printing industry in Riga to the end of the nineteenth century. The earliest digitalized volume from our catalogue dates from 1614 (Historical Account of the Benedictine Cloister of the Virgin in Riga).

The inventories of the following lending institutions are available for use in the library. In some cases, the delivery of materials can take several days.

  • German Baltic Cultural Foundation (German Baltic history)
  • East Prussian State Museum

The loan collection is accessible electronically and can be investigated through the campus catalog of the University of Hamburg as well as through other online catalogs.


Overview of catalogs

The entire inventory of books and periodicals as well as about 35% of the maps in the Northeast Library can be accessed through both the campus catalog and “KatalogPlus” of the University of Hamburg as well as through combined catalogs and meta-search engines such as GVK, KVK, ZDB and VOE. The library’s staff is glad to offer assistance.

Campus catalog of the University of Hamburg

Contains all the electronically recorded inventory of the library system of the University of Hamburg (state and specialized libraries), including the Northeast Library in Lüneburg.

Searches conducted through the campus catalog can be limited to our inventory. 


The entire inventory of literature (online and print) of the library system of the University of Hamburg can be accessed through the “Discovery System”. Also included are electronic articles from non-regulated and licensed e-journals and data banks, most of which include a direct link to the full text. A selection of the online resources can be accessed in the reading room of the Northeast Library.

ZDB / Periodicals data base

In the ZDB (periodicals data base) you will find the titles of journals, newspapers, data bases, yearbooks, etc. – in other words, everything published periodically in print or electronic form that is available in libraries in Germany and Austria. It also records the inventories of the Northeast Library.


The GVK catalog (“Gemeinsamer Verbundkatalog”) includes inventories of scholarly libraries in the federal states of Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.

KVK – Karlsruher Virtueller Katalog

The Virtual Catalog of Karlsruhe is a meta-search engine affording access to contemporary research in German and international library catalogs as well as data bases covering multiple libraries.

VOE – Composite Catalog for Eastern Europe

The Composite Catalog for Eastern Europe shows the electronically accessible inventories of over 30 libraries and scholarly/cultural institutions in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic.

To the catalog

Further possibilities for research

OSMIKON – Research portal for Eastern, East-Central and Southern Europe

Osmikon combines service offers for German research about eastern and southern Europe.

Slavistik portal

The portal serves as a central clearing-house for internet sources of specialized information relating to Slavic studies.


Please ask us for assistance

The library is open to all and our premises are accessible to disabled persons.

To obtain a user’s card a valid form of personal identification is required.

A selection of reference works can be accessed in the reading room. All other materials are kept in storage. Please use the campus catalog to note the relevant call numbers and send your requests to us by email at Materials can usually be provided from storage within one workday. Loaned materials can be picked up at the library or sent directly by post, for a fee. Details can be found under “Entgelt- und Kostenordnung” (German-language PDF.)

The ground floor of the Northeast Institute offers twelve reading places in about 80 square meters of space, a catalog workplace with internet and a reading room. The library has a WLAN connection, a book-scanner and a micro-fiche and film reader.

You may use the book scanner in the media room during opening hours. Scanned pages may be recorded on USB-sticks. Please bring your own USB-stick.

The articles are not available in English. 

You are welcome to consult the German version.