No German? No Problem!

Discover our English Language Materials

In common with many libraries, our collection caters for a diverse reading public, including people who don't speak German.

Man standing, reading a book in the Library © Goethe-Institut London | Photo Jayne Lloyd

For readers seeking German literary fiction our library offers over 1000 German novels translated into English - a unique resource amongst London libraries. If you're interested in German poetry or drama in translation, our library is the right place to come.

Our collection of translated German novels includes works by contemporary authors, beloved 'classic authors' such as Hans Fallada, Franz Kafka and Christa Wolf, as well as  Nobel Literature Prize-winnering writers such as Thomas Mann, Heinrich Böll, Günter Grass, Peter Handke, Elfriede Jelinek and Herta Müller. We also have enduring bestsellers such as Patrick Süßkind's 'Perfume' and Daniel Kehlmann's 'Measuring the World', and crime novels such as the popular Gereon Rath 'Babylon Berlin' series by Volker Kutscher.

Shelf with translated books © Goethe-Institut | Photo Pau Ros

Many of these novels were made into feature films which can be found amongst our extensive DVD collection. The majority of these films have English subtitles and provide an overview of German filmmaking from silent films to contemporary cinematic productions.

If you're researching the films of the Weimar Republic, New German Cinema, or the Berlin School, our library offers many English language books about films ranging from German film history to the work of individual film directors such as Fritz Lang, Werner Herzog, and Fatih Akin.

English titles about German Art are also available. For example you can find books about the Romantic Art movement, Expressionism and Bauhaus, as well as individual contemporary artists such as Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer and Gerhard Richter, and photographers such as Andreas Gursky and Jürgen Teller.

Selection of graphic novels © Goethe-Institut London

Fans of Graphic Novels can find translated works about the Beatles, Nick Cave, Fidel Castro, and Kafka.

For readers who prefer non-fiction titles to learn about Cultural History, and History, there are numerous titles available in the English language. Our collection focuses on 20th Century German history, but includes unusual topics such as Ulrich Ralff's book about the role played by horses in human history - 'Farewell to the Horse'.

So as you can see, reading material is available in abundance in our library, but perhaps you just want to escape the hubub of South Kensington and relax in our quiet spaces overlooking the park.

You can use our reading desks and several laptops are available for internet research in our Study Centre.

Pay us a visit, drink a coffee, browse to find inspiration, or visit one of our cultural events which are almost always presented in English.


Follow us