The library from A to Z / Tips for using the library

Information for external users
Valid from 1 August, 2022



  • Address
    Hansaallee 41
    60323 Frankfurt am Main
    Fon: +49 (69) 789 78 0
    Fax: +49 (69) 789 78 169

    Postal address
    Max-Planck-Institut für Rechtsgeschichte und Rechtstheorie
    Postfach 50 07 01
    60395 Frankfurt am Main
  • Application form
    Users of the library are the researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory as well as scholarship holders and guests of the institute.
    Other persons may use the library upon request during the opening hours, if they can demonstrate a serious scientific interest, which can only be fulfilled by the special stock of the institute’s library. Furthermore, it has to be ensured that there is enough personnel and space within the library.
    In addition to the application, students and doctoral candidates have to attach a letter of recommendation from their supervising professor, which states the research topic as well as the need to use the institute’s library. We recommend the early submission of the application form.


  • Baskets
    To carry private items to your desk in the reading room baskets are available. These are opposite to the information and lending desk. Please return them to this place when you leave the library.
  • Bring your own books
    As a library user you can also work with your own books. Please show these books, if the library staff asks you when you leave the library.
  • Book scanners
    With our book scanners you can make digital copies from our books. They are located on the 1st and 2nd floor opposite the rear staircase. A USB stick is required to use the book scanners. The use of the book scanners is free of charge.


  • Collection of Dissertations
    The Library holds a collection of around 100,000 legal dissertations, disputations and lesser academic treatises of the 16th to 18th centuries from the territory of the Holy Roman Empire. Another special collection includes about 25,000 legal dissertations from the first half of the 20th century, which was originally compiled by the Library of the Supreme Court in Leipzig.
  • Computer workstations ( s. PCs)
  • Contact
    Information and lending desk
    Fon: +49 (69) 789 78 – 130
  • Copying ( s. Multifunction device)



  • Eating and drinking in the reading room
    Eating and drinking is not permitted in the reading room. The drinking of water is allowed when it is brought in transparent and sealable bottles.
  • Eduroam 
    Via Eduroam you have access to the WI-FI of your home institution.
  • Electronic journals
    Access to all electronic journals licensed by the Max Planck Society or by the library of the institute can be found in the Electronic Journals Library. Their use is possible after logging into the guest network of the institute in the rooms of the library. Additionally EZB offers a multitude of free accessible electronic journals.
  • Electronic order ( s. Ordering of media)
  • Electronic protection of the media
    All media are protected by a chip. Media from the reference collection may not be removed from the library rooms.
  • Email notification
    The library informs you via email about the end of a loan period (e.g. at a reservation from another user) or the blocking of your library card. Therefore your email address in the application form is obligatory.
  • Extension of loan period
    The loan period of borrowed media will be automatically extended. There are three renewals each for 15 days possible, if no other user made a reservation.




  • Holdings
    The library possesses 490,000 printed items. The center of the library stock is an extensive collection of source material and secondary literature about the legal development in Europe, in Latin America and in the British Commonwealth, as well as literature on legal theory. Additionally we provide a wide range of non-legal literature of philosophy, theology and historiography as well as political, economic, social and intellectual history.


  • Information and lending desk
    We are personally available during the opening hours at the information and lending desk.
    Fon: +49 (69) 789 78 – 130
  • Institute publications
    All Institute publications can be found on the 2nd floor on the gallery. They are divided into:
    - LS MPI-A: Exhibition catalogs with loans from the MPI
    - LS MPI-P: Monographs and edited writings by members of the institute
    - LS MPI-S: Series (Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte, Studien zur Geschichte des Völkerrechts, Studien zur Polizey und Polizeywissenschaft and others)
    - LS MPI-Z: Journals (Rechtsgeschichte – Legal history; Ius Commune; Rechtshistorisches Journal and others)
  • IT regulations
    The IT regulations can be reviewed at the information and lending desk.


  • Journal lounge and current journal issues
    In the journal lounge on the 1st floor you will find all journal issues of the current volume.


  • Laptop protection ( s. Notebook protection)
  • Laptop use ( s. Notebook use)
  • Legacy archive
    The library owns the (partial) estates of: Georg Brunner, Sten Gagnér, Wilhelm G. Grewe, Guido Kisch, Hermann Krause, Victor Leontovitsch, Gerhard Oestreich, Karl Josef Partsch, Karl Rothenbücher, Emil Seckel, Klaus Westen, Claus Dietrich Wieland, Walter Wilhelm. Books and periodicals from estate libraries are listed in the library catalogue. Archival materials such as working papers, manuscripts and correspondence are indexed in an internal database; indices can be consulted on request.
  • Library account ( s. User account)
  • Library card ( s. User card)
  • Library catalog
    You can find printed books and journals, microforms (Microfilm, Microfiches) and CD-ROM in our library catalog. Further information to the catalog can be found here.
  • Library regulations
    You can find the library regulations here
  • Loan ( s. Reading room loan)
  • Loan period
    The loan period for reading room lending for all media is initially one day. It will be automatically extended the next day for 15 opening days. After this there are two further automatic renewals each for 15 opening days. All media have therefore to be returned after 46 opening days, even if no other user made a reservation. If there is a reservation of another user you will be asked by e-mail to return the media immediately. Media with an expired loan will be removed from the library staff and will erase it from your account.
  • Lockers
    In the lobby of the institute lockers are available. Before entering the reading room please leave your outerwear, umbrella and bag in the locker. To use the lockers a user card of the library is necessary. To carry private items to your desk in the reading room baskets are available.
  • Loss of user card
    In order to get a substitute please pay the fee of 10 Euros at the reception desk. You will get a voucher which is necessary to get the substitutional user card at the information and lending desk.


  • Microfilm/Microfiche
    The holdings of microfilms can be found under the shelfmark MF and MsF. The microfiches have the shelfmark Msfiche, Mfiche and SMF. A reader with scanning option is available in the ground floor (room B 06).
  • Mobile ( s. Phone/Phone calls)
  • MPI publications ( s. Institute publications)
  • Multifunction device
    To ​​​​make (digital) copies, please prefer to use our book scanners. If you need to make paper copies or print out documents, please contact the information and lending desk. There you can borrow a copy card to use the multifunctional machine on the ground floor (room B 06). 
  • New acquisitions
    The list of the new acquisitions of the preceding six weeks can be found on the start page of the library catalog
  • Notebook protection
    If you use a private notebook, we recommend a notebook protection. This can be purchased at the Campus Shop.
  • Notebook use
    The use of your own notebook is allowed.
  • Number of reading room loans, orders, reservations
    The number of media to be used in the reading room may not exceed 25, the number of orders and reservations each with ten.


  • On loan until December 31, 9999
    Media lent from researchers from the institute have an unlimited loan period until December 31, 9999. Is a reservation on one of those media the loan period will reduced that the media is available during a few days. As soon as it returned, the user will get a message via email.
  • Online journals ( s. Electronic Journals)
  • OPAC ( s. Library catalog)
  • OPAC-Research-Places ( s. PCs)
  • Opening hours
    Monday – Thursday      9:00 a.m – 06:00 p.m
    Saturday                    9:00 a.m - 6:00 p.m.
  • Ordering of media
    You can order new media any time with your personal library account. The ordered media will picked up from the stacks downstairs from the staff from the library at the following times:
    Monday – Thursday          9:00 am, 11:30 am, 2:00 pm
    Friday                            9:00 am, 11:30 am
    The media are normally ready for you within one hour.


  • Passwords
    User account: For using your user account you need a password (Kennwort). The first password is awarded by the library and given to you with your user card. The password must be changed during the first login. The new password must contain minimum 8 and maximum 12 characters; it must contain at least one number, one uppercase and one lowercase letter.
    Windows account:
    You need a further password to login at the desks on the ground floor of the reading room and in the shelf zone of each floor or to use the Wi-Fi. Here, too, you get the first password with your user card. The first login has to be at one of the PCs in the reading room because you can change your password only there. The password must be changed during the first login. The new password must contain minimum 8 and maximum 12 characters; it must contain at least one number, one uppercase and one lowercase letter.

    Please note that user account and Windows account are independent systems; a synchronization of passwords does not take place.

  • PCs
    At desks on the ground floor of the reading room and in the shelf zone of each floor you find PCs, where you can log in with your Windows-ID to the guest network of the institute. They are mainly intended for using our online catalog as well as the electronic resources.
    Desks with thin clients on the first and second floor are reserved for members of the institute.
  • Period for claiming ordered media
    Ordered media are kept for five opening days at the information and lending desk. After five days they will be returned to the stacks.
  • Phone/Phone calls
    Making Calls is generally not permitted in the reading room. The mobile phone should be muted.
  • Pickup of newly ordered media
    Pick up your ordered media during the opening hours at the information and lending desk.
  • Printing ( s. Multifunction device)
  • Private photograph equipment
    The use of personal reproduction equipment (eg. camera, mobile phone, hand-held scanner, tablet) is not permitted. Please use our book scanner.
  • Providing of media (Ordering of media)


  • Reading room desk
    For external users a small number of reading room desks is available. The reading room desk must be cleared when leaving the library, even when you leave only temporarily, if you will be away for more than one hour. Please return all media at the information and lending desk. The borrowed media can also be stored at the information and lending desk until the loan period exceeded.
  • Reading room loan
    All borrowed media may only be used in the reading room. It is not allowed to take them out of the institute.
  • Reference area
    Attached to the reading room is a reference area with reference books and the almost complete journal holdings of the library. The current journal issues are in the lounge, 1st floor, the publications from the institute are in the Gallery, 2nd floor available for viewing. The books of the reference area must be reset by the user.
  • Reference library
    The library is a reference library, borrowing outside the institute is not possible.
  • Registration ( s. Application form)
  • Research ( s. Library catalog)
  • Reserved workplaces
    All workspaces on the 1st and 2nd floor and some workplaces on the groundfloor are reserved for researchers of the institute. The free workplaces on the groundfloor are available for use for external users.
  • Reservation
    At any time you can reserve media borrowed by another user via your user account. As soon as the reserved medium is returned to the lending desk you will receive a notification by e-mail and can pick it up at the lending desk. If you don’t need a reserved medium anymore you can cancel the reservation via your user account.
  • Restroom
    The ladies room can be found on the ground floor, 1st floor and 2nd floor. The toilet on the 1st floor is barrier-free. The men’s room can be found in the 1st and 2nd floor. All toilets are near the back stairs. A further barrier-free toilet is outside the library, behind the reception.
  • Returning media
    All borrowed media can be returned definitely to the information and lending desk during the opening hours of the library. Media you still need can be stored at the information and lending desk during the opening hours. Please return media you took from the shelves in the reading room to the shelves from which you took them.
  • Rules of the house
    Receipt and attention of the Rules of the house (short version) must be confirmed when you get your user card. A complete copy can be seen at the reception or the information and lending desk.


  • Scanning ( s. Book scanners)
  • Security alarm ( s. Electronic protection of the media)
  • Smartphone (s. Phone/ phone calls)
  • Smoking
    Throughout the building there is absolutely no smoking. In the roofed entrance / ramp outside the building smoking is permitted.
  • Stacks
    Most of the library collections are located in closed stacks. Therefore all books that are not available in the reference area must be ordered.


  • USB stick ( s. Book scanners)
  • User account
    With your user card you get a user account of the library. You can log in with your user number (Kennung) and password (Kennwort). After log in you can change the language to English. Your library account shows all the media you have borrowed together with the return periods and your current orders and reservations.
  • User card
    With your user card you can order books from the library of the MPI, make reading room loans and reservations. In addition to the user account we give you a Windows account for the guest network of the institute. With this Windows account you can use the thin clients in the reading room and in the lobby to use the licensed electronic resources. This card is also needed to use the lockers. The validity of the library card is six months. It is possible to extend the user card once informally, for longer periods a new application must be submitted. If you lose your library card you have to pay a fee.
  • User number
    Your user number is printed on your library card.


  • Visitor list
    There is a visitor list at the information and lending desk. Please sign in at the beginning and at the end of each visit with your user number, date and time.


  • Wi-Fi ( s. Windows account)
  • Windows account
    To use the PCs in the ground floor of the reading room and in the shelves in the ground floor to second floor of the reading room or log in to the Wi-Fi of the institute you need a windows account of the institute, which takes you to the guest network. This account is created at the same time we create your library account. The user number is the same as your library account. Together with your library card you will receive the password. The regulations for the use of the IT of the institute are to be applied.
  • Windows user name
    The windows user name is the same as the number like the user name for your library account. You will get the password for the windows account at the same time as your library card. You need it to get access to the guest network.
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