Closed on Sunday, Monday and all bank holidays
Martina Behnert (Head)
Tel.: +49 (0) 511 168 – 4 39 26
Fax: +49 (0) 511 168 – 4 50 93
Focus of the Collection
The library on the upper floor of the Sprengel Museum Hannover contains examples of and information about international art in the 20th and 21st centuries, including photography and new media. Additional emphasis is placed on museology and education in a museum context. Some information on architecture and design is also available. The bulk of the contents of this library comprises older books about 20th century art (mostly from the 50s and 60s) thanks to the fusing of material from the Kestner Museum (printed works), the provincial gallery of Hanover (painting and sculpture) and Bernhard Sprengel’s private collection. The library and the museum were opened in June 1979. Since then, both have been continually enlarged through purchases and the exchange of correspondence, gifts as well as donations. Presently, the library contains 67,000 objects in different media (last updated: December 2007). Among the types of publication presented are indexes of works, monographs, catalogues (from one-man and group exhibitions), magazines, auction catalogues, small printed matter (i.e. invitations or small-scale publications), audio-visual media (ranging from records to DVDs) as well as material from several artists’ estates (the most comprehensive and significant of which are the estates of Robert Michel and Ella Bergmann-Michel as well as part of Alexander Dorner’s estate, the former director of what was then the provincial museum, now called the Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover). The concept for the latter was realised in co-operation with a number of internationally recognised artists and continues to this very day. The library is rich in international exhibition catalogues, especially from western Europe but also from further afield. It is, so to say, unique - at least for the federal state of Lower Saxony and, indeed, more than what one would expect from a library encompassing a range of material rarely seen under one roof.
Target Audience and Usage
The library, on the one hand, serves members of museum staff in their research while preparing exhibitions and other events; it is, however, also open to researchers from outside the institution. Anyone can ary but ruse the libreference books and material cannot be taken off the premises. Please consider that members of staff do take material out of the library and, for that reason, it is best to telephone beforehand to ascertain if the material you need is available. This means that the literature requested can then be, when possible, gathered in advance by library staff for use on the premises; audio-visual media can be viewed on the appropriate equipment as well. Nine reading spaces for individual researchers as well as two media work stations are available. A list of AV-material available can be read in the reading room or, alternatively, requested from library staff. Unfortunately, it is not possible to use CD-ROMs due to a lack of sufficient computer work stations and lack of Internet access. It is, however, permitted to use personal notebooks (access to electricity is available).
Since the library does not have a complete inventory list available to the public, it is still necessary to request the material from our staff. Recent periodicals are available for reading in the reading room. For literature to be read on the premises, please send requests to library staff in advance, especially for more complex inquiries, either via telephone, fax or e-mail.
Use of the library is free of charge. Photocopies, however, cost 0.10 €/copy. A coin-operated photocopier is available for black and white copies (it takes all regular €-coins except 1- and 2-cent pieces). (Please bear in mind that change is not returned in this machine. Therefore, please bring the right small change with you).
Rules and Regulations for the use of the Library, Archive and Special Collections (.pdf, 239 KB)
Archive Material Order Form (.pdf, 173 KB)