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Library of General Linguistics and Historical-Comparative Linguistics

Due to the current situation our library is closed to the public until further notice. We kindly ask you to use the e-resources of the University Library until then. For full access outside the university network you need a VPN access, instructions here.

In urgent cases, please contact our support staff by phone at 0221 / 470 61 51 or by e-mail at ifl-bib[at] Further information can be found on the central page of the Rectorate.

The joint library of the departments of General Linguistics (GL) and Historical-Comparative Linguistics (HCL) is a reference library. It is possible for students of the institute to borrow books over the weekend. The library regulations (German) apply (the library regulations are currently being revised. At the moment deviations from the actual handling are possible).

Online research is made possible by the online presence of the Kölner Universitäts- und Stadtbibliothek (UB). Using the search function there, the university-wide literature holdings can be searched. If you only want to search within the library of the GL and HCL, you can filter the search by location (Department of Linguistics).

Please note:

  • our literature stock is only accessible there by English keywords.
  • Individual languages are keyworded with "language" (e.g. Turkish language), language families with "languages" (e.g. Bantu languages).
  • Individual journal articles or contributions to anthologies which are not available as electronic resources are usually not accessible via the UB catalogue. To search for journals, select the item journal catalogues (no articles) in the advanced search or filter your search results on the left side by media type.

At the moment special regulations apply to the use of our library. In urgent cases there is the possibility to borrow books for up to one week. In agreement with the student assistants, the desired books can be picked up and returned within a fixed time window. The following applies in principle:

  • The desired books must be reserved by telephone or e-mail at least one working day in advance.
  • An appointment is made with a concrete date and time (window) for the collection.
  • At the time of collection, the date and time (window) for the return will be fixed.
  • You need a green seminar card for borrowing.
  • It is obligatory to wear a mouth and nose protection when entering our library.

The time arrangements must be kept under all circumstances to avoid unnecessary personal contact! If something should come up at short notice, please let us know by phone or e-mail. Without prior arrangement or outside the agreed time window, it is no longer possible to enter our library.


Equipment rental

Students of the Department of Linguistics have the possibility to borrow recording devices or microphones during some seminars. For this purpose, early registration (at least one to two days) at geraeteverleih-ifl(at) and a valid seminar card upon collection is necessary.

The equipment can be rented for one day or over the weekend. Exceptions are possible by arrangement.