Bibliographical Information Service

The IfZ library provides its free Bibliographical Information Service (Bibliografischer Informationsdienst - BID) that serves as a digital continuation of Bibliographie zur Zeitgeschichte, which had been in print through 2012. Since 2014, the service, which resulted from the DFG Bibliography project, provides monthly up-to-date information on the latest monographs, edited collections, and articles on contemporary history.


Mode of operation

The Bibliographical Information Service (Bibliografischer Informationsdienst - BID) is provided by the IfZ library on the basis of its ongoing acquisitions, thus reflecting the library’s collection profile. The available titles undergo a processing phase, which takes into account both formal and academic aspects (including the categorization of the titles). Due to differences in the number of acquisitions, the vagaries of the book market, etc., the individual editions of the Information Service are of different lengths, while the distribution of the titles among the various categories can vary as well. Since 2017, the titles have been ordered according to a simplified system in the tradition of Bibliographie zur Zeitgeschichte.

The BID editions are dated in accordance with the months in which the new acquisitions were processed. The editions are generally made available in the course of the following month.


  • Contents: Academic literature and biographical literature on contemporary history, focusing on German history, European history, and the history of international relations since the First World War.
  • Formal criteria: Monographs, edited collections, and articles from journals and edited collections of the respective years of publication and the previous three years. Articles of very short length, newspaper articles, and reviews are not included; literature reports can be included in exceptional cases.
  • Title categorization: in accordance with groups of the BID system as defined by topics, geographical areas, and periods of time, then alphabetically within the groups.  The titles are sorted alphabetically by persons in section 3b (individual biographies). Each title is listed in only one group so that several categories may have to be searched.
  • Further information: Each title is linked to the online catalog of the IfZ library, in which further information can be found, including scanned book covers, tables of contents, abstracts, information on reviews, and in certain cases access to the full digital text.
  • Target groups: Researchers, students, publishers; anyone with an interest in the latest academic publications on contemporary history.

An additional monthly service for new acquisitions at the IfZ library can be of interest to those who regularly frequent the library. This service presents all new acquisitions (include older and antiquarian titles, fiction, popular history publications, etc.). Both these lists and the Bibliographical Information Service itself can be subscribed by e-mail (see below).

Subscriptions and availability

E-mail subscriptions are available using the web form. The PDF-files of the BID are also available on a permanent basis via an online archive. Information on titles is provided in full by the IfZ Library Online Catalog and, to a great extent, the Deutsche Historische Bibliografie (DHB, “German Historical Bibliography”).

© Institut für Zeitgeschichte