The Kunst- und Museumsbibliothek (Art and Museum Library) is one of the largest public libraries for modern art and photography worldwide. As a public reference library it provides its users access to literature, informational material, and photographs of art from the middle ages to the present. Its areas of emphasis include:
- Art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries
- Image production in the media of photography and film
- Art of the BeNeLux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg)
In addition to 500,000 publications (monographs, CDs, catalogues, and over 6,500 periodicals, including ca. 500 current subscriptions), the library has an extensive archive of minor publications (newspaper clippings, invitation cards, and brochures from the 1950s to the 1980s on art). While all the publications in the online catalogue of the library have been confirmed, the auction catalogues and minor writings must be requested on site, in the reading rooms.
In July 2013, in recognition of the library’s immense significance and due to a large civic and international protest, City of Cologne politicians and administrative officials publicly pledged to retain the library in its entirety and to undertake an intensive search for a building in which its holdings can be consolidated. This agreement came precisely after the majority of the City Council had voted, in July 2013, against the originally planned move into the new building of the city’s historical archive on the Eifelwall, citing reasons of cost cutting.
Holdings on Art from the Middle Ages to the Present
Address: Heinrich-Böll-Platz, 50667 Cologne
Hours: Monday 2–9 p.m., Tuesday–Thursday 10 a.m.–9 p.m.,
Friday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Consultation about the collections is available until 5 p.m.
Additional opening hours on Saturdays (11 a.m.–4 p.m.): July 8, 22 and August 5, 19, 2017