Ibero-American Institute

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The Ibero-American Institute, seen from the south
The new stables in which the IAI was housed until the Second World War
Ibero-American Library (1958)

The Ibero-American Institute of Prussian Cultural Heritage (IAI) in Berlin is an interdisciplinary center of scientific and cultural exchange with Latin America , the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal and the largest non-university research institution for the Ibero-American cultural area outside of Latin America. The Spanish form of the name is Instituto Ibero-Americano Patrimonio Cultural Prusiano . The IAI is located at the Kulturforum Berlin near Potsdamer Platz and is an institution of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation .


The basis of the holdings of the IAI library goes back to three book collections. In 1927 the Prussian Ministry of Science, Art and Education acquired the 82,000-volume private library of the Argentinian scholar Ernesto Quesada . In addition, the IAI received the Mexico library of the geographer Hermann Hagen , who, with the support of the Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles , had compiled 25,000 volumes. In this regard, Hagen undertook a trip to Mexico from 1926 to 1927 on behalf of the Prussian Ministry of Science, Art and National Education for the purpose of putting together a library and for geographic studies. Hagen's activities must, however, also be seen in a larger context in the context of the German-Mexican relations at the time, which had been pursued between the two countries for several decades. With this so-called Mexican library , which first came into Hagen's private possession , there was ultimately a symbolic climax between these two states and cultural cooperation. When the Institute for Latin American Studies in Hamburg, founded in 1925, was dissolved again in 1930, its holdings of around 10,000 volumes also went to the IAI. At the time of its founding, the IAI already owned around 120,000 volumes. This created a special library that contained many rare and valuable volumes.


A research department was an essential part of the institute. Initially housed in the stables , the institute moved to Berlin-Lankwitz during the Second World War . Under the direction of Wilhelm Faupel , the institute was involved in the foreign policy of the Third Reich , including diplomatic relations with Argentina and Spain . All stocks relocated during the war were lost. The total loss is an estimated 40,000 volumes.

After the end of the war, the institute was to be dissolved as a result of its National Socialist activities. On April 1, 1946, the State of Berlin took over the financing of the IAI and thus saved it. Hermann Hagen became the first director in the post-war period (1946–1957). In the same year the institute was renamed "Latin American Library", from 1954 it was called "Ibero-American Library". In 1957 the library was included in the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation . From 1962 the institution was again called the "Ibero-American Institute".

In the following period, one of the main tasks was to close the stock gaps that occurred during the war, which were due to the fact that during this time hardly any acquisitions from Central and South American countries were possible. The IAI received a lot of support from foreign institutes, libraries and other institutions. A lack of space forced the IAI to move to a new building at Potsdamer Strasse 37 in Berlin-Tiergarten . The move took place in 1976/1977. In 1977 the Hall company published a 30-volume publication of the IAI's subject catalog.

The storage magazine Friedrichshagen , which was opened in 2014 and was built jointly for IAI, the Berlin State Library and the Bpk - Picture Agency for Art, Culture and History , is expected to cover the need for storage space by 2035, although further expansion of the space reserve is possible . After the first 300,000 volumes, around a kilometer of shelves of older and less-used stocks will be moved to the external storage facility every year.

The IAI is a member of the CEISAL research association and the REDIAL documentation network .

Outline and stocks

Today the IAI consists of the Library Department, the Estates, Special Collections & Projects Department and the Central Services Department. It is the most important cultural center in Germany and a leading European cultural center for Latin America, Spain and Portugal.

The IAI has the following special collections:

  • Phonothek : The Phonothek collects audio, visual and audiovisual media from Spain , Portugal , Latin America and the Caribbean . The inventory currently comprises around 15,000 long-playing records, 2,000 singles, 1,000 shellac records, 4,500 CDs, 900 music cassettes and 1,200 tapes.
  • Map collection: Since 1957 maps of Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula as well as of former Spanish and Portuguese colonies have been collected. At the present time, the inventory includes an estimated 68,550 printed and 80 hand-drawn maps as well as 1,348 atlases. The focus is on map series and historical maps.
  • Image archive and slide library : Both were created in 1973. Here you can find photographs and slides about Latin America, Spain and Portugal. The inventory comprises around 60,000 photographs and 22,000 slides.
  • Newspaper clippings archive: Since the institute was founded in 1930, articles on Spain, Portugal, Latin America and the Caribbean have been collected. The collection contains an estimated 300,000 clippings. In 1990 the newspaper clippings collections of the Institute for International Politics and Economics of the GDR and the German Institute for Contemporary History (DIZ) of the GDR were integrated. This access includes approximately 76,000 newspaper clippings from the international press. No new clips have been added since 1999.
Buddy Bear in decor from Ecuador in front of the IAI

The IAI publishes monographic and periodical specialist publications, for example the journal Ibero-Analyzes , which deals with topics related to politics, economics, society and culture in South American countries. The Ibero-Online.de series contains lectures held at the IAI that can be downloaded as PDF. The Ibero-Biographies contain selected bibliographies from the holdings of the Ibero-American Institute on specific topics, with the shelf marks indicated. In addition, numerous publications appear on the Ibero-American area and the history of the IAI.


In addition to using the reading room with 75 workstations that have laptop connections and WiFi , the institute's library also offers international interlibrary loan. Holdings of the phonotheque and the film collection are also available for use in the institute as well as for loan and can also be acquired on data carriers for personal or scientific purposes. The institute is affiliated with the SUBITO document delivery service. Digitization on demand is also offered, taking into account copyright provisions . The library's holdings are listed in the online catalog. The fee-based usage is regulated by the user regulations.


See also


  • Peter Altekrüger: The expansion of the acquisition strategies of a special library: Conclusions from the analysis of subject-related lending statistics of the Ibero-American Institute. Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation; Term paper for exam for senior library service. Cologne 1995.
  • 75 years of the Ibero-American Institute of Prussian Cultural Heritage . Berlin 2005, DNB 984383816 .
  • Reinhard Liehr, Günther Maihold, Günther Vollmer (eds.): An institute and its general: Wilhelm Faupel and the Iberoamerican Institute in the time of National Socialism . Verlag Vervuert, Frankfurt 2003, ISBN 3-89354-589-1 .
  • Gudrun Schumacher, Gregor Wolff: bequests, manuscripts and autographs in the possession of the IAI . Berlin 2004, OCLC 162302418 .
  • Sandra Carreras: The Quesada Library is coming to Berlin: on the background of a donation . In: Sandra Carreras, Günther Maihold (Ed.): Prussia and Latin America: in the field of tension between commerce, power and culture. Lit, Münster 2004, ISBN 3-8258-6306-9 , pp. 305-320.

Web links

Commons : Ibero-American Institute  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Reinhard Liehr: History of Latin America in Berlin . In: Reimer Hansen , Wolfgang Ribbe (Hrsg.): History in Berlin in the 19th and 20th centuries . de Gruyter, Berlin 1992, pp. 633–655, here 644.
  2. ^ Stefan Rinke : Germany and Mexico between the First World war and the big depression, 1918–1933. on: dimensionantropologica.inah.gob.mx
  3. ^ Storage magazine Friedrichshagen at Our buildings - our locations. Berlin State Library .
  4. ↑ Handover of the keys for the Friedrichshagen storage magazine ( Memento from January 12, 2015 in the Internet Archive ), press release from June 30, 2014. Accessed on September 6, 2014.
  5. ^ Online catalog of the library of the Ibero-American Institute. Prussian cultural property.
  6. ^ Ibero-American Institute-Prussian Cultural Heritage: Usage Regulations. (PDF; 121 kB)

Coordinates: 52 ° 30 '24.1 "  N , 13 ° 22' 10.8"  E