Researching Online


Some important general and historical reference works are accessible via intranet. Some are also available on the internet.


Brockhaus Enzyklopädie Online

Encyclopaedia Judaica

Munzinger Online / Personen

Kürschners Deutscher Gelehrten-Kalender

Der Neue Pauly

Lexikon des Mittelalters (Citrix-Client necessary)


Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie

Neue Deutsche Biographie

Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz

Wer war wer in der DDR?

Historical Reference Works

Das Universal-Lexikon by Z.H. Zedler (1732-1754)
68 volumes as facsimile

Die Enzyclopädie von Diderot und d'Alembert (35 volumes, 1751-1780)
Classic encyclopedia of the French Age of Enlightenment - An incomplete English translation is available here: The full text in French - only free to an extent however - is available at:

Oeconomisch-technolgische Encyclopädie oder allgemeines System der Staats- Stadt- Haus- und Landwirthschaft by J.G. Krünitz in 242 volumes (1773 to 1858)
This encyclopedia encompasses 242 volumes with 600 to 800 pages. It is supplemented with copperplates with around 9,000 whole and detail illustrations of the articles as well as tables that can be partially folded out. The title later changed to "Oekonomisch-technologische Encyclopädie". The Oeconomische Encyclopädie is still considered the most important reference work on economics and technology during the period between the Age of Enlightenment and industrialization.

Allgemeine Enzyklopädie der Wissenschaft und Künste by J.S. Ersch and J.G. Gruber in 167 volumes (uncompleted, 1818-1889)
Ersch and Gruber's encyclopedia was edited by 400 individuals. It encompasses approximately 70,000 pages in three sections. It was published in three parts:

  • »A-G« (1st section),
  • »H-Ligatur« (2nd section)
  • »O-Phyxius« (3rd section).

The Brockhaus Verlag took on the work in 1831 and ceased its efforts in 1889, while the work was still incomplete. The keyword Greece encompasses eight volumes alone: volumes 80 to 87; the Greece volumes were published separately and were completed with a detailed and systematic index at the end of the eighth volume. The volumes consist of text in two columns almost exclusively. Starting with Section 2, a copperplate is included in each volume. The »Ersch-Gruber« is considered the most comprehensive encyclopedia of the Western world, as a prototypical document of German idealism.

Meyer's Konversationslexikon in 16 volumes from 1888/89
One of the classical general lexicons for the educated middle class

Encyclopaedia Britannica (1911)
29 volumes. One example of the value of the EB is the entry for Germany or, more properly, THE GERMAN EMPIRE (Deutsches Reich), a country of central Europe. The territories occupied by peoples of distinctively Teutonic race and language are commonly designated as German, and in this sense may be taken to include, besides Germany proper (the subject of the present article), the German-speaking sections of Austria, Switzerland and Holland. But Germany, or the German empire, as it is now understood, was formed in 1871 by virtue of treaties between the North German Confederation and the South German states, and by the acquisition, in the peace of Frankfort (May 10, 1871), of Alsace-Lorraine, and embraces all the countries of the former German Confederation, with the exception of Austria, Luxemburg, Limburg and Liechtenstein. The sole addition to the empire proper since that date is the island of Heligoland, ceded by Great Britain in 1890, but Germany has acquired extensive colonies in Africa and the Pacific (see below, Colonies). ..."
Provides a number of works from the 19th century in their complete form. The scanned lexicons are particularly useful, e.g.:_Conversations-Lexikon (1809–1811), Damen Conversations Lexikon (1834–1838), Bilder-Conversations-Lexikon (1837–1841), Herders Conversations-Lexikon (1854–1857), Pierers Conversations-Lexikon (1857–1865), Brockhaus Kleines Konversations-Lexikon (1911), Meyers Großes Konversationslexikon in the 6th edition (1905-1909)

Lists with digitalized reference works

German language lexicons: