Universität Bonn

University and State Library

Search Tools

To start off your search, check the availability of certain items within the University or get an initial overview of a particular subject, we recommend using bonnus—our search portal. If you’re looking for something specific or running a detailed search on an extensive range of subjects, this page lists a number of other search tools and explains how to use them.

The bonnus search portal

Our search portal bonnus is the perfect place to begin your literature search, whether you’re looking for a book, a periodical, an article or general works on a particular subject.

You can find details of the holdings of the Main Library, the MNL Branch Library and the specialist and faculty libraries all in one place. The search portal references both printed and electronic media. bonnus can also enhance your search with the addition of numerous licensed and freely available articles as well as academically relevant online sources.

Read the bonnus help page (in German).

Other search tools

Here are some other tools that might help you in your literature search.

DBIS - database information system

DBIS contains both freely accessible databases and those that require a license, all arranged systematically in order. You can use the quick-access function to focus your search on a specific database, while the subject overview gives you a general idea of which databases will be relevant for which subjects.

The integrated traffic light system tells you whether the database in question is free to access, licensed to the University of Bonn or not available.

EZB - Electronic Journals Library

The electronic periodicals library references electronic periodicals that are free to access and those for which a license is required. If you click on the “Volume available online?” link in bonnus against the name of a periodical that is available electronically, you will automatically be taken to the EZB.

A traffic light system will tell you which years are available.

ZDB - German Union Catalogue of Serials

The periodicals database contains the titles and holdings of periodicals at a large number of German and Austrian libraries. Both printed and electronic editions are referenced.

The holdings of the University of Bonn’s libraries are fed into bonnus from the periodicals database. Running a direct search in the ZDB is thus a good idea particularly if you did not find anything in bonnus and thus in Bonn.

DigiBib - the digital library

This portal allows you to run meta-searches of different databases at the same time.

The availability search function in DigiBib (“How can I get it”) will either take you straight to the electronic full-text source, give you the name of a local library that holds a printed copy or enable you to request an interlibrary loan in the case of items not available in Bonn.

You will only need to sign in using your user number (also see the section on library cards) and your password if you would like to use personalized settings in DigiBib, request an interlibrary loan or view your interlibrary loan account. The password you need will be the same as for your account in the bonnus search portal.
You can also sign in later from any DigiBib page.

BonnerBibibliotheken - regional searches

The city of Bonn is home to numerous libraries with large and, in some cases, highly specialized holdings that can be accessed and used by the general public. This is also true of the larger Bonn metropolitan area within the Rhein-Sieg district, which has some important university and specialist libraries. The BonnerBibliotheken partnership allows these regional library holdings to be searched at the same time.

The BonnerBibliotheken website has a shared search interface that works like a meta-search, searching through most of the libraries’ holdings directly and in parallel. A dedicated search space has been set up for this purpose as part of DigiBib.

bonndoc—the University of Bonn’s publication server

The University of Bonn’s publication server is the institutional repository at the University of Bonn. bonndoc is provided by the Bonn University and State Library and offers University members an infrastructure for publishing their academic works.

It also contains texts written by central administration, such as examination regulations.

However, you can find all the documents via the bonnus search portal too.

E-publications from the administrative district of Cologne

As a state library, the USL is legally bound to collect and archive all digital and printed publications from the administrative district of Cologne as so-called deposit copies in order to make them available to its users.

We can provide you with the electronic documents as a compact collection in our E-Pflicht portal. Needless to say, you can also find documents using the bonnus search portal.

KVK - Karlsruhe Virtual Catalogue

The KVK is a meta-search engine that references several hundred million books and other media in library and book trade catalogues all over the world. Use this search tool if you want to check the details of an item or need proof for an interlibrary loan.

Search tip: you can run targeted searches for texts available in digital form.

Kalliope union catalogue

Kalliope is the name of both the interregional consortium and the national reference tool for bequests, autographs and publisher’s archives.

The consortium was put together by the Berlin State Library – Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, SBB-PK) in 2001 with support from the German Research Foundation (DFG). It replaced the Central Autograph Register (Zentralkartei der Autographen, ZKA), which had also been managed by the SBB-PK with assistance from the DFG.

The bequests, autographs and modern manuscripts held by the USL Bonn are also added to Kalliope on an ongoing basis.

Old catalogue

Looking in bonnus for a work published before 1945 but can’t find it?

Items from the fields of theology (G) and law (I) as well as academic publications (H) and doctoral theses form part of the USL’s unaudited holdings and can currently only be searched for using the old catalogue for the most part.

Search tip: Works without an author can be found under the first meaningful noun. For example, “Astronomische Abhandlungen” (“Astronomical treatises”) is in the catalogue under “Abhandlungen astronomische” (“Treatises astronomical”).

Cultural heritage in the USL Bonn

The USL holds extensive collections, including medieval and modern manuscripts, bequests, autographs, music and other specialist collections as well as substantial old holdings. Some of its holdings are showcased in the Digital Collections, which are continuously being expanded.

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