The library is the core of the IWM building, venue for many of its events and holds around 40,000 volumes of books and periodicals. The composition of the collection reflects the broad fields of research and ongoing projects of the IWM, most notably philosophy, history, sociology, political science, and cultural studies.

Furthermore, the library holds extensive collections of literature in gender studies and publications in Eastern European languages. It is a non-lending, open stack library and the catalogue can be accessed through the in-house network during office hours.

As a part of the focus The Philosophical Work of Jan Patocka, an archive containing the work of the Czech philosopher was established in 1984. Today, the Institute’s Patocka Archive holds all known published and unpublished texts as well as Patocka’s correspondence and relevant secondary literature. The materials of the archive are available to all scholars interested in his work upon request.

IWM Library Opening Hours

Library Opening hours: By appoinment only


How can a Library Be Closed, but Active?

The whole IWM is trying – and in my opinion succeeding – to keep the intellectual discourse and exchange alive while the institute is closed. The contact to the Visiting Fellows continues, this blog on the website and our virtual colloquia are just a few things that keep us busy in these difficult times.

But what happens when the doors to a library have to shut? The (beautiful) physical space might be taken away, but the work continues. The work of an institutional library goes beyond the physical book and access to large publishing houses and databases. An institutional library cannot – and should not – compete with its larger pendants. Its value lies in the small things, in the kind of service only a closer relationship to research projects and the people connected to them can bring. The IWM library started with one shelf and has by now taken over not only the main library room, but most of the corridors and many offices. The collection is a reflection of the research that has happened at the IWM over time. One can see which fields were in high demand at a certain time and later abandoned, and which ones are new additions and enhancements. [read more…]





Katharina Gratz

Library Guidelines