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Languages, Cultures, & Applied Linguistics

This guide is intended for students of LCAC as well as other members of the Carnegie Mellon community who wish to develop and maintain their language skills or simply have fun with languages and cultures

If you're looking for scholarly studies of German history, literature or culture, start with our Carnegie Mellon University Libraries catalogor  browse other libraries.



To find general reference sources, start with our Online Reference Shelf to find online collections of reference sources on every subject and in every language.

See also the German, Austria and Switzerland research guide by Sue Collins, CMU History Liaison.



Biographical Sources (literary and non-literary): 

  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sammlung Deutscher Drucke is an initiative by 6 collaborating libraries to reconstruct a national bibliography that will cover the German prints from the beginning of printing to the present
  • Autorinnen und Autoren is a service maintained by the Library of the Free University of Berlin which provides bio-bibliographic information on thousands of German authors, including links to reference and online resources
  • Biographie-Portal  to search Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB), Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB), Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815-1950 (ÖBL), and Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz (HLS)
  • Daten der deutschen Literatur: Provides biographies and facts about numerous German speaking authors. Along with chronologies of key moments in their lives, a list of their works is given, which is divided into areas such as radio plays, novels, theatrical works, essays, and short stories
  • Deutsche Biographie combines the ADB (Allgemeine deutsche Biographie) and the NDB (Neue deutsche Biographie)
  • Online Lexikon Literaturwissenschaft: This website is a satellite of and is based on a compilation of key literary terms and concepts developed by the Universities of Munich and Marburg. Entries are grouped and searchable by literary genre, name of author, and work title.
  • World Biographical Information System (WBIS) Online is the most comprehensive biographical database available, providing short biographical information on over 6 Million people from the 8th century B.C. to the present. Included are 8.4 Million digital facsimile articles from biographical reference works. Access to digitized articles is subscription based


Literary Reference Tools:

  • Kritisches Lexikon zur deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur (KLG): A standard database for literature published in German after 1945. It contains biographical information on more than 600 contemporary authors writing in German, including synoptical overviews of their works, essays on each individual author, theater performances, translations, radio performances, movies & cabaret performances based on the works, audiobooks, and interviews with authors
  • Kürschners Deutscher Literatur-Kalender: One of the most comprehensive indexes of contemporary German literature. Provides information on German-speaking authors, as well as numerous literary institutions.
  • Kindlers Literatur-Lexicon: The online version of Kindler's Literatur Lexikon (KLL), the most comprehensive German-language encyclopedia of world literature. It covers 13,000 important works, from the earliest writings of mankind to the present.

While the following selection of Carnegie Mellon University database subscriptions will primarily point you to English language sources, many contain German language sources if you search using German [most do not allow limit by language, but use it if available].

Electronic Journals

Online Text Collections in German Literature and Related Fields

  • 19th Century German Stories - From Wilhelm Busch to Ludwig Tieck (it actually includes a few late 18th century stories). German texts and English translations.
  • Bibliographie der deutschen Sprach und Literaturwissenschaft - (in German), BDSL Online is created by the University Library Frankfurt, specialises in German literary studies. An online version for the years 1985-2000 is accessible free of charge. 
  •  Deutsche Literatur InteraText Full-text Digital Library offering books and corpora as lexical hypertexts on Creative Commons License.
  • German Literary Expressionism Online - this database provides access to the contributions of 151 journals from the early 20th century in full text.
  • Index deutschsprachiger Zeitschriften 1750 - 1815 - Access to full text of 18th and early 19th century German periodicals (from Berlinische Monatsschrift to Thalia).
  • International Dada Archive (Univ of Iowa) - the Archive holds a comprehensive collection of textual documentation related to the Dada movement. Users may access the International Online Bibliography of Dada in order to search the Archive. On the site's Digital Dada Library, users may access scanned versions of original periodicals, books, leaflets & other ephemera related to the movement. Additional details on a number of individual Dadaists are also available: listed here are figures such as Tristan Tzara, Paul Éluard, Max Ernst, and Man Ray. Where possible, links are provided to digital versions of their works held in the Archive.
  • Literarisches Leben  Literary database & online resource for German language literature from Germany, Austria & Switzerland. The site gives a helpful annual historical chronicle of relevant social & cultural events in these countries from 1945 to 2000. A search engine will bring up publication & personal information on themes & authors according to relevant years. Users can also search for literary events within a particular time span. They can additionally run searches on winners of different literary prizes.
  • Literaturwelt: Autorinnen und Autoren - Author listings provide access to electronic texts.
  • Projekt GutenbergThe project began with a "Märchenbibliothek," but has grown to include a broad selection of authors.
  • Projekt Wittenberg  - Lutheran electronic archive. "Classic and historic texts written by Lutherans," including hymns by Luther and Gerhardt, in German and in English translation.
  • Sophie: A Digital Library of Early German Women's Writing (Haus 1 and Haus 2)
  • - Large collection of full text of literary authors.

Here are a select number of sources for learning German:

  • ABYZNewslinks - a comprehensive source of news and media sources in all world languages.
  • Deutsch auf die Schnelle - German Text for upper beginner and intermediate). On this web portal you can find interesting articles about German culture. Each article contains two versions for upper beginner and intermediate levels.
  • Deutsche Welle - German News - The German international broadcaster, DW-TV, publishes articles about current issues. News articles on this page focus on Germany.
  • - Online Magazine Improve your German reading abilities this well-designed online magazine. There are articles about a variety of different topics in Germany and the world. An 
  • English language version  is also available.
  • FAZ - Read a Daily Newspaper The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is one of the large national newspapers in Germany. Get informed about current events in the world and improve your reading skills at the same time.
  • - Reading for Beginners - A good reading exercise for beginners. Choose the correct word or sentence for the picture displayed above.
  • Spiegel Online - Read the News - Read this popular online news magazine to get informed about current world events – an excellent opportunity to improve your German reading skills.