The library of the IRS serves the specialist literature and information resource needs of the academics at the Institute. It may also be used as a reference library by external parties. Literature and other resources can be made available at reading desks and photocopying is also possible. External users are asked to make an appointment in advance.

The library’s stock is orientated towards the research areas and projects of the IRS. Literature is available in the fields of spatial planning, regional and urban development and, more generally, the social sciences and economics.

With the stocks of the former Institute for Urban Planning and Architecture of the GDR Academy of Building (ISA), the library has specialist literature on the urban and architectural history of the GDR. Indeed, the library has one of the largest collections of books on these topics.

There is also a large and comprehensive section on the urban and architectural history of former socialist countries (Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Hungary). Books and magazines are available in their original language, with excerpts translated into German. The total stock of IRS-library covers over 32.500 media items and 71 current journal subscriptions.

The literature acquired since 1992 is electronically recorded and indexed according to its content. This stock can be researched via user terminals. For literature acquired up to 1991 (the holdings of the ISA-Library), the following card index catalogues are available: Alphabetical Author Catalogue, Systematic Catalogue, Geographical and Biographical Catalogue.