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Earth Science Library FAQ

Address  Malteserstr. 74-100  
Gebäude Haus O / Eingang Haus G  

12249 Berlin
Phone number (030) 838-70 205 (Information & Lending), (030) 838-70 609 (Map collection) 
E-Mail  geolib@zedat.fu-berlin.de
Library Manager Cornelia Kahlfeld 

Site plan of the Lankwitz campus including legend

  • From Berlin Central Station (Hauptbahnhof)

S-Bahn S7 direction Ahrensfelde to Friedrichstr., change to S25/26 direction Teltow to Lankwitz, change to bus X83 direction Nahariyastr. to Emmichstr., travel time approx. 30 min.

An A4 plastic spiral binding machine is available in the Earth Sciences Library, as well as the necessary material for binding documents. Users can thus bind their own documents, such as scripts or theses.

One spiral ring costs: € 0.25

If you have lost books/media from the Earth Sciences Library, please report this directly to the service desk.

Tel.: (030) 838-702 05 or e-mail: geolib@zedat.fu-berlin.de

In the event of damage to or loss of library materials, repair or replacement costs as well as processing fees will be charged.

Underage users (16-18 years) can get a special user card at the service desk. They must provide:

1) Either an identity card with an adress in Berlin/Brandenburg or a passport with a certificate of residence in Berlin/Brandenburg

2) Declaration of consent of the legal guardian(s)

3) Identity card of the legal guardian(s) for signature verification

Please print out the form, fill it in completely and bring it with you to the Earth Sciences Library. Alternatively, you can fill out the form directly at the library.

Young people (16-18 years) will obtain a special form for applying for a library card (only in German) at the service desk, which must be signed by the parent or guardian.



Students of Freie Universität:

Students of Freie Universität can borrow media with their valid "Campuscard" and have them made available. A separate registration is not necessary.

External users:

External users are persons over 16 years of age who are resident in Berlin or Brandenburg or who have a student card from a local university. A library card is issued free of charge and can be obtained at the service desk on presentation of the following documents:

  • valid identity card or passport
  • official proof of current residence, if this is not evident from one of the above documents
  • if applicable, a valid student card from a university in Berlin/Brandenburg
  • Library registration form

External users who have not yet reached the age of 18 also require the written consent of a parent or guardian as well as a copy of the identity card of a parent or guardian to produce their library card.

Loan period, renewal

The loan period in the Earth Sciences Library is usually 4 weeks, for books from the textbook collection 2 weeks and can be extended if there is no reservation. Detailed information on the loan period can be found in Primo after registration.

The loan period can be extended in the user account itself or by telephone on (030) 838-70205. After a maximum loan period of 6 months, the item must be presented. Reminder emails are sent before the loan period expires as a service of the FU Libraries.

The lending conditions and the loan period of interlibrary loans are determined by the lending library and are therefore variable. It is not possible to extend the loan period beyond this.

In these cases, renewals are not possible:

  • The item you wish to renew is on hold.
  • The item was ordered via interlibrary loan.
  • Your account is blocked.

Reservation of borrowed media

You can reserve borrowed items by making a reservation in Primo. To do this, you must log in to the library portal Primo.

You will receive an e-mail notification when the reservation is waiting for you at the service desk for 5 working days.

Book return

FU media can be returned at all lending desks of the Freie Universität Berlin except at the libraries of the Charité. Interlibrary loans must be returned to the UB.

You will receive a return receipt by mail.

The coffee and tea counter in front of the service desk offers snacks and tea throughout the day, and coffee is available starting at about 2 pm. The service is privately funded by the library staff, and the FSI Geography provides the coffee. We ask you to contribute a donation of €0.70 for each cup of tea or coffee to keep the offer going. Thank you for your support!

Semester list search in Primo

Semester list search in Primo

Create course reading lists

Lecturers can compile the books or e-books required for their courses in the library portal Primo as a course reading list. The books in course reading lists can either be compiled virtually or also physically placed in the reading room (see course reading lists in the UB reading room).

Please contact → your library staff to set up a semester list.

Linking course reading lists in Blackboard

The Primo course reading list link appears in every content area of your Blackboard course under "Create content" (screenshot) and you can link your course reading list there at the desired location of your course.

For this you need a so-called deep link, which you get from the library that creates the course reading list for you in the library system Alma.

You can add a description to the course reading list.

Please note the regulations for the "Use of copyrighted works for teaching and learning" (§ 60a UrhWissG) and the instructions for learning platforms https://www.fu-berlin.de/sites/ub/literatursuche/semesterlisten/urhwissG_lernplattformen.pdf of the German Library Association (dbv).

Searching in course reading lists

In Primo, the course reading lists appear as a separate search area with special search and filter options (course name, course number, lecturer). Media in printed form are blocked for loan in the current semester or converted to short-term loan.

In the university library they are placed together in the reading room - in libraries with open access they are often virtual course reading lists, i.e. the books remain in their regular locations.

You would like to add a title to the course reading lists that is not yet part of our collection?

Write us an e-mail: geolib@zedat.fu-berlin.de, or use the acquisition form in Primo with the note "Please add to the semester list ............."

If you have any questions about semester holdings - we will be happy to help: geolib@zedat.fu-berlin.de or 030 / 838-702 05

All important information on the websites of the University Library.

You can find a validation machine on the 1st floor of the refectory on the Geo Campus

Freie Universität Berlin provides its library users with an extensive range of databases.

Reminder fees

If the loan period is exceeded, a written reminder will be sent for the return of the books or media units. The reminders are subject to a fee.

The basis for charging fees is the fee schedule for the libraries of the Freie Universität Berlin.

Late fees for late returns will be charged as follows:

The reminder fees per volume or media unit for the 1st reminder are:

2,00 €

for the 2nd reminder 5,00 € plus 2,00 € of the first reminder:

7.00 €
for the 3rd reminder € 10.00 plus € 7.00 of the first and second reminder,

The 3rd reminder shall be sent by registered mail with advice of receipt or by another delivery method.
17.00 €
after the 3rd reminder has failed, a performance notice will be issued.

The notice of performance shall be sent by registered mail with advice of receipt or by another delivery method.
20,00 €

The handling fee for book replacements will also be increased:

10,00 € (replacement by the user)

20,00 € (procurement by the library)

The reminder fees are due when the reminder is issued. Reminders will be issued at regular intervals.


Fees can be paid at the automatic pay stations:

  •    Iltisstraße 1(Student Administration),
  •    Garystraße 39 (University Library) and
  •    Mensa FU II (entrance Otto-von-Simson-Straße)

As of 2017, fees incurred in several FU libraries can be paid collectively in cash at an FU lending desk. A bank transfer is possible.

Bank details (for overdue fines and 1,50 € interlibrary loan fees):

Hauptkasse der FU Berlin

IBAN: DE67 1007 0848 051 3128 900

Swift Code (BIC): DEUTDEDB110

Deutsche Bank PGK AG

Absolutely necessary, please indicate:

Reason for payment: 0011/58 + matriculation or user card number.


  • For fees of 10 € or more, the user account is temporarily blocked.
  •  Reminders for media not returned on time will be sent immediately after the loan period has expired.

You will only receive notifications from the library system by e-mail, except for 3rd reminders. You will receive more e-mails than before and will thus be informed immediately about all your activities. You will not only be reminded of the end of the loan period by the familiar reminder email 3 days before the end of the period, on the day of the end of the period we will remind you a second time.

In the ZEDAT portal, redirections to the preferred email accounts can be set.

Looking for the latest article from FAZ, taz, or New York Times, but can't find it via Primo?

To help you find them faster, there is now a dedicated website called E-Presse, which briefly introduces you to the most important databases.

The University Library has a wide range of current daily press. This is available to users mainly in electronic full text. A complete selection - including older newspaper content - can be accessed via the Nachrichten- und Presserecherche in the database information system (DBIS).

Daily and weekly newspapers published in Berlin (as of 11/2022) can be found optionally with different reporting periods in the press databases Wiso Presse (B. Z., Berliner Kurier, Berliner Morgenpost, Berliner Zeitung, Bild or Bild am Sonntag, Jüdische Allgemeine, taz or die tageszeitung, Die Welt or Welt am Sonntag) or Nexis Uni(B. Z., Berliner Kurier, Berliner Zeitung, Bild or Bild am Sonntag, Jüdische Allgemeine, Der Tagesspiegel, taz or die tageszeitung, Die Welt or Welt am Sonntag).

Refubium is the repository of Freie Universität Berlin. It offers members of Freie Universität Berlin the framework for free electronic publishing of text-based documents (e.g. books, academic articles, reports, dissertations, postdoctoral theses) and research data.

What are the advantages of publishing on Refubium?

  • Open Access publication (gradations of "openness" and time embargoes are possible)
  • Guaranteed long-term archiving of documents
  • Assignment of identifiers (e.g. DOI, ISBN and URN)
  • document retrieval in search engines and discovery systems
  • fast electronic availability of your document
  • Versioning options
  • free of charge

Further information on Refubium can be found under Help on Refubium A - Z.

FU members planning to publish in Refubium should seek advice from the University Library as early as possible. We recommend that you do this as early as the application and research phase, especially in the case of research data.

Help page

  • FU Lankwitz cafeteria ("Mensa")
  • Coffee and snack vending machines in front of the library entrance
  • Organic fair trade coffee in front of the service desk starting at about 2 pm (please help maintain this offer with a €0.70 donation)

It is allowed to drink in the library, but not to eat.

The Earth Sciences Library has taken over the book collection of the FU-Best Program (Freie Universität Berlin European Studies Program). The books are available in our library, but cannot be borrowed. They are available for on-site use for anyone interested. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your library staff.


Image Credit: Marcus Bahlo


Image Credit: Marcus Bahlo

There are a total of two large group workrooms and two small group workrooms available on the 1st floor. On the first floor there are three individual work booths and also one work booth where up to four people can work. It is not necessary to reserve a place in advance.

The library is located in "House O" and can be reached via the entrance in "House G".

Opening hours of the Earth Sciences Library 

From 07/24/2023 to 10/13/2023:

  • Monday through Thursday: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. / Friday: Closed.

From 10/16/2023 the new opening hours will be:

  • Monday to Thursday: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. / Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Important at the start

  • Beginning October 16, tours of the library and card collection will be held throughout the first month of the winter semester on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:00 p.m. The tours are offered without prior registration.
  • Your campus card is also your library card and your key for the lockers in front of the library.
  • Jackets and bags can be taken into the library. Alternatively, you can use the lockers in front of the library free of charge (via Campuscard or PIN code).
  • Drinking is allowed in the library.
  • The coffee and tea counter in front of the service desk offers snacks and tea throughout the day, and coffee is available starting at about 2 pm. The service is privately funded by the library staff, and the FSI Geography provides the coffee. We ask you to contribute a donation of €0.70 for each cup of tea or coffee to keep the offer going. Thank you for your support!
  • You can find everything you need to know about the library on our homepage under the menu item "Library A-Z".
  • Map of the library on Google Maps.
  • GETTING STARTED: The new brochure on entering university.
  • Introduction to the Campus Management online system

Learning and working

  • The two large and two smaller group work rooms on the 1st floor are ideal for group work in the library. In addition, there is a soundproofed work cabin for 4 people on the first floor. Three individual workstations with privacy screens are located on the first floor.
  • The two large group workrooms each have a Cisco Webex Desk Pro video conferencing system with digital whiteboard capability and additionally a 32-inch display with HDMI connection and integrated speakers as external monitor
  • Print/Copy: Due to a comprehensive change of the printing concept in the FU Libraries, there is currently no printer or copier with integrated payment option available in the Earth Sciences Library. As a temporary alternative, we offer all users the possibility to make printouts directly at the service desk upon request. In addition, a self-service machine is available on the library ground floor.
  • WLAN access for your notebook, tablet or smartphone: see "Library A-Z / WLAN".
  • The library has numerous workstations with so-called "thin clients" for reading and printing e.g. articles and for researching on the net or in PRIMO.
  • In addition, we have Windows computers with an extended range of software (e.g. QGIS) on which work can be done via ZEDAT login.
  • Everything about printing, copying and scanning: see "Library A-Z".

Lending and loan period extension

  • As an FU student, you can borrow books from the freely accessible area or textbooks with your Campuscard.
  • You can borrow textbooks for 2 weeks, 4 extensions of 2 weeks each are possible.
  • Books from the freely accessible area can be borrowed for 4 weeks, 4 extensions of 4 weeks each are possible.

(Extensions can be made via the library portal PRIMO or by telephone).

Research tools of the FU Berlin

The Freie Universität offers a large number of research tools (catalogues, subject databases, search engines). For the beginning, we always recommend the library portal PRIMO, as it covers most of the search queries that arise at the beginning of your studies.

Through interlibrary loan the University Library can procure items or article copies for registered users from other libraries in Berlin, Germany and abroad. Fees may apply.

This service requires a valid FU student card or an FU library card.

Printed journals generally can not be borrowed. However, they can be viewed, copied or scanned. You can also send us your scan request by e-mail.

An overview of the journals and publication series available in the Earth Sciences Library can be found on this overview page (in German).


General geology, Historical geology, Regional geology, Geochronology, Deposit science, Mining geology, Hydrogeology, Engineering geology, Photogeology, Remote sensing, General palaeontology, Vertebrate palaeontology, Micropalaeontology, Geoinformatics, Geophysics, Mineralogy, Materials science, Physico-chemical data, New materials and technologies.


Geography, cartography, tourism, geography-related publications from the fields of political science, agricultural science, economics, social science.

Contact person: Cornelia Kahlfeld

Map collection:

Geographical and topographical maps, atlases, geological maps.

Collection information / as at: end of 2004 / freely accessible:

a) Total number of volumes: 91,152

b) Current periodicals: 605

c) Micro-materials: 362

d) Maps: 161,000

e) Atlases: 1,900

f) Wall maps: 500

g) Slides: 37,866

h) CD-ROM: 185

i) Other media (films, video tapes, diskettes): 27

  • 45 workspaces
  • Linux network computers with library account login
  • Windows 10 PCs via ZEDAT login with extended software offer
  • 1 flatbed scanner (A3/A4)
  • 1 A2 book scanner
  • 1 large format scanner (up to DIN A0 / E)
  • 3 video conferencing systems with digital whiteboard function. A Cisco video conferencing system with digital whiteboard function is available in each of the two large workrooms.
  • Wi-Fi
  • 2 large group study rooms on the 1st floor of the library
  • 2 small study rooms on the 1st floor of the library
  • 3 work cubicles on the ground floor
  • 1 group study room on the ground floor, big enough for four people

The library portal Primo is a modern library catalogue for finding and accessing local and external resources such as books, journal articles and digital objects.

(Both documents are only available in German)

The loan period is usually 4 weeks, for books from the textbook collection 2 weeks and can be extended. You will see detailed information on the loan period in Primo after registration.

The loan periods will only be displayed after registration, but then they will be displayed "smart", i.e. tailored to the respective person depending on the library and usage status (daily loan, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, etc.).

media from the textbook collections have a loan period of 2 weeks in all FU libraries. However, they can be extended (if not reserved). Reservations are possible for total loans of a title.

  Book collection      4 Weeks  

  4 x Extendable (by 4 weeks each)    

  Textbooks   2 Weeks

  4 x Extendable (by 2 weeks each)

Excluded from the loan are:

  • Journals/periodicals (scanning orders are possible)
  • Protected holdings (scan orders are possible in individual cases)
  • Dissertations/theses
  • Maps from the map collection (scans are possible in individual cases after consultation with the Earth Sciences Library)

You can activate your Mensacard / Campuscard or your transponder using the terminal located to the left of the library entrance, next to the coffee machine. There, you can also display your locker number if you have forgotten it.

Before using the lockers, you must perform a one-time activation of the Mensacard or Campuscard at the terminal.

If you use a numeric code as an alternative to secure the lockers, you should take note of the locker number and numeric code, as an emergency opening is only possible when staff are available. Locker use is limited to the daily library opening hours. It is not permitted to use the lockers beyond this time.

Do not keep any valuables in the lockers. The library accepts no liability for theft.

Lost items from the library rooms can be handed in at the counter in the library entrance area. Lost property from the cloakroom lockers is also kept there.

If you are missing something yourself, please ask at the counter during opening hours in person or by phone (030/838-70205) or send an e-mail to: geolib@zedat.fu-berlin.de.

Open Access

For several years, Freie Universität Berlin has been committed to the Open Access idea and thus to the free accessibility of scientific knowledge. It offers extensive services, e.g. open publishing in Refubium, reimbursement or central payment of Open Access publication fees or advice on so-called "predatory publishers".

The teams of the Earth Sciences Library and the Open Access Department at the University Library can advise you on open publishing. You can also find information on the FU's Open Access webpages, e.g. on whether Open Access publication fees can be paid centrally via the FU Publication Fund, via institutional memberships or via publishing agreements.

Research data management

The teams of the Earth Sciences Library and the Research Data Management Department at the University Library support students and researchers in managing their research data.

Take advantage of this support, for example, when creating data management plans or with questions about publishing research data. You can also find information on the FU's research data management websites, e.g. on what is meant by research data and what is important for data management when performing research. You are also welcome to contact Andreas Hübner directly, who is in charge of the Department of Earth Sciences in the Research Data Management team (send E-Mail or phone: 030 838 71062).


Research data management Documentation and Citation of data

Central tasks of data management for researchers are the documentation of research data (incl. software). The two checklists linked below briefly present the most important points:

Research data policies for research projects

Research data policies for research projects are useful for establishing a common standard in a research project on how to deal with the research data generated in the project. This is particularly relevant in projects with many participants and when different research disciplines work together.

Additional ressources

Another recommended source of detailed, predominantly German-language information on research data management is the website forschungsdaten.info. Here you will also find subject-specific pages, for example for the Geosciences.

As of October 16, 2023, our opening hours are as follows:

  • Monday through Thursday: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 10:00 to 15:00

Login only with FU-Account

FU members log in to the library portal Primo and to the library computers in the FU libraries with the FU account/ZEDAT account.

For FU students, only the email address of the FU account is valid as an email address. In the ZEDAT portal, redirections to the preferred email accounts can be set.

External users

The password issued by a library should be replaced by an individual password. The password can be changed in the user account.

If you have forgotten your password, you can get a new password at the service desk - please also bring an identity document with you.

As of summer 2023, there are no more RICOH printers in our library.

  • You can print in black and white on your own using a small printer located on the first floor of the library and the computer next to it.
  • For color, please ask the library staff at the service desk.

Freie Universität Berlin is taking sustainable measures in the area of library services. A new concept to promote sustainability is being implemented with immediate effect: Instead of conventional copying and printing services, digital duplication options using scans will be brought to the fore.

The University Library together with FUBIT is currently developing a new printing concept for the libraries.We hope that this planned concept can be implemented soon.

We understand the importance of the printing service and apologize for any inconvenience during this transition. If you need to print something, please do not hesitate to contact our team at the service desk. Our staff will be happy to assist you.

Can I reserve borrowed books?

  • If you have entered your e-mail address, you will receive a message when the book you have reserved is returned.

To reserve books, please log in to your user account and call up the desired title in PRIMO. There you can then make a reservation.

  • As soon as they are available for you, you will be notified in writing free of charge (by e-mail if you have entered a valid e-mail address in your library account, otherwise by post).
  • Reserved media are available for you to pick up in the library for 7 opening days. You can select the collection location when you make your reservation.

Ordering media to a collection location of your choice

When placing your order/reservation, you can decide from which FU library (except the Philological Library) you would like to collect an item for home loan. You can see the possible pick-up locations in the order form.

As a reminder: the order/reservation options are only visible in the library portal Primo after logging in and only for stacks or borrowed works. All media that can be borrowed from the Earth Sciences Library can be ordered to a pick-up location of your choice.

Supported sizes and devices

  • one DIN A4/A3 flatbed scanner
  • one large format scanner (up to DIN A0 / E)
  • one A2 Bookscanner


  • Scanning is free of charge

Please note that the Earth Sciences Library is closed on public holidays. In addition, for special reasons, such as construction work or events, there may be deviating special opening or closing times. However, we will inform you in good time about these changes on our website or by posting notices in the library itself. 

Dec. 23, 2023 -
Jan. 1, 2024

(Sun-Mon) Closing time over Christmas and New Year's Eve closed
March 8, 2024 (Fri) International Women's Day closed
March 29, 2024 (Fri) Karfreitag (Good Friday) closed
April 1, 2024 (Mon) Ostermontag (Easter Monday) closed
May 1, 2024 (Mon) Tag der Arbeit (Maifeiertag) closed
May 9, 2024 (Thu) Christi Himmelfahrt (Ascension Day) closed
May 20, 2024 (Mon) Pfingstmontag (Whit Monday) closed
Oct. 3, 2024 (Thu) German Unity Day closed

In order to make it easier for newly appointed professors to settle into their new position and get started in research and teaching at Freie Universität, the University Library has launched a special service: The UB Starter Package for Newly Appointed Professors.

The start-up package, specially designed for newly appointed professors and their staff, offers initial needs-based introductions to working with the FU Libraries, familiarizes the newcomers with the diverse services and offerings of the University Library, and establishes contact with our experts according to individual needs.

The University Library's Startup Package for Newcomers (in German only) includes services from all areas of the University Library - including the Central Library in Garystraße, the subject libraries, the University Archives, and the services of the Center for Digital Systems (CeDiS), which has been part of the University Library since 2021. It is thus a further development of the long-established "CeDiS Starter Package", which has now been expanded to include a variety of library-specific services.

A personal consultation - in German or English - is the starting point of the initial package. Depending on individual needs, the university library presents its services in more detail and develops tailored support options together with the newly appointed. In addition to a personal contact person in the respective subject library, the professors and their employees get to know other colleagues from the University Library who can provide them with targeted support in various areas of their everyday academic life.

Optionally, the consultation can be combined with an individual guided tour of the respective subject library

When registering online for a personal consultation appointment, interested parties have the opportunity to specify which of the services included in the start-up package they are particularly interested in. The UB will then be happy to put together a suitable team of experts.

If you have any questions about the University Library's Startup Packet for New Appointees, the Startup Packet Team will be happy to answer them at: 


The university bibliography lists publications by members of Freie Universität Berlin and appears as a cumulative online bibliography in the library portal Primo.

The system for self-recording of publications for members of Freie Universität Berlin (SEP) is available for entering data.

For students of Freie Universität Berlin, the CampusCard is also the library card for the FU libraries. External users can obtain library cards free of charge at the lending counters. The cards are valid in all libraries of the Freie Universität including the Charité.

Further information can be found on the websites of the University Library.

All information on the available video tutorials can be found on the University Library's web pages.

Update from 31.03.2021:

Important notice for accounts of the Freie Universität Berlin that are based on a membership in the ERG e.V.:

For this group of accounts, the VPN service will no longer be available from 01.04.2021 due to a decision by the university management. If you have any questions, please contact your ERG e.V. contact person.

Instructions for the operating system you are using:

(Many instructions are only available in German—please contact us if you need help.)

What is VPN?

Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a technology that allows a computer to be virtually integrated into a campus or company network independently of its physical network connection. A computer connected in this way can also use services that are reserved for internal computers. In this way it is possible, among other things, to use the printers of ZEDAT or also the services of the university library, such as access to special databases or the use of a large number of electronic journals to which the FU subscribes. Technically, a VPN connection to the campus network is realised by setting up a network tunnel between VPN software on the user's computer and a VPN server in ZEDAT, through which the data between the terminal device and the server are transmitted in encrypted form. The software (AnyConnect) and the VPN servers used at the FU are Cisco products.

Where is VPN used?

A combination, i.e. the simultaneous use, of VPN technology with the WLAN eduroam is neither technically possible nor sensible. Outside the FU campus, VPN can be used to access internal FU services: Users who have a DSL connection at home or are travelling with their laptops can use VPN to connect their computers virtually to the FU campus network, provided their computers have an internet connection.

Alternatives to VPN

For web-based services, there is another possibility to use FU-internal services from outside the campus network: If the web browser is configured to use ZEDAT's proxy server, the proxy server, since it is part of the campus network, can make a request to such databases on behalf of the owner of a valid ZEDAT account, for example, and thus enable access from outside the campus network. The account holder must identify him/herself to the proxy server with a username and password. See: Proxy server of ZEDAT

All information about Wi-Fi, including the technical set-up, access information for guests and for conferences, can be found on the ZEDAT website (in German only—don't hesitate to contact us if you need help!).