Reading room in the Main Library (LSA)

The reading room in the Main Library is the university's central learning centre in the Old Town. It is available seven days a week and offers a comprehensive range of services with an extensive reference collection, around 1,000 workstations, 14 group study rooms and a reading terrace.

Use of the reading room

The reading room is freely accessible to everyone. The workstations are freely available. However, reservations are not permitted: If the number of readers exceeds the available space, library staff can clear occupied but unoccupied workstations after 60 minutes and release them for use by other people.

Opaque bags must be locked in the lockers on the ground floor and basement before visiting the reading room. With the exception of water in transparent bottles, it is not permitted to take food or drink into the reading room. At the entrance to the reading room, random bag checks are carried out according to a set pattern, regardless of the person.

 Quiet and peaceful working is important to us in the reading room. Therefore, please observe the quiet rule that applies from the moment you enter the reading room. 


In the reading room of the Old Town University Library you will find around 60,000 volumes of humanities and social science literature in the reference collection. Natural science and medical literature can be found in the reading room of the Neuenheim Branch. 

Volumes of periodicals are available for loan in the reading room and can be borrowed for a fortnight from the information desk in the reading room. 

Daily and weekly newspapers, including those from the international press, can be found at the information desk in the reading room and in the newspaper display on the 3rd floor of the Triplex reading room. The periodicals display is also located at this location. The issues of the current year can be viewed there.


  • Copying and printing facilities (with CampusCard or coins)
  • WLAN via eduroam 
  • approx. 1,000 workstations 
  • 14 group study rooms 
  • 18 individual work booths (carrels) 
  • PCs with internet connection 
  • 4 book supervision scanners for free scans on USB stick (black and white or colour) 
  • 10 laptops for loan 
  • 14 iPads available for loan

Library services

  • Information at the reading desk 
  • Provision of books from the University Library's reading room and interlibrary loans 
  • Provision of UB holdings without a Heidelberg University Library user card / guest orders 
  • Return of borrowed UB media outside the opening hours of the lending desk
  • Semester collections 


Provision of books and reproductions

Not all media from the University Library's collection can be borrowed outside the library. This applies in particular to all works published up to and including 1880, but also to other literature worthy of protection. We will make these titles available for you to consult in the reading room on request. The media are available for you for 5 opening days. If they are not used during this time, they will be returned to the stacks. Otherwise the books are usually available for 4 weeks. If you need the media for longer, you can also renew them in the reading room. 

Please note that you are not usually allowed to make copies from old works yourself. It is possible to commission in-house reproductions of excerpts from works. 

Books published before 1700 and other valuable works can only be consulted in the Historical Collections Department.