With more than 420,000 items, the Kunst- und Museumsbibliothek (art and museum library, KMB) of the city of Cologne is one of the largest public libraries worldwide on modern art and photography. It resulted from the merger of the libraries of the Wallraf-Richart-Museum and the Kunstgewerbemuseum (today Museum für Angewandte Kunst Köln) in 1957.
The KMB is an art documentation centre with a huge inventory of various different media on art from the Middle Ages to the present day. These include printed items such as monographs, catalogues etc., but also invitation cards, newspaper clippings and posters. The KMB is open to the general public and can be used free of charge. The inventory can be accessed in the two reading halls to which the items are arranged according to themes. Materials on fine art are kept in the reading room of Museum Ludwig; materials on applied art, product design and film and photography in the reading room of the Museum für Angewandte Kunst (museum of applied art).
As the KMB is a reference library, items cannot be borrowed. There are, however, copying facilities in the reading rooms. It is recommended to pre-order the materials requested as large parts of the inventory are kept in storage because of lack of space. You can pre-order items either direct via the online catalogue or by e-mail. For further information please visit our website.