What is searched?
osmikon.search offers the possibility to search simultaneously in relevant German and international library catalogues, bibliographies and special databases for scientific literature and research material on Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe.
Find out more about osmikon.search



What is searched?
The subject repository "OstDok – Eastern European Documents Online" provides electronic full texts of research on Eastern, Central Eastern and Southeastern Europe.
Find out more about OstDok 



What is searched?
The database ARTOS records specialist articles and reviews from around 400 current journals and selected anthologies covering a wide range of research in the humanities and social sciences from Eastern and Southeastern Europe and across the region.
Find out more about ARTOS



What is searched?
OstNet is a catalogue for internet resources and lists academically relevant websites and online documents on Eastern, Central and Southeastern Europe. In OstNet you can, for example, search for institutional websites, blogs or digital humanities projects on a specific topic or country, or search for databases for a specific research target.
Find out more about OstNet


ARTOS alerting service

Use the ARTOS alerting service to receive regular e-mail updates on new articles and reviews from several hundred journals and selected edited volumes on Eastern Europe!
Find out more about ARTOS alerting service

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about osmikon and its contents.

The gateway osmikon

osmikon is the research gateway to Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe and offers interdisciplinary, academically relevant information and services on this region, such as bibliographical research, requests via wish lists or electronic publishing.

osmikon also offers access to the services of the Specialised Information Service for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies (FID Ost) and replaces the previous regional portal Virtual Library of Eastern Europe (ViFaOst). More information is available under “About Us”.

osmikon is an artificial word. It refers to the regions about which information is provided: (in German: Osteuropa, Südosteuropa und OstMitteleuropa).

The Greek word-ending, with its similarity to the term “lexicon”, refers to the information included and, at the same time, reminds us of the icons of Orthodox Christianity widely found in Eastern Europe.

osmikon is aimed at people engaged in academic research on the region of Eastern, Central Eastern and Southeastern Europe.

In osmikon the following fields are covered within the Specialised Information Service for East, Central and Southeast European Studies:

  • Anthropogeography and Area Studies
  • Archaeology
  • Education system
  • History
  • Library and Information Science, Bibliology
  • Media and Journalism
  • Music
  • Politics
  • Religion and Church History
  • Language, Literature, Ethnology (data partially/mainly from the FID Slavonic Studies, Berlin)
  • Sociology and Social History
  • Economic history

Based on the acquisition profile of the Eastern Europe Department of the BSB, the following subjects are also included:

  • Art and Architecture
  • Philosophy and History of Ideas
  • Law
  • Environment and Nature
  • Economics

The geographical focus of osmikon is on the following countries:

  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Estonia (data partially from FID Finno-Ugric / Uralic Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Göttingen)
  • Finland (data mostly from FID Finno-Ugric / Uralic Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Göttingen)
  • Caucasus / former Soviet Republics (data mostly from FID Middle East, North Africa and Islamic Studies, Halle)
  • Kosovo
  • Croatia
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • North Macedonia
  • Central Asian former Soviet Republics (data mostly from FID Central Asia – Indigenous Cultures and Languages, Göttingen and from FID Middle East, North Africa and Islamic Studies, Halle)
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Modern Greece
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Czech Republic
  • Ukraine
  • Hungary (data mostly from FID Finno-Ugric / Uralic Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Göttingen)
  • Belarus
  • Cyprus

osmikon covers the following historical periods:

  • Prehistory (incl. Archaeology of Prehistory and Protohistory)
  • Ancient history
  • Mediaeval history
  • Early modern history
  • Modern history
  • Contemporary history

osmikon is a joint service of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (BSB), the Collegium Carolinum (CC), the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe - Institute of the Leibniz Association (HI) , the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) and the Austrian National Library. In addition, it functions as the central web portal for the Specialised Information Service for East, Central and Southeast European Studies, located at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

The (FID) Specialised Information Service for East, Central and Southeast European Studies provides infrastructure support for current and future German research in the humanities and social sciences in the region of East, East Central and South Eastern Europe. It serves the supra-regional community by supplying literature and other scientifically relevant content. The FID is located at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich and is mainly supervised by the Eastern Europe Department. The Specialised Information Services have replaced the Special Subject Collections as the central funding instrument of the German Research Foundation (DFG).

osmikon is the successor portal of the Virtual Library of Eastern Europe (ViFaOst), which is financially supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and technically and editorially supervised by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in cooperation with the partner institutions in charge (see above). It also functions as the central web gateway for the Specialised Information Service for East, Central and Southeast European Studies.


With osmikonSEARCH you can browse a large number of data sources with reference to Russia, East and Southeast Europe at home and abroad. These consist of library catalogues, subject databases and specialist academic services. This means you can comprehensively search for literature from a single online location, which saves you having to browse a large number of individual library catalogues and subject databases.

You can find an overview of the features of osmikonSEARCH under Search Help.

You will find an overview of the data sources in osmikonSEARCH under Data Sources. A click on the “i”-button (info) next to the data sources offers you a brief summary and the link to the data source.

osmikonSEARCH does not offer its own lending function for the material it retrieves. By clicking on the “Order” button, however, you can find libraries nearby that hold the media items in their collections. You can then borrow the items by clicking on this button. However, much of the content is accessible online.

If no library nearby holds the desired book or journal, you can arrange for an interlibrary loan via your home library.

Data from external data sources are imported at regular intervals and integrated in the search index of osmikonSEARCH. In this way a multitude of sources can be searched quickly and search results can be displayed in a single list of matches.


Under the heading “Publish” you have the option of publishing electronically on OstDok in open access format.

Open access means unrestricted and free access to scientific information. The aim of open access is to make scholarly literature and scientific material accessible to all users free of charge, unimpeded by technical and legal barriers as much as possible. With the help of Creative Commons licences, authors can easily grant the rights to use their works and thus greatly simplify public access and use.

More information can be found at open-access.net.

The subject repository OstDok is the central open access platform for research on Russia, East and Southeast Europe. It offers electronic access to over 52,000 full texts such as scientific monographs, sources, theses and series.

If you are interested, you can integrate the content provided in the subject repository OstDok into your own database and harvest the content. To do so, please contact ostdok(at)bsb-muenchen.de.

Particularly for smaller scientific institutions, it is sometimes difficult to publish entire institutional series and journals electronically. We ensure the reliable citation, permanent availability and high visibility of your publication series or journal in the Eastern European expert community. We will be happy to advise you. Please write to us at ostdok(at)bsb-muenchen.de


Thematic dossiers

The "Thematic dossiers" section offers you scholarly introductions to special historical events. We distinguish between thematic dossiers and e-resources. The former deal extensively with a given topic on the basis of essays and articles, the latter with annotated collections of digitised sources.

If you have an idea for a thematic dossier, please feel free to contact us at osmikon(at)bsb-muenchen.de.

We are happy to support you in all further steps of publication and retro-digitisation of content.

Research data

Research data are data generated in the course of scientific projects, for example, through digitisation, source research, experiments, measurements, surveys or interviews. By recording these, you can help to safeguard your own research results, improve their transparency in line with academic best practice, and enable their reusability.


Under the heading "Materials" we have collected digital services which cannot yet be searched via osmikon search. These are research-relevant contents such as digital source collections or services with digital images and maps. The selection criteria ensure that the material on offer is of high quality.

Some content can also be found in osmikonSEARCH. It may be listed if separate access offers a clear added value compared to hits in osmikonSEARCH, for example, in the case of special search entries in accordance with media types.

With the help of DBIS, you can search a large number of other subject databases. That way you can find even more research-relevant material such as digitised sources, essay databases or inventories.

Database Information System (DBIS)

Yes! Please use the wish list form.

Direct link: Wish List


In the services section you will find the services and information offered by the Specialised Information Service for East, Central and Southeast European Studies which will support you in your research activities.

The FID licences provide access to specialist information and services for German research on Eastern Europe. These are mainly digital source collections and similar subject databases. The individual offers are open to members of the community of experts in East, Central and Southeast European research and meet their high demand for specialist information. Access to the individual products varies from case to case and is described in detail in the information on the respective FID licences.

The expert community includes researchers who are scientifically involved in studies relating to the regions of Eastern, Central Eastern and Southeastern Europe. If you can provide evidence of a research focus in this area, you automatically belong to the expert community and thus have access to particular FID services such as FID licences.

The newsletter is sent every one to two months. You can unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time.


The acquisition service will inform you about new acquisitions by email at the end of each month. You may cancel your subscription here: https://neuerwerbungen.bsb-muenchen.de/ned/subscriptions?lang=en

Picture Credits

Header FAQ: Buchrücken-Reihe © BSB


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