The Specialised Information Service for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies

Our services for your research

Since 1949, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has supported the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (BSB) as a reference library for German research on Eastern Europe. In 1949-2015, it was part of the “Special Collection Areas” funding programme and, since 2016, has taken part in the “Specialised Information Services for Sciences” programme. From January 2019, work in the FID has been carried out as part of the second funding phase which runs until 2021.

The Specialised Information Service (FID) for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies supports current and future German research in the humanities and social sciences on the region’s infrastructure. Its wide range of services in the field of scientific literature supply and information is constantly being expanded in close consultation with researchers and an advisory board of scholars.

Information on the Specialised Information Services Programme

Advisory board of scholars


Acquisition and Germany-wide distribution of research literature

Within the framework of the FID for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek annually acquires about 18,000 monographs and edited volumes, several thousand journal volumes and numerous electronic media from and about Eastern Europe. The core objective of the FID is to make the acquired materials - including licensed services such as source collections, databases and analysis tools - available throughout Germany.

All types of media can therefore be borrowed directly from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek or ordered in your library via (inter-)library loan and via the document delivery service subito, which is subject to a fee. Free access to the licensed products varies from case to case and is described in detail in the information on the respective offer.

If you have special acquisition requests or suggestions for digitization or archiving, we will be happy to accept them via our wish list service and check whether we can include them in our offer.


In-depth analysis to improve research and access options

To provide scientists with easier access to the approximately 1,500 monographs and anthologies acquired by the FID each month for the Eastern Europe Collection, the following additional information beyond metadata, such as the title or author, is provided:

  • Digitally available tables of contents and summaries (for Special Collections Group [SSG] holdings from 2006);
  • Bibliographies (from 2016 for FID titles);
  • Location, person and other registers (from 2016 for FID titles);
  • Link to the review platform for European history (from 2016 for FID titles);
  • Additional information in the form of catalogue processing for selected rare prints or more comprehensive databases;
  • Make verbal subject cataloguing data easier and more intuitive to use;
  • Better handling of original texts, for example through the automatic transliteration of search queries.

All catalog enrichment data is full text searchable via osmikonSEARCH as well as the BSB catalog OPACplus. This enables more in-depth search options down to chapter and page level. In addition, the bibliographies offer further systematic and - due to the secondary literature used - often multilingual search entries. All data generated by us is made available to other libraries, repositories and projects for subsequent use and integration into their own offerings.


Open access publishing / retro-digitization / digitization "on demand"

The FID for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies offers scholars the opportunity to publish research results electronically in open access. This can be an electronic primary publication in one of the digital series (Digital Series of Graduation Papers or DigiOst) or an electronic secondary publication of already published works. Furthermore, the FID continuously digitizes copyright-free sources and secondary literature. The digital copies are processed with text recognition and made available in open access via the subject repository OstDok, which offers free access to meanwhile more than 54,000 electronic full texts. Copyright-protected printed works are also made digitally available through cooperation with publishers, series editors and projects. The legal examination and handling of the digitization is carried out by the FID. Suggestions for digitization (also from individuals) can be submitted via the wish list form. This service is available free of charge to researchers of Eastern Europe.


Ego documents

Within the framework of the FID for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek offers the possibility to electronically publish so-called ego documents (self-testimonies) with reference to Eastern or South-Eastern Europe in the subject repository OstDok. This enables researchers to easily and conveniently access materials that were previously often difficult or impossible to access publicly. The digitization service of ego documents is available to libraries, archives and research institutions that hold valuable estates, and now also to private individuals.

More information about ego documents can be found here.


Archiving and provision of free Internet resources

The FID for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies feels obliged to archive freely accessible electronic journals which will not be available in the long term for technical, organizational or political reasons and - if the website is no longer accessible - to provide the archived version. Analogous to electronic journals, endangered research-relevant websites from the countries of Eastern and Southeastern Europe are also regularly archived.


ARTOS – a database of articles and reviews on Eastern and South-Eastern Europe

Since 2016, FID for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies has been developing a comprehensive database of articles for interdisciplinary research on Eastern and Southeast Europe. ARTOS currently records specialistarticles and reviews from about 350 current journals and selected edited volumes in the broad spectrum of humanities and social science studies from Eastern and Southeastern Europe and about the region. To a smaller extent, historical journals from the first half of the 20th century are also included.

2020 ARTOS received its own research interface. Furthermore, a subscription service - ARTOS AboService - is offered within the framework of ARTOS. Here you can be regularly informed by e-mail about current articles and reviews.



Research data / Research Data Service OstData

The storage, processing and re-use of research data has been an important science policy concern for years. The FID for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies provides a wide range of information on this topic via osmikon. At the beginning of 2019, a separate third-party funded project for the development of a research data infrastructure for research on Eastern, East-Central and Southeastern Europe, OstData, was started, so that this topic will be promoted outside the FID in the future.

About OstData


The research gateway osmikon

osmikon, the successor of the Virtual Library Eastern Europe (ViFaOst), serves to combine the services offered by German Eastern European research and reflects the regional and thematic width of the research landscape. In cooperation with other funding institutions, it offers as comprehensive a record as possible of the resources available in Germany together with relevant availability and access services. It also facilitates access to literature not available in Germany by integrating international data sources into the osmikonSEARCH research instrument.

About osmikon


Information, advice and training

One of the aims of the FID is to inform scholars about the services of the FID by means of traditional and modern information channels, then to provide personal consultation and training for groups on individual service and information offers as well as to establish mechanisms for exchange with researchers (e.g. through surveys) in order to further develop all FID activities.

Info material: Flyer and Poster


Countries and subject profile



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Newsletter of the Specialised Information Service for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies