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Szilárd Library

Access to scientific literature and resources

About Szilárd Library

The Library was opened on the 20th November 1979 and is named after the Hungarian-American scientist Leo Szilárd, who in part initiated the idea of EMBL. It comprises the printed material collection, the reading area, the public access iMACs, the printer room and the Librarians’ office.

The Szilárd Library has the following materials:

  • around 11,000 monographic titles, 70 active series,
  • around 250 of the most prominent and relevant scientific journals published are available online,
  • a selection of additional online resources such as e-books, Web of Knowlege and protocols of different publishers.

Special Collections:

  • 700 EMBL theses, in both print and online formats
  • The book collection of the Science and Society Office is available in the Szilárd Library. You can see the list of titles through the Library Web Catalogue under classification A5.
  • The Reference Collection consists of popular, rare or expensive books, encyclopaedia, dictionaries, language studies books and audio material, maps, etc.
  • EMBL publications are also available.
  • There is a small collection of Annual Reports from other German and foreign research institutions.
Download the classification scheme

Frequently asked questions

If your question is not answered below, please contact the Library.

Who is allowed to use the Library?

EMBL staff can use the Library during the opening hours and after hours by using the EMBL access card. External visitors have to register in the Library Office during the opening hours. Visitors agree not to use licensed electronic resources of the library; please, contact the librarians for further information. Visitors can use the library as a reference library only, and they can copy material.

When do I have access to the Library?

EMBL staff have access to the Library 24/7 using their EMBL access card.

The library office is open at the following times:

Monday – Thursday: 9:00 – 16:30
Friday: 9:00 – 15:30

What does the Library Web Catalogue offer and how can I access it?

The Library catalogue contains the following record types: books, monographic series and their parts, annual reports, conference series, journals, EMBL theses, CD-ROMs, ebooks. databases and audiovisual material. You can access the Library catalogue here. The library catalogue is updated monthly. You can check the latest additions to the collection here. After selecting a time period a results list will display. You can subsribe to this search per RRS feed, subscribe via the RSS-feed link at them bottom of the results page.

How do I get a personal account & what can I do with it?

Please, visit us at the library office or contact us by e-mail for obtaining a library account. Your library account gives you access to the following services:

Order material form: you can submit requests like article and/or book orders.

Transactions: provides an overview of your open orders as well as items that you have borrowed.

Reservations: displays your active reservations that were placed on items.

Favorites: a list of items that you have tagged as favorites in the catalogue.

Profile: your library account profile.

Your saved searches: a list of searches which you have saved for future use.

You can log on to your Library Personal Account by providing your EMBL login ID and a password which you create the first time you log in. You can choose any password you like – and the first time you will be asked to verify this password.

If you receive the message “Invalid user name please try again” please contact the Library and give us your login user name, we will then activate an account for you.

I have found some items in the Library Web Catalogue. Where can I find them in the Library or how can I get them if I am in the outstation?

The media are freely accessible in the Szilárd Library. The books are in a systematic order, sorted in sections A to T, and the print journals and series are in alphabetical order. Older journals and books are stored in the archive and can be retrieved at request.

If you are interested in a record you can click on its title and you will be redirected to the specific item’s detailed record; there every book record has a note saying ‘call number‘ indicating the classmark , eg. ‘L1 Gil’.  The first part describes the section in the Library, the second indicates the position of the book within the section. Each copy of the specific title holds information on its status i.e. whether it is available or not.

For EMBL staff from the outstations, the material can be shipped.

The Library item I want to borrow is not on the shelf. What should I do?

The Library item you are looking for has been borrowed by someone else, or it may be misplaced or even missing. In any case, please contact the librarians, and they will try to locate the item for you.

How do I check out a book?

Please follow the instructions on the poster for check out or ask librarian for assistance.

How do I return borrowed Library items?

Please put the books you want to return into the book return box next to the entrance or bring them to the Library office. The librarians will remove them from your account and reshelf them.

How can I reserve a borrowed book?

The catalogue entry will tell you if the copy you are after is currently borrowed by some other user. If that is the case next to the record there will be a link Reserve me. Click on the link and follow the procedure.

How can I cancel an order or a book reservation?

Via your library account, service Reservations, you can edit and/or cancel reservations.

How can I extend the loan period?

The loan period of Library items can be renewed if the items are not reserved / requested by another user. You can renew the loan period using your personal Library account by going to the section ‘Transactions’ and renewing the items accordingly; or contact the Library.

What happens if I damage or lose a book?

Borrowers are responsible for all material borrowed, and if it is lost or badly damaged you will be responsible for replacing the material. We do understand that accidents can happen, so please come and talk to the librarians if something unfortunate does happen to one of the books in your possession.

Which classification system does the Szilárd Library use?

The Library currently uses an internal classification scheme, for more information check here.

How can I make suggestions regarding ordering books and other media for the Szilárd Library?

Just make a suggestion using the online ordering system on our webpage by going to the  or just send us the details by email.

What should I do if I’d like to order books for my group or for myself?

You can use the online ordering system on our webpage.

Can I request a book that is not available in the Szilárd Library from another Library?

Yes, you can. We order books from other libraries through inter-Library loan. Just order it using the online ordering system on our webpage. Usually, the books are delivered within a few days.

Can I ask for a photocopy of a journal article or a photocopy of a patent that is not available in the Szilárd Library?

Yes, you can. We can order photocopies of articles and patents which are not available in the Szilárd Library. Just order it using the online ordering system on our webpage. Please read the information on document delivery beforehand.

Where can I find international newspapers?

You can find the daily national and international newspapers near the Library entrance. We keep the old newspapers for one week in the photo-copier room.

How do I access electronic publications / e-journals?

If you work at EMBL, you can access electronic publications e.g. e-books listed on the Library webpages, see e-journals.

How do I get the impact factors of journals?

We have online access to the Journal Citation Reports. On the Web of Science, search screen go click on the tab ‘journal citation reports’ at the top.


External Link Disclaimer

The Szilard Library’s website contains links to other websites or content belonging to or originated from third parties. The Electronic journals and resources and Open Access Content pages are linked to external websites and provide additional information that is consistent with the intended purpose of the Szilárd Library, however, the content of these external websites is beyond EMBL’s control and the EMBL cannot take responsibility for websites maintained by external providers.

Such external links are not investigated, examined or monitored for accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness by us.

We do not warrant, endorse, guarantee or assume responsibility for the content, activities or the accuracy or reliability of any information offered by third-party websites linked through the Library’s website.

If you come across any external links that do not work or you recognize any irregularities while using the external websites, we would be grateful if you could report it to us.

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