Featuring the largest specialized European library on Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the Caribbean, the Ibero-American Institute (IAI) collects and preserves books, magazines, electronic documents, maps, audio media, photographs, postcards, videos, DVDs, papers, posters, art prints and illustrations and diverse additional materials. The library systematically acquires materials in all languages and from all corners of the globe. Subject areas include the belles-lettres, humanities, social sciences, economics and jurisprudence, as well as the geological, agricultural and environmental sciences. The library also collects government publications.
The IAI is integrated into the program for special subject collections supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). All materials are made available to users at the institute itself or through the national and international interlibrary loan system. Materials can also be ordered for a fee from the subito document delivery service. There are seventy-four desks, twenty-six research workstations and various reproduction facilities in the library's reading rooms. All the materials held by the library are indexed in the online catalog, except for holdings in the image archive and some material in both the map collection, the papers & manuscripts section, the art prints and illustrations archive, the poster collection, the newspaper clippings collection and the collections from corporate bodies. The cibera virtual library lists and provides access to resources extending beyond the IAI's holdings and also contains information on the IAI's collection fields.