The IDS library is the world´s largest reference library covering German and General Linguistics. Reference holdings comprise a comprehensive collection of specialist literature on the German language (in particular on contemporary language), on General Linguistics and numerous publications on related linguistic disciplines. 

At present, the library encompasses around 109,000 volumes (Catalogue), including valuable  first editions of dictionaries and encyclopedias as wells as 175 current subscriptions to printed journals, around 5,8000 licensed online journals  (Journals) from all areas of linguistics, 5,200 articles, 1,700 e-books, and a continuously growing offer of approx. 6,400 open-access publications (Publication server) and specialist databases. The library also owns special collections such as the private library of German linguist Otto Basler, parts of the literary remains of Gerhard Helbig as well as partial holdings of the former Central Institute for Linguistics at the Academy of Sciences in the former German democratic Republic (DDR).

During opening hours (Mo – Thu: 9:00 a.m. – 5p.m., Fr: 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) the library is open to the publicfor free. Providing a book scanner, photocopiers, a reading room as well as working spaces with access to computers, the library is an excellent place for research and academic work. For students, the short distance from the university campus to the IDS is convenient as the range of literature on linguistics exceeds the offer of the university library.