Ibero-American Institute

Glimpses of the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut

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The Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut is an interdisciplinary center for information, research and culture. It encourages scholarly and cultural exchange with Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, and Portugal.

Archives of Knowledge on the Ibero-American Cultural Sphere

The Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut (Ibero-American Institute, IAI) houses the largest library in Europe that specializes in Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, and Portugal. This unique archive of knowledge includes a broad spectrum of material, including books, journals, newspapers, databases, archives, maps, sound recordings, photographs, films, and other special collections such as posters and graphic art. The IAI’s digital library is of growing international significance.

Research and Networking

As a nonuniversity scholarly institution, the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut conducts its own research in the areas of the social sciences, the humanities, and cultural studies. The Institute cooperates on its projects with other nonuniversity institutions and universities in Germany and Latin America. It also has established national and international networks via the numerous visiting scholars who work at the Institute every year. This role is also reinforced by numerous scholarly events. The IAI’s multilingual publication program includes journals, book series, and online publications.


As a cultural center, the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut is a platform of intercultural dialog that is well known internationally. Its program of events ranges from exhibitions, readings, discussions and concerts to film showings and lectures. Its outreach work is targeted at scholarly and general audiences in Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, and Portugal.

Extensive Donations of Books as the Impetus to Found the Institute

The Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut was founded in 1930 by the Prussian Ministry of Culture. Its mission was to assemble information about the Ibero-American countries and to serve as a meeting-place for Latin American scholars and artists in Berlin. The impetus for founding the Institute was provided by extensive donations of books from Latin America, in particular the Quesada family of Argentine scholars. The IAI has been part of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) since 1962.

The Director of the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut: Dr. Barbara Göbel

The ethnologist Barbara Göbel has been Director of the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut since 2005. After studying in Munich and receiving her PhD in Göttingen, she worked at several universities in Germany. She was a visiting professor in Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. In addition, she was a visiting scholar at the Collège de France. Since 2009 Barbara Göbel has been the spokeswoman for desiguALdades.net, a BMBF competence network, and since 2012 Principal Investigator and Member of the Board of the “Image Knowledge Gestaltung: An Interdisciplinary Laboratory” cluster of excellence.

Links for Additional Information

Location of the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut