Explore the ESO Libraries


ESO maintains physical libraries in Garching (Germany) and Santiago (Chile). They provide content for ESO staff. External users are welcome to use the library, but they cannot borrow items. You can find books (about Astronomy, Physics, Engineering and Mathematics), journals, and observatory publications.

The libraries can also be used as a meeting space. Please contact the librarians in advance: library@eso.org for Garching, libchile@eso.org for Santiago.

Further information about the ESO Libraries can be found in the Library Flyers & Presentations section on this page.

If you want the quickest answer possible for your requests, please use our generic email addresses. library@eso.org is read by Uta, Silvia & Nathalia; libchile@eso.org by Leslie.

   library@eso.org (Garching)           libchile@eso.org (Chile)

Our team

Uta Grothkopf
Department Head
& Head librarian
Tel: +49-89-320 06-280  


Silvia Meakins
Library Technology
Tel: +49-89-320 06-775  
Nathalia Escarlate
Library Technology
Tel: +49 89 320 06-474
Leslie Kiefer Saldías
ESO Chile Librarian
Tel: +56-2-463 3153

Library account & Loan Policies

Library items can be checked out with the librarians or through the library catalog. Only users with a library account can borrow items.

Creating a library account is possible via the Login area of the library catalog. If you have an ESO account, you can simply log in with your ADS credentials to register. If you don't have an ESO account or need help, please send us a note or stop by the library office.

We don't have strict loan periods. In case an item is requested by somebody else, we will contact the current user. Library staff must have access to borrowed items at any time.

To review the list of all items currently checked out to your account, just log in to your library account by accessing the library catalog (choose Library Catalog on the libraries' homepage or go directly to the catalog's login page) and proceed to "Your Account" and next to "Your Summary".

You can safely ignore the Due/Recalled date as we don't apply strict loan periods. However, if another user requests an item you have borrowed, we will ask you to return it to the Library. Please kindly ensure access to the Library items in your office also during times of absence.

in case of lost or damaged items, you will be asked to purchase a replacement copy for the Library.  

If you have any questions regarding this procedure, please let us know. Journals (bound and unbound) cannot be borrowed. If you need any volumes or issues urgently, please contact the librarians

Acquisitions, Requests, etc.

At any time and for all kinds of requests, you are invited to stop by the library office, phone the librarians (phone numbers as indicated below) or send an email to library@eso.org.
We order books, ebooks (if available), standards, journal articles, etc. on request. We can also loan books from other libraries in case you only need them for a short time.

If you prefer to browse through the books on the library shelves, you might wish to get information about the classification system used by the ESO Libraries on the start page of the library catalog.

When you are leaving ESO: Please return all library items and cross-check your list of borrowed items with the librarians.
In Garching, you will find a RETURNS box in the library office; in Santiago, you can leave them on the librarian's desk. We will discharge them from your account and reshelf them.

Find your way around in the Library

Our floor plans shall help you to quickly find what you need. You can also browse the shelves virtually using our library catalog. More information you can find in our ESO Library catalog flyer (pdf).

Library Garching
    Upper Floor
Library Garching
    Lower Floor
Library Santiago
    Upper Floor
Library Santiago
    Lower Floor

Library as a meeting space

The libraries can be used for meetings or talks. The space can't be booked via the ESO booking system, but please contact the librarians if you plan to use the library ad-hoc or regularly: library@eso.org for Garching and libchile@eso.org for the Santiago library.

In Garching, a projector is available, along with a screen that can be rolled down. The remote control for the beamer, a pointer, connectors, etc. are stored in the library office.

In Santiago, a projector and screen are available. Servicedesk can provide pointers and connectors.

Please also see the Guidelines for the Library Space usage for Science Talks & Meetings.


Books: approx. 15,000 items
Optical Library G. Franke: approx. 320 items
ESO Historical Archive: approx. 190 items
A collection from Prof. Oort
Current Journal Subscriptions: approx. 150 titles

The Library Catalog contains records of all library items and provides access to electronic publications. Most important electronic journals can also be accessed from the e-journals page.

Astronomy Librarians' Corner

LISA (Library and Information Services in Astronomy) conferences, http://www.eso.org/sci/libraries/lisa.html

Directory of astronomy libraries, http://www.eso.org/sci/libraries/addresses.html

Opening hours


The libraries are open 24 hours per day. Librarians at both facilities are available between 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (local time).


Please find here a collection of Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers).


European Southern Observatory
ESO Library Garching
Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2
85748 Garching near Munich

E-Mail: library [at] eso.org
Tel: +49-89-320 06-280 (Uta Grothkopf)
Tel: +49-89-320 06-775 (Silvia Meakins)
Tel: +49 89 320 06-474 (Nathalia Escarlate)
Fax: +49-89-320 06-9280

European Southern Observatory
Biblioteca Santiago
Alonso de Córdova 3107, Vitacura
Casilla 19001
Santiago 19

E-Mail: libchile [at] eso.org
(contact for all Chilean ESO libraries)
Tel: +56-2-463 3153 (Leslie Kiefer Saldías)
Tel. directly from La Silla: 3153
Fax 1: +49-89-32006645
Fax 2: +56-2-4633101