Information in english

Spinnboden Lesbian Archive and Library – Lesbian history lives here

Unfortunately not the whole website is translated in english yet but following you will find the most important information. If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to write us an email:

Visiting Information

Regular opening hours: wednesdays 2-7 pm and fridays 10 am – 3pm.

We appreciate, if you write before to if you plan to visit and need research assistance.

Spinnboden will be closed due to summer holidays from August 19 till September 13 (2024.)

Adress: Anklamer Straße 38, 10115 Berlin, 2nd courtyard, 3rd stairway, 2nd floor

The Spinnboden is easily accessible by public transport. The nearest stop is Bernauer Straße underground station (U8), where there is an elevator. The stop is about 300 meters from the archive.
The archive is located in the Weiberwirtschaft, a building complex at Anklamer Straße 38, in the 2nd backyard, 3rd staircase, 2nd floor.

If you cannot find us in the building complex, please call: +49 (0)30 448 58 48

The paths in the courtyard are partly bumpy due to cobblestones. There is a doorbell at the bottom of the courtyard and at the door of the archive upstairs. The 2nd floor can be reached by elevator (elevator door 99 cm wide, cabin 160 x 170 cm deep). The entrance to the archive has a 10 cm high step, but a mobile ramp is available (door width 90 cm). Unfortunately our toilet is not wheelchair accessible.

There is a city toilet 700 meters away on Brunnenstraße/Stralsunder Straße.

Is there anything in English?

We regularly offer workshops and events in English, please always check the event description on our website or on Instagram.
We also have a rentable existing stock of novels in English, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and French and few other languages. Most of our staff speaks English. For more information, please write us an email or even better, come and say hello!

Who we are

With over 25, 000 items, Spinnboden is one of the largest lesbian archives in the world. Since 1973 we have collected materials documenting everything from the subcultures of the early 20th Century to the political activities of the 1970s to current lesbian, queer, and feminist fights.

We continuously expand our collections to broaden the time periods covered and to include more items concerning marginalized people and communities within lesbian/queer history(ies). Corresponding information and donations of materials or money are very welcome.

For material donations please write an email to

Money donation via paypal or our Bank account

Spinnboden Lesbenarchiv
DKB Bank
IBAN: DE95 1203 0000 1008 3867 55

What we do

Spinnboden is an archive that collects histories “from the bottom up”. The effort emerged within the lesbian movement of the 1970s in order to preserve their history, which was and remains marginalized by the dominant politics of remembrance.

We document the transformation and diversity in lesbians’ conceptions of themselves, in their cultures, and in their politics, whilst also offering a place for meeting and discussion. We see Spinnboden as an inclusive project and seek to work with and for women, lesbians and queer people in a way that is alliance-oriented and sensitive to discrimination in all its forms.

What we offer

Alongside its function as an archive and library, the Spinnboden is also a place to encounter, initiative, discussion and support. We offer various groups and for community activities, workshops and organize events about lesbian/queer history and present. We also offer individual, professional counselling for issues such as work, coming out, relationships, and separation.

History of Spinnboden – an archive with tradition


Several women associated with the Homosexuelle Aktion Westberlin (HAW) – one of the first groups from the autonomous gay liberation movement in West Berlin – call for the establishment of a women’s group.

MAY 1937

In a meeting, the women’s group decides to compile the minutes of all future meetings. A collection of newspaper cuttings also begins to emerge.


The group splits off from the HAW as the Lesbisches Aktionszentrum Westberlin (LAZ) and establishes itself within the feminist movement. The LAZ has its own archive group.


The LAZ collection moves from home as relationships begin and end. Gudrun Schwarz then stores it in her home and sets up the archive. The archive opens in 1982 and consists of approximately 800 books and 40 folders.

JUNE 1983

The ”Spinnboden – Archive for the Discovery and Preservation of Women’s Love” is founded as an association and moves to rooms in Burgdorfstraße 1 in 1988. The word ‘lesbian’ is deliberately avoided in the name, in order to improve the chances of receiving state financial support.


The archive moves to the Weiberwirtschaft (a cooperative of women entrepreneurs) in the Berlin district of Mitte, its current home.

JULY 2001

The name of the association is changed to “Spinnboden Lesbian Archive and Library” to increase its public visibility.

MAY 2008

The archive and library collections are made available in the website’s searchable online catalogue.

MAY 2013

The Spinnboden celebrates its fortieth birthday and is already looking forward to its 50th anniversary in 2023.

Threads of history: What does the name “Spinnboden” mean?

Women used to spin wool on wheels on the “Spinnboden” – a German term for spinning floor. Here they came together, worked and exchanged stories. For the founders of the archive, the name seemed appropriate for a place where lesbian stories are collected and passed on.