The Russian Library of Davos ('Davos Library')

Titelblatt des Katalogs der Russischen Bibliothek Davos (1912)
The catalogue of the "Davoser Bibliothek" 1912 (-> online at

The Russian Library of Davos ('Davos Library') / Bibliothèque russe de Davos comprises around 3,000 volumes with printed documents from the last quarter of the nineteenth century to the first quarter of the twentieth century.  The library is primarily made up of the collections of various sanatorium libraries in Davos where a large number of patients from Russia came for treatment prior to the Russian Revolution.  Its composition reflects the reading interests of the Russian upper classes around the turn of the century. It accordingly includes both Russian and translated Western European fiction. On top of this there are various rare periodicals as well as historical and political literature on the most pressing issues of the late Russian Empire. After World War I, the Russian colony in Davos was reduced to only a fraction of its previous size, and the library was not used much anymore. It finally was gifted to the Swiss Library of Eastern Europe in 1963. An overview over the Davos Library's holdings can be found in the printed catalogue from 1912 which has been digitized - together with many other works - on

The Davos Library has been catalogued as a separate collection, preserving their distinct character. All items can be found under the shelfmark group SOB 882 D.

Our digital collections

Titelblatt zu

Digitale Sammlung: Russische Exildrucke

Part of our library's collection of rare Russian emigré prints (1880-1920) from Switzerland and neighbouring countries have been digitized on the Swiss digital platform They include political brochures - often intended for re-smuggling to Russia - as well as rare newspapers and periodicals printed abroad, for example in Lausanne, Geneva or Berne. The collection encompasses a wide political spectrum from anarchist to social revolutionaries and social democrats. Currently, the collection comprises about 300 items which are fully searchable.

Further reading:

Cernova Burger, Irina: Die «Davoser Bibliothek» : ein Bestand der Schweizerischen Osteuropabibliothek Bern, in: Librarium : Zeitschrift der Schweizerischen Bibliophilen-Gesellschaft = Revue de la Société Suisse des Bibliophiles, 42/3 (1999), S. 207-214. Online unter: <>.

Maurer, Eva: Vom Schreiben, Setzen und Sammeln. Russische Drucke in der Schweiz in der Zeit der Revolutionen 1860 bis 1920, in: Marginalien: Zeitschrift für Buchkunst und Bibliophilie (227), 2017, S. 32–48. Online unter <>.

Maurer, Eva: Russian-language Imprints from Switzerland: A Digital Collection on, in: Slavic & East European Information Resources, 2021, S. 1–16. Online unter: <>.