University Library of Bern UB

Rare books

The University Library of Bern has a significant collection of historical prints and special collections. Most of these historical holdings and special collections can be ordered and consulted in the Special reading room for historical collections in the Library Münstergasse. Rossica can be consulted in the Swiss Library of Eastern European (SOB).

Digital copies

Parts of our holdings can be viewed on the platform in the form of high-resolution digital copies. 

For the majority of our other holdings (books and maps published between 1500 and 1900), we offer an E-Books on Demand (EOD) service for ordering digitised copies.

Save a book

Your generous donation will contribute to conserving rare books and maps.

Bern collections and scholarly libraries

Museum and Reading Society

Museum and Reading Society

Collection of books from the 19th century, mostly travel literature and fiction in German.

Holzer Collection

Erwin Holzer's specialist library with animal geography and ornithological literature.

Fine press books

Fine press books are rarities and important witnesses of 20th and 21st century book art.


Library of the French diplomat and humanist scholar Jacques Bongars.

Hospinian collection

Precious prints by the humanist scholar and Latin professor Leonhard Hospinian (German: Wirth).

Fellenberg collection

Von Fellenberg collected works that would be useful for pupils and teachers in educational establishments.


A monastery library dissolved during the Reformation in 1528.

Eastern European collections

Rossica Europeana

The "Rossica Europeana" collection documents Russia as portrayed in (Western) European publications, maps and illustrations from Early Modern times to the turn of the 20th century.

The Russian Library of Davos ('Davos Library')

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 19th century to the first quarter of the 20th century.

Historic Bookholdings of Switzerland

You will find a survey of our rare books in the Manual of Switzerland's historical books.

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