Rare books

The historic Münstergasse Library is home to important rare books and prints before 1900. They are cared for by the Historical Collections Center  ZHB which is financed by the Burgergemeinde Bern, the civic community of Bern. We are happy to answer questions concerning the collections, research, access, digitizing, copying and borrowing requests.

Rare books and prints before 1900 can be viewed in the Special Reading Room at Münstergasse Library:

Special Reading Room

From March 2, 2021: open Tue – Fri, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

On Dec 7 a new library system was introduced.  Please use swisscovery for your library transactions.

Your orders will be at your disposal for a month's time. Please ignore the automatic message saying that the order has to be claimed within seven days. For research questions feel free to contact us by mail (zhb@ub.unibe.ch).

When ordering books to be read on the premises, select «BMü, Lesesaal» for our Special Reading Room. 

swisscovery may at times display titles only, not specific copies. Please specify the copy of the work you order by indicating its shelfmark in the additional field.

Customers form abroad may register as well, but the number of orders ist limited to 5 documents. Should your order exceed 5 documents to be consulted in the Special Reading Room write to zhb@ub.unibe.ch well ahead of time.

In case of any questions concerning rare books please contact the reading room staff or write to zhb@ub.unibe.ch .

Google Books project

Google Books is digitizing parts of our collections. From 2020 to 2022 soome books may not be available for a two month period. In such a case you will receive email notice about availability and support.

Digitized items

With eBooks on Demand (EOD) we offer an order service for digitized items from the historical collection (books published 1500 – 1900).

Save a book

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

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

Contact Persons