FAQ on library and library catalog

Registration for swisscovery

Registration for privat people

You can register on the SLSP registration platform. Organizations please not the information further down.
On this website you find detailed instructions for

  • if you already have a SWITCH edu-ID.
  • if you are student or staff of University Bern
  • if you don't have a SWITCH edu-ID and are not a member of a Swiss university.
  • if you have a SWITCHaai as a member of a Swiss university.
  • if you are employed or student at several Swiss universities.

An e-mail address is required for registration in order to use all services of the University Library of Bern.

Do you need help with the registration? Contact us at +41 31 684 92 11 / bibliothek@unibe.ch.


Registration for institutions, organizations and libraries

Organizations also register via the SLSP registration platform (https://registration.slsp.ch/). Please select the link at the bottom under "Please note" and complete the form. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from SLSP informing you to contact your favorite library to activate the account. Please mention the "User ID" that was assigned to you during registration.

If you had registered in another SLSP-library not connected to the University library Bern, you have to reset your password when logging into our swisscovery University and PH Bern for the first time. You can use the same password you used for your registration.

If you have any questions or problems with the registration, please contact us at +41 31 684 92 11 / bibliothek@unibe.ch or go to the SLSP-FAQ

You may not have completed the SLSP registration process. Go to the SLSP registration platform, select "Start registration" and log in with your SWITCH edu ID. When the page where you have to agree to the transmission of your data appears, continue with the registration process. If the message "You are already registered with SLSP" appears and you still cannot log in to swisscovery, please contact us at: +41 31 684 92 11 / bibliothek@unibe.ch

Yes, anyone can register. However, people living abroad can only use the services to a limited extent: no courier and postal deliveries, no interlibrary loan and article orders, and limitation of the number of media borrowed at the same time.

Follow the instructions on SWITCH edu-ID.

You will find information on library introductions for school classes on our website.

Library card

If you are not yet a user of the University Library of Bern and do not have a user card from a library that is new to the SLSP network, you can obtain a card free of charge in one of our libraries.

All user cards that were previously valid in the University Library of Bern will continue to remain valid.

Have you lost your library card you can get a new one for free in your library.

All library cards included in the BibliOpass network are also valid at all SLSP (Swiss Library Service Platform) libraries and thus also at the University Library of Bern. The same applies to the UNICARD. To use the services, you must first register on the SLSP registration platform. During the registration process you can add the number of your library card or UNICARD.

Library cards can also be added later. To do so go to the SLSP registration platform and choose "Manage library card numbers and settings", log in with your SWITCH edu-ID and add your library card/UNICARD.

Library cards can also be added later. To do so go to the SLSP registration platform and choose "Manage Library Card Number", log in with your SWITCH edu-ID and add your library card/UNICARD. 

Please contact your library or bibliothek@unibe.ch.

Administer user account

You can reset your password on the website of SWITCH edu-ID https://eduid.ch. Select Forgot password? and follow the instructions.

Please take this opportunity to also check your contact details.

If you want to change the language setting in swisscovery Universität und PH Bern log in and click on your name in the top right corner. Go to "Anzeige-Sprache". Choose your preferred language.

If the e-mails sent to you are not in your preferred language go to https://eduid.ch. Log in with your SWITCH edu-ID account and change the language setting.

You can update your account data on the SWITCH edu-ID website https://eduid.ch. If you wish to add a user card to your account, you can do so on the SLSP registration page. Select Manage library card numbers there, and log in with your SWITCH edu-ID account.

Use your SWITCH edu-ID (email address and password) to log in on swisscovery University and PH Bern. After logging in, your name will appear at the top right corner of the screen. Click on it to view your account. 

In the lower right hand corner of https://registration.slsp.ch/?iz=ube, you will find the button "Manage library card numbers and settings". Pressing this will ask you to log in with your SWITCH edu-ID and you will be brought to the Library Card Management screen. You may change your settings there. 

swisscovery: Literature search

In the SLSP network there are various institutional zones, each with its own swisscovery platform. This allows you to limit the search to the media of your libraries and to use the various local services such as the local courier. At the same time, however, it is possible on each platform to extend the search to all media of the SLSP network with the help of the search scope.

The best platform for the media of the University and PH Bern is the red one: ubbern.swisscovery.slsp.ch. In contrast the global swisscovery platform has the colour violet. We recommend that you always start your search on the red platform.

The function of the different search scopes on swisscovery University and PH Bern is described with examples on the initial page.

  • Log into your account at the top right corner of the research platform swisscovery University and PH Bern.
  • Start a search by entering a term in the search bar at the top of the page.
  • Then select the search area "swisscovery University and PH Bern" in the bar. This will find books and journals that are available in a library of the University or PH Bern (including UPD, Inselspital, Swissmedic). 
  • If you do not find anything in our catalogue, you can simply repeat the search in other SLSP libraries: Use the filter at the very bottom left "Repeat search in".
  • You can extend your search to all collections of the 475 libraries of the new SLSP network by selecting the search area "swisscovery".

The swisscovery manual at the bottom of this page may help you with your research. If you require more help, you can reach us either in person in one of our libraries or by phone, email and chat.

  • Log into your account at the top right corner of the research platform swisscovery University and PH Bern.
  • Start a search by entering the title of the journal in the search bar at the top of the page.
  • Open the full view of the hit
  • by clicking on the "Available at" display.
  • In the section "Loan and request options" you will see the location(s) where the journal is available.
  • The funnel icon on the side allows you to filter by different criteria, by location, year or volume.

The swisscovery manual at the bottom of this page may help you with your research. If you require more help, you can reach us either in person in one of our libraries or by phone, email and chat.

  • Log into your account at the top right corner of the research platform swisscovery University and PH Bern.
  • Start a search for a journal article or an essay in the search bar and select the area "swisscovery UniBe and PH plus". There you will find all electronically available articles or essays licensed by the University of Bern as well as electronic media that are freely accessible (open access).
  • You can access the full texts within the university network, i.e. either on campus or via VPN connection. You can either download the individual articles or read them online.


  • If you are unable to find the article, you can search in one of our licensed databases, which you can find on our website.
  • Electronically available journals can also be found at the top of the homepage of swisscovery University and PH Bern under "E-Journals". Here you can search for a specific ejournal title or you can browse the categories of subjects for journals relevant to you. Access to full-text articles is only possible with a VPN connection or within the network of the University of Bern.

Old prints and rare books, maps, pictures and the bibliography of Bernese history can be searched in swisscollections.
All titles are also listed in swisscovery, but the search options in swisscollections are specifically geared to historical holdings and archival material.

For Information about the special collections of University Library Bern see here. If you have any further questions, please contact the Centre for Historical Collections: zhb.ub@unibe.ch

If you are logged into swisscovery, you can select interesting titles as favorites with the pin icon. In a second step, you can label the selected hits and thus create thematic watch lists.

After you have performed a search, select single or multiple titles from the results list. To do this, either click on the pin icon that appears to the right of the title. Or you make a check mark in the number field in front of the title and then click on the pin symbol that is displayed in the upper gray field. The number of selected records will then be displayed there. In this way you can select a maximum of 50 hits and then save or export them as favorites.

To label favorites, go to the pin icon ("My Favorites") displayed at the top right of your account. In the Favorites view, select all or several titles (checkmark in front of the title). Then you can add titles to the selection using the pen icon (add labels). Favorites can be easily removed from the selection by clicking the pin icon again.

The hit lists can be exported by marking the desired titles either directly in the result list or in your favorites lists (max. 50 titles). You can export them, e.g. by mail or as Excel. The link to the hit list, on the other hand, cannot be shared directly in this way.


In swisscovery title records are romanized; i.e. Cyrillic characters are rendered with Latin characters. The instructions in english and russian and the transliteration table will help you search titles in Cyrillic script.


swisscovery: ordering, pickup and returning media

Log into your account at the top right corner of the research platform swisscovery University and PH Bern. If you have searched for a copy or topic with keywords, all results will be displayed in a list. Click on a copy you would like to order. Select the red button "Loan". You can select the collection location directly in the selection menu or first select the collection institution "University and PH Bern". Freehand copies can be accessed directly from the open access section of a library. Note the location of the shelf mark to get the copy yourself. 

Please note: You cannot order a copy in a library where there is only one available freehand copy. In that case get the copy yourself in the open access section of the library or order it to another library. A delivery is free of charge if the book is ordered from a library that takes part in the Bernese Courier. If you order from another SLSP library (even within Bern), the copy will be delivered by the SLSP-Courier for a fee of CHF 6 per media.

Media can also be delivered to your home, but with a charge of CHF 12 per item. For this purpose, the "Pickup Institution" must be left blank when ordering in swisscovery (the field will be filled in automatically). For "Pickup Location" select one of the listed options in the category "Mail delivery", e.g. Home Address.

If you use the "Digitization" button in swisscovery, the copies are created directly by the owning library. If the document is borrowed, the process only becomes active when the document is returned. Only then will you receive a notification.

Not all libraries offer this service. That is why you will also find the link "order photocopies" in swisscovery. When you fill in the form, the order will be processed by the interlibrary loan department. The digitized text will - if necessary - be ordered from another library and sent to you.

The costs are the same for both orders: 5,- CHF / 20 pages. You can find further information on this website.


A reservation for a borrowed book is treated like a normal order. This means that the book appears under "Requests" in your user account. There you can see where you are on the waiting list. If the book is available, the system sends a pick-up invitation. A reservation can be cancelled in your user account.

The pick-up invitation is sent to the e-mail address you have registered in the SWITCH edu-ID. Occasionally, the e-mails end up in the spam folder.

Media that are accessible to customers at the shelf must be picked up by yourself and then borrowed a the (self) check out desk. Such media can only be ordered online if you want to pick them up at another library location.

For documents outside the SLSP network and from abroad, it is possible to obtain them via interlibrary loan (subject to a fee).

Yes, this is no problem as long as you select the Pickup Institution "Universität und PH Bern" when ordering. Then you can select one of the eight Bernese courier libraries as Pickup Location.

Media from libraries participating in the courier service can be returned to one of these libraries. This also applies to interlibrary loans that you have made via University Library of Bern.

Media from libraries that do not participate in the courier service should be returned directly to the library from which you borrowed them.

Media can also be returned by post at your own expense in accordance with the above-mentioned information. 

No. You can only borrow and collect media with your own library pass. In certain special cases (e.g. illness), the library may hand the books ordered to an authorized person. The University Library Bern reserves the right only to hand out books after verbal confirmation from the person borrowing the books. We would advise you that your library pass is only to be used for borrowing books for your own use. Any breach of this regulation may result in the University Library Bern taking action which may lead to your being excluded from using the library.
Books may be returned by anyone. Many libraries also have a returns box, in which you can place returned books when the library is closed. (Please note that this results in a delay in booking in the return.)
Media from libraries that participate in the courier scheme can be returned to any courier library.

Courier and interlibrary loans

Yes, there is the Bernese Courier and the SLSP Courier. All information about the participating libraries and possible costs can be found on our courier page.

Media from these libraries you can collect in and bring back to these libraries

Media delivered to Bern by SLSP Courier can be collected in and brought back to these libraries.

The SLSP Courier connects academic libraries from all over Switzerland and replaces the previous courier services such as the IDS Courier and the NEBIS loan network. The SLSP Courier enables you to have books delivered from one SLSP library to another for a fee of CHF 6 per document ordered. 

You can see if a library is participating in the SLSP Courier when you order media.

Please go to swisscovery University and PH Bern and log into your account (top right corner). Click on your name, which is displayed in the top right corner, and then on "Reservations". There you will see the collection location that you have chosen when ordering your book.

No. Please contact the library that owns the book or the library you ordered the book to.

Please go to swisscovery University and PH Bern and log into your account (top right corner). Click on your name, which is displayed in the top right corner, and then on "Requests". In the list to your left you have to choose the library that owns the media you have ordered. Select "Cancel" on the title you wish to cancel. The order will be cancelled and you will receive a written confirmation of the cancellation (email).

Media ordered via the Bernese Courier or the SLSP Courier are available from the collection library for 7 working days from the time you receive the email notification. If this is not sufficient time for you, please contact the relevant collection library.

Books can be ordered for CHF 6 per item via the SLSP Courier to the Library of Law JBB in the main building of the University. Operating two national courier sites so close together does not make any ecological nor economic sense.

Courier fees are harmonised in the new SLSP network. This harmonisation also took into account the libraries that could not cover the costs of the courier completely from their budgets alone.

Borrowing periods, reminders

The general loan period of borrowable items is 28 calendar days and is automatically extended up to five times, 28 calendar days each time, provided the media is not requested by another user. The exact loan period can be found in your user account. Borrowed media must be returned at the latest on the last day of the loan period. You will find all information in our regulations.

You will find the tariff for reminders and other fees on our website.

You can read the regulations here.

If a medium can no longer be renewed, we ask you to return it. The remindet ist sent by email. An overdue notice with costs will be sent 6 working days after the reminder has been sent. Check our fees and reminder levels.

Please refer to the library to which the book belongs for further information.

SLSP sends bills monthly by e-mail. You can pay the bill with the pay-in slip or by e-banking. The fees for the SLSP Courier always have to be paid at the counter when picking up the books. .

During the process of borrowing media a red box will appear. It points out under what conditions fees apply. 

To find out if you have any outstanding fees or fines, this information is available (once you are logged in) in the upper right hand corner. Press your name and choose "my account". Outstanding charges are billed monthly. Please be aware that once the bills are processed they will no longer appear in your account. There may be a gap of a couple of weeks between the processing of bills and the bills being sent by e-mail.

If you have questions about a specific fee or fine contact the library where the fee/fine has been charged. It is shown on the bill. Be sure to check your spam folder.


Bills for outstanding fees and fines are sent monthly by e-mail from the address noreply@swisscovery.com. Please check your spam folder. 


In this instance, please contact the library to which the book belongs as quickly as possible.

Electronic resources: databases, e-journals, e-books, e-newspapers

The research platform swisscovery Universität und PH Bern lists licensed or purchased books, journals, articles and other media. In the header you find buttons for e-journals and databases.

You can find further details on electronic resources offered on our website under e-media

You have access to the full texts in the university network either on site on campus (WLAN) or via VPN connection

FThe research platform swisscovery University and PH Bern lists licensed or purchased books, journals, articles and other media. Databases, on the other hand, are thematically and professionally specialized. They are independent of the collections of the University and PH Bern and thus contain more comprehensive data for a thematic or subject search. In most databases you will find bibliographic information, which you can then use to search further on the swisscovery University and PH Bern platform. You can find a list of our databases on our website.

Depending on the type of database, the full texts can also be directly accessible, i.e. you will find the PDFs of the articles for downloading and printing. You can find our databases via the database search. Access to licensed media are only available on campus of University Bern or via VPN. Users from the canton Bern have access to some of the e-resources outside campus.

Many databases are subject to a fee and are licensed by the University Library Bern. Access to these databases is therefore restricted. Access is possible from the university campus (Wi-Fi) and for members of the university (students, lecturers, researchers) via the VPN software. Further information on the VPN on the IT Services Website.

Yes, if you use the public search terminals in one of our libraries or if you are connected to the Wi-Fi of the University Library of Bern with your private device, in which case you have access to the full texts of databases, ejournals and other electronic resources.

People living in the Canton of Bern also have access to a limited number of databases outside the University computer network.

Information on SLSP and Data Protection

In the new network system SLSP (Swiss Library Service Platform), 475 academic libraries from all over Switzerland will jointly employ a new library system. This new system is based on the latest generation of library software. The collections of all participating libraries will be searchable and orderable via a single research platform called swisscovery.

With the changeover to the new system, many services of the academic libraries in Switzerland will be standardised. In addition to the free courier, which will continue to link the Bernese courier libraries as before, a SLSP Courier will be set up for a fee (Fr. 6.- per item ordered). Media from all over Switzerland can be ordered via this new courier service.

The changeover will require all users – including previous ones - to re-register in order to use the swisscovery. You can register on the SLSP register platform. On our website you will find detailed instructions for the entire registration process.

Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at: +41 31 684 92 11 / bibliothek@unibe.ch

User data

Upon registration, SLSP imports your personal data (names, addresses, telephone numbers etc. see the SLSP data protection declaration) from your SWITCH edu-ID account into the new search portal swisscovery.

You can change your personal data and your institution/university at any time in your SWITCH edu-ID account. The changes will be automatically transmitted to swisscovery. Library-specific data such as borrowed media, orders and fees are directly entered into swisscovery.

Your user account can be deleted at any time as long as there are no open transactions (checkouts or fees). If there are any, please contact SLSP via swisscovery@slsp.ch.

Search history and transactions

Search queries are deleted as soon as you log out of swisscovery. They are not passed on, but are only visible to the respective researcher during a query. Transaction data are regularly anonymized and accounts in swisscovery are deleted after 10 years of inactivity.


Further information on data protection can be found on the SLSP website.

Help, courses

You can obtain information through various channels:

Written information by email: bibliothek@unibe.ch

Information by telephone: +41 31 684 92 11 (Mon-Fri 09:00 to 18:00, Sat 10:00 to 13:00)

Chat module on the research platform swisscovery University and PH Bern

On-site information: faculty libraries

Specialist information: Subject information

Specialist information on historical collections: Dr. Stefan Matter

We offer online-courses in german for the new platform swisscovery University and PH Bern. You can also ask our library staff for help.

Here you can find our offer on other courses.


Employees and students of the University Bern and other universities and colleges in Switzerland and abroad use the Wi-Fi eduroam. Members of the University of Bern log in with their campus account.  

The Wi-Fi public-unibe is available for guests. For access, please contact the library staff.