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General Libraries

  • Jacques BERLIOZ, 5 March 2011 | 6 September 2009

    Some general libraries can be useful for the works concerning medieval history which they contain.

    - Swiss National Library, Berne
    Languages: German, French, Italian, English
    As the welcome page puts it: ‘Everything published in Switzerland, written by Swiss authors, or which concerns Switzerland, is to be found here’.
    As part of the project E-Helvetica launched in 2001, the National Library intends to establish a digital repository which will include both material consultable online and material stored in media such as disks, CD-ROMs or DVDs. This seems simply to be a project for a web portal. There does not seem to be any plan to digitise any texts. Interesting links.

    - Bibliothekverbund der Bundesverwaltung Alexandria
    Languages: German, French, Italian, English

    Catalogue of the libraries of the federal administration. Search by keyword, author, title, etc. The site can be consulted in four languages. It includes a special collection of newspapers, periodicals, maps, portraits, official publications, dictionaries and encyclopaedia.

    - Kunsthaus Bibliothek Zürich
    Languages: German, French, Italian, English

    Online research catalogue. It is possible to search in all four languages. One positive aspect of this site is that it provides links to other research catalogues. Unfortunately, the search facility is rather complicated.

    - University Library Basel
    Languages: German

    Most of the information concerning the library provided by this site is in German; the library apologises for this on its welcome page, rather unusually! The university library of Basel, which is first alluded to in 1471, served both the university of that town and the public of that region and its Swiss, French and German neighbours. The main library has a collection of some 2.7 million books. None of the manuscripts can be consulted online.

    - Burgerbibliothek Bern (Bibliothèque de la bourgeoisie de Berne)
    Languages: German, French
    No online catalogue. A description of manuscript holdings is available on this page, but there are no images. It is not regularly updated (the last update was in 2003). It provides the address of the library and instructions on how to find it. The structure of the website is not very clear and rather chaotic.

    - Library of the Canton and University of Fribourg
    Languages: German, French

    The catalogue of the university library of Fribourg is accessible from this page. It is available in French and in German. It provides information concerning opening hours, address, exhibitions organised in the library and so forth. There are also a large number of links on various themes, such as the heritage of Fribourg, and photography.

    - Public and University Library, Geneva
    Languages: French, English
    Brought into existence at the time of the Academy founded by Calvin in 1559, the Public and University Library of Geneva is amongst the most important libraries in Switzerland.
    The website is well presented and clear. A catalogue of manuscripts (2004) is available to download (French manuscripts are numbered 1 to 198). There are many interesting links under the option ‘Manuscrits’.
    GLN 15-16 proposes a bibliography of books printed in the 15th and 16th century in Geneva, Lausanne, and Neuchâtel.

    - Central and University Library, Luzern
    Language: German
    This site includes a large number of links. It is clearly structured and the information it contains is easy to find. No manuscripts are provided online. Not a very useful site for research in medieval history.

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