Central Library

Central Library: a meeting place for searchers after knowledge

This library traces its origins back to the Reformation. Today the Central Library in the Old City with the baroque Schultheissen Hall is part of Berne University Library.

2.3 million books, music CDs and DVDs can be borrowed; the library is home to historical documents and works reflecting the latest state of research, to say nothing of standard works and lexicons focusing on Berne. Among the most valuable are the library of the diplomat Jacques Bongars (1554–1612) and the collection of maps put together by statesman Johann Friedrich Ryhiner (1732–1803), which can also be viewed on the Internet: At documents on the culture and history of Berne can be consulted.

The programme is completed by exhibitions and events, including the «Buch am Mittag» series.

Visitor information

Opening hours
Open access lending library and stacks

Mon - Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sat 10 a.m. – 12 a.m.

Catalogue and reading rooms
Mon - Fri 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sat 8 a.m. – 12 a.m.

Exhibition area
Mon - Fri 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sat 8 a.m. – 12 a.m.

Auditory: booking required
T: 031 631 92 17

Free admission


  • From railway station
    Tram 6, 7, 8 to clock tower (Zytglogge)

  • From the railway station
    Bus 12 to clock tower (Zytglogge)

  • Limited wheelchair access

  • Library
    User cards at
    SFr. 6.– / 22.–
    free entry