Founded by a General

From army to population protection, geopolitics, disaster prevention and civil defence: the Library am Guisanplatz – known as the Military Library until 2007 – is an information resource on security issues and a historical documentation centre. History begins with the institution itself: it was founded in 1848 by General Henri Dufour. The documentation system has been computer-assisted since 1975.

Several special historical collections are to be found here, including 9,000 digitised portraits, the Heberlein autograph collection, the Schauenburg collection of 17th and 18th century maps or the Tscharner collection, which, like those of Schafroth and Keller, gives information about Swiss citizens in foreign service. Visitors with an interest in political changes down the centuries, will find old atlases here from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

Visitor information

Opening hours
Mon - Fri 
8.30 a.m. – 11 a.m. / 2 p.m. – 4.30 p.m.

Free admission


  • From the railway station Tram 9 to Guisanplatz EXPO

  • From the railway station Bus 20 to Wyler

  • A1 exit Bern-Wankdorf

  • Wheelchair access

  • Parking spaces available

  • Self-service