State Archive of Berne

The State Archive of Berne: a treasure trove

For more than 250 years until 1798, Berne was the biggest territorial state north of the Alps. That size and power are reflected in documents, maps and plans which have survived through careful conservation and favourable circumstances. From precious mediæval documents until the capitulation to the French revolutionary army in 1798, from the two Helvetian cantons of Berne and the Oberland which existed between 1798 and 1803, via the foundation of the Federal State until the present day: everything which is relevant to Berne Canton is stored, looked after and studied in the State Archive. The inventories are supplemented by bequests from prominent figures, family archives and the life’s work of Berne photographers. 
With its specialised library and public reading room, the State Archive is more than just a scientific resource for historians; it is also a venue for dedicated family genealogists.

Visitor information

Opening hours
Reading room / information
Mon Closed
Tue - Thu
8 a.m. – 12 a.m. / 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Fri 8 a.m. – 12 a.m. / 1 p.m. - 4.30 p.m. 

Guided tours are offered to interested parties upon request. The parish registers (microfilms) are available for inspection in the archive only on Fridays.

Free admission

  • From railway station
    Bus 12
    to university

  • Footpath, 10 mins from the station

  • Wheelchair access