Library Münstergasse

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The library building on Münstergasse, view from Casinoplatz to the west wing

The Münstergasse Library at Münstergasse 61 in Bern is a public academic library and the oldest sub-library of the University Library of Bern .


In contrast to the 28 other branch libraries of the university library, the Münstergasse library (the former central library) is not a specialist or departmental library . Since the renovation from 2014 to 2016, it has been designed as a learning and meeting place and is one of the pick-up and return locations for the printed holdings of the university library. It fulfills the cantonal library's collecting mandate for the university library and collects the works of Bernese writers as well as literature on the canton of Bern , Bernese localities and personalities ( Bernensia ). As part of the Bernensia collection order, the Münstergasse library also runs the online lexicon Literapedia Bern , which serves both as a lexicon and as a bibliography for Bernese fiction.

The collection focuses on the historical holdings, for example the printed works from the library of the French scholar and diplomat Jacques Bongars (1554–1612) or the important map collection of the Bern statesman and geographer Johann Friedrich von Ryhiner (1732–1803).

Building history

  • 1535: After the Reformation, the high school for the training of Reformed pastors was set up first in the canons of St. Vinzenz (on Münsterplatz), later in the former Barfüsserkloster (near today's casino). Between 1533 and 1535, in the west wing of the Barfüsserkloster, the book holdings of the Latin School, the Canon Monastery and the abolished Bernese monasteries (especially Thorberg) were brought together to form the Liberey of the High School.
  • 1755 to 1760: Construction of the Ankenwaag (today's central wing of the library building) as a granary, an official wine cellar and a market hall for dairy products by Ludwig Emanuel Zehender.
  • 1773 to 1775: Niklaus Sprüngli builds the library gallery at today's west wing (Casinoplatz) .
  • 1787 to 1794: Niklaus Sprüngli and Lorenz Schmid convert the Ankenwaag-Kornhaus into a library. Bern has the first profane library in Switzerland with its own building. Today's Schultheissensaal is set up as a state and exhibition hall, today's Halleraal as an annex.
  • 1829 to 1833: The market arbors and mule stalls on the ground floor are removed, the openings to the arbor are bricked up.
  • 1860 to 1863: Eastern extension (Münstergasse 61) by Gottlieb Hebler.
  • 1904 to 1905: Western extension (Münstergasse 63) by Eduard von Rodt .
  • 1906 to 1907: Eduard von Rodt extends the east wing towards Herrengasse.
  • 1909: Niklaus Sprüngli's library gallery is demolished. The facade of the gallery has stood as a fountain on Thunplatz since 1911.
  • 1925: The west wing is built with a cellar.
  • 1952 to 1955: Expansion of the former wine cellar. The first trolley system in Switzerland is installed.
  • 1968 to 1974: Major renovation and expansion of the building - with uninterrupted library operations. Architects: Peter Grützner and Walter Bürgi, client: Burgergemeinde Bern . The west wing was gutted; new rooms for the burger library , the reading room west and the lecture hall were created. The courtyard was built with a cellar; the basement reading room and storage rooms were created, the 4th and 5th basement floors were built as a “three-at-a-time protection cell”: in the fourth basement there was a collective protection room for 550 people with a kitchen, pantry, toilet facilities and command post. From the 5th basement, which serves to protect cultural assets, an escape tunnel was created under Herrengasse and the casino through to Frickweg.
  • 2014 to 2016: major renovation. Client: Burgergemeinde Bern, investment: 37.3 million Swiss francs, architecture: alb architektengemeinschaft ag, Bern.

Library history

1528-1535: Foundation of the Libery of the High School in Bern
1632: Donation of the private library of the diplomat and humanist Jacques Bongars .
1794: Moving into the new library rooms of the converted granary on the Ankenwaage (today's location of the central library).
1803: Library and academy (college) are separated. The city of Bern takes over the library, the canton the academy.
1887: Division of the library into a city and a university library.
1905: The city and university libraries are merged again.
1951: Establishment of the Bern City and University Library Foundation (StUB) by the canton of Bern, the civic community of Bern and the municipality of Bern. Foundation of the Bern Burger Library, which takes over the manuscript and graphics departments of the old city library.
1988: Library automation (connection to the library network of the University of Basel and joint catalog in the information network for German-speaking Switzerland Basel-Bern "IDS Basel-Bern")
1997: Takeover of the Swiss Eastern European Library (SOB).
2007-2009: Merger of the City and University Library (StUB) and the university libraries to form the University Library (UB).
2014–2016: major renovation according to the plans of the alb architects community. The central library becomes the Münstergasse library .

Usage and catalog

The Münstergasse library is part of the Bern University Library and is part of the German-speaking Switzerland Information Network (IDS). Together with the University Library of Basel, the University Library of Bern operates the swissbib Basel Bern search interface, which is used to search the holdings of the two university libraries, the libraries of the universities of applied sciences in Bern and Northwestern Switzerland located in Bern or Basel, and the Swiss National Library and the library of the Swiss National Bank in Bern can.


  • Burgerbibliothek Bern (ed.): Perspective: Conversion of the archive and library building Münstergasse , Passepartout, series of publications of the Burgerbibliothek Bern, 2016. ISBN 978-3-7272-7890-7
  • Hans A. Michel: The scientific librarianship of Bern from the Middle Ages to the present: on the 450 years anniversary of the City and University Library of Bern 1535–1985 , in: Berner Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Heimatkunde 47/1985, Issue 3, pp. 167–234 ( PDF of the article on e-periodicals )
  • Treasuries. 200 years of books, manuscripts and collections in the building at Münstergasse 61-63 , Berner Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Heimatkunde 56/1994, issue 2. ( doi : 10.5169 / seals-246731 )

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Literapedia Bern - The lexicon of the Berne writers and writers

Coordinates: 46 ° 56 ′ 50 "  N , 7 ° 26 ′ 56"  E ; CH1903:  600781  /  one hundred and ninety-nine thousand five hundred and seventy-one