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The last five years at the Swiss National Library: expansion of services both onsite and online

Bern, 31.05.2012 - The National Library has redesigned its public areas and improved its online offering. The Annual Report 2011 highlights what has been achieved in the last five years.

Aligning its services to the needs of its users and building up an electronic collection are two of the goals which the Swiss National Library (NL) set itself in its strategy for 2007-2011. In its latest Annual Report, the NL takes stock.

Onsite: new speciality libraries

The NL and its specialised collections – the Prints and Drawings Department and the Swiss Literary Archives – are an indispensable source of information on Switzerland and its culture. The library is especially strong in the fields of history, literature, art, architecture and information science. Freely accessible specialty libraries for these areas have been created at Hallwylstrasse 15 in Bern.

Online: new catalogues

The collections have been catalogued and are now available for consultation. In addition to the Helveticat library catalogue, the HelveticArchives archive database is now online. It catalogues the holdings of the Swiss Literary Archives and the Prints and Drawings Department, with preview images where legal constraints permit. The NL’s catalogues are integrated into Swissbib, which enables simultaneous searches of most of the catalogues of Swiss university libraries. This makes the holdings very simple to find.

Direct access to electronic documents

The electronic collection continues to grow and is becoming ever more important. Access platforms are now available for all types of documents. Where copyright permits, original electronic documents – such as websites – and digitised books can be accessed via www.e-helvetica.nb.admin.ch. Dedicated platforms provide access to periodicals, newspapers, posters and digitised archive documents. The electronic collection is being continually expanded with the help of information producers, cantonal and university libraries.

The Swiss National Library is funded by the Swiss Confederation. Its operating expenses in 2011 amounted to 37 million Swiss francs.


Address for enquiries:

Marie-Christine Doffey
Director of the Swiss National Library
Tel. 031 322 89 01


Swiss National Library
Internet: http://www.nb.admin.ch
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