The Abbey Library is not only Switzerland's oldest library, containing a unique collection of books and manuscripts, but also a public lending library. The library owns some 170,000 books and other media. Books printed after 1900 can be borrowed, whereas the other, older volumes can only be used in the Reading Room.
Manuscripts and incunabula cannot be borrowed and can only be viewed in the Reading Room in exceptional cases (See "Scholars" - "Library"). To cater for scholars and researchers who are interested in these documents, we are in the process of digitalising the manuscripts. They can be viewed on the Internet website www.cesg.unifr.ch.
Loan of books
The Abbey Library is a member of the association BibliOpass. If you hold a valid library user's card issued by one of the 600 libraries belonging to the association, you can borrow books from the Abbey Library. We will be pleased to issue a library user's card free of charge to anyone residing in Switzerland who does not yet possess one.
Opening hours of the lending library
Monday - Friday: 8:30 - 11:45 and 13:45 - 17:00
The lending library is closed on the following days:
12.11.2012 - 02.12.2012 (reorganisation and cleaning)
25.12.2012 (Christmas Day)
26.12.2012 (Boxing Day)
31.12.2012 (New Year's Eve)
01.01.2013 (New Year's Day)
29.02.2013 (Good Friday)
01.04.2013 (Easter Monday)
09.05.2013 (Ascension Day)
20.05.2013 (Whit Monday)
01.08.2013 (Swiss national holiday)
16.10.2013 (Feast of St. Gall)
01.11.2013 (All Saints' Day)
11.11.2013 - 01.12.2013 (reorganisation and cleaning)
Duration of loans
Books are normally loaned for eight weeks, but they may be recalled by the library at any time after four weeks have elapsed. In such a case, the borrower must return the books without delay.
Loans from external sources
For loans from the collections of other libraries a fee of CHF 10.- per document will be payable. Extra charges will also be made for additional services (e.g. copies, reproductions etc.).
Reminder (after expiry of the loan period): no charge
First recall: CHF 10.- per item
Second recall: CHF 20.- per item
Third recall: CHF 35.- per item