Opening hours

Bibliothek Klassische Philologie

The Library of the Classics Institute is a sub-library of the University Library Bern (UB). The library is open to the public; however, its collections are primarily intended for members of the university, students and other specialists. Other interested persons are requested to register beforehand.

Our room information system leads you to the libraries, rooms, and services available at Unitobler.

The Classics Library has a collection of some 50,000 media and grows by around 500 new acquisitions each year. The library's collection profile largely comprises Ancient Greek and Latin literature dating from between 750 BC and 600 AD, secondary literature and journals.

The term literature has a much broader meaning in the classics than in the commonplace modern understanding and includes not only fictional but also philosophical, scientific and historic texts, i.e. works recorded in writing per se. As the texts handed down are continuously being reviewed and new insights gained and new texts are also frequently being found on papyrus, new editions of the ancient authors are constantly being added. The secondary literature that accounts for another significant portion of the library's collection is devoted to explaining and interpreting the texts. The editions of Greek and Roman literature and the most important commentaries are acquired as completely as possible for the library. It also contains an impressive collection of research literature, particularly also older works that today are not easy to find everywhere. The library has traditionally had a focus that continues to be upheld on literature about ancient philosophy. In addition there have been increased acquisitions in recent years in the areas of Patristics, New Latin and the history of reception.

We would also be happy to receive your acquisition suggestions.

The library's media are included in the swissbib Basel Bern catalog.



  • Registered customers (IDS library pass or Unicard of the University of Bern) may borrow books and media from the library. The conditions of borrowing and use are based on the regulations on use of the University Library Bern.
  • A terminal for electronic self-lending is available on the library platform for borrowing items from the open access collection. Further borrowing facilities: support platform (second floor), Basisbibliothek Unitobler (first basement floor)
  • Rare items, media from the non-lending, reference and course reserve collections cannot be borrowed but can be consulted on site. The library's non-lending collection includes bibliographies (shelfmark B), manuals (shelfmark H) and journals (shelfmark Z) as well as titles marked in red.
  • A return box is available at the entrance to the library on the first floor for returning media. Further return facilities: support platform, Basisbibliothek Unitobler

Introductory Sessions

Introductory sessions to the library are offered as part of courses and on request. Training sessions in subject-specific research are also offered by the subject librarian for Classical Philology: Julia Collins.