Germanic Languages and Literatures

Opening hours

Bibliothek Germanistik

The Library of the Institute of Germanic Languages and Literatures is a specialist academic library and part of the University Library Bern (UB).

Service hours are Monday thru Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Exceptions are announced on the premises.

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

The Germanic Languages and Literatures Library serves teaching and research purposes and includes the following collection priorities:

  • Modern German literature
  • Medieval studies
  • Linguistics
  • Communication studies
  • Comparative studies

The collection of some 80,000 volumes increases by around 1,500 new acquisitions each year. 150 current journals, rare works, master's and doctoral dissertations submitted within the institute and a few non-books are part of the collection.

The books are shelved by subject area in accordance with the institute's own classification (Document in German). The open shelf facilities allow direct access to most books and journals on the shelves. Please contact the library team if you have any questions.

New acquisitions of the Institute of Germanic Languages and Literatures are placed on two shelves next to the entrance staircase for a couple of weeks. These books and journals may viewed on site

We are also happy to accept acquisition suggestions by e-mail or electronic form .

A sub-collection of some 17,000 volumes is contained in the vonRoll storage facilities and can be borrowed via swissbib Basel Bern.


  • Study places: 64 individual study spaces are provided. They may be applied for each  semester in case of major papers and exams. However they require the user’s steady presence. A waiting list is provided. We additionally offer ten reading places, on a first come, first serve basis. Reservation form.
  • Research can be carried out from three retrieval terminals in the Germanic Languages and Literatures Library. They are located next to the non-lending shelves in the foyer.
  • A photocopier is located on the third floor in the Institute of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Copy cards are sold at the secretary’s office of the Institute of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Copies can also be made at the Basisbibliothek Unitobler (BTO) with Unicard.

  • It is possible to print out documents at the retrival stations. Please follow the instructions (Document in German) on site .


The collections of the Germanic Languages and Literatures Library may basically be borrowed.


  • reference library (shelfmarks H, Y)
  • linguistic atlases (shelfmark K)
  • rare works (shelfmark R)
  • large formats (shelfmark Q)
  • course reserve collections (3rd flooor)
  • single issues of periodicals and new publications put on display on the special shelf

Please contact the library staff concerning the short-term loan for photocopies.


Books may be taken from the shelves when borrowed. Using the electronic check-out stations is mandatory.

Returned books must be deposited in the return box next to the entrance staircase. The staff will take care of the check-in.

Please contact the Basisbibliothek Unitobler BTO for interlibrary loans.


Introductory sessions

Introductory sessions to the library are held regularly at the start of the semester. The dates are published on the "News" webpage of the Institute of Germanic Languages and Literatures and advertised in the institute itself.

We are happy to accept registrations for individual guided tours at other times here .




Subject Librarians