Opening hours

Bibliothek Musikwissenschaft

The Musicology Library is the library of the Institute of Musicology and a sub-library of the University Library Bern. Its collections are primarily intended for members and students of the institute. Other interested individuals are of course also very welcome to use the library at all times.

The Musicology Library is geared towards European music history – with a particular focus on European opera history and research. It also contains a large number of complete editions of individual composers. A collection entitled "Cultural Anthropology of Music" has been under development since 2009.

The library's collection comprises over 30,000 media including more than 10,000 music prints.
It also has around 60 current journal subscriptions.

A large share of the collection is housed in the open access area where it is categorized by subject group/shelfmark. Some shelfmarks are contained in closed-off rooms and in mobile shelving. Please consult a member of library staff regarding these.

We are also happy to accept purchase proposals by e-mail or form.

You can search for documents from the collection via swissbib Basel Bern.

When searching for sheet music we also recommend making use of the old IDS Basel Bern catalog.

The Institute for Musicology has an extensive sound archive.

Part of the collection (particularly all journals except for the current year) has been outsourced to the storage facilities of the vonRoll Library. Further details can be found in the Location per Shelfmark document (PDF, 48KB).


  • Study places: 13 reading and workplaces (reservation not possible but also not necessary)
  • One search point in the library (access to library catalogs, databases, Internet)
  • Additional devices in the sound archive:
  • One search point with the same facilities as above plus a "Finale" scorewriter and a scanning station (on request); two audio stations with burning facilities
  • No printing is possible either from PC stations or private notebooks.
  • Wireless LAN (network of the University of Bern)
  • Photocopier. Copy cards (CHF 10/80 copies) can be purchased from the secretariat. Photocopier with "scan to mail" function


The Musicology Library is a non-lending library. Borrowing is generally not possible. In justified exceptional cases, home lending is permitted for members and students of the Institute of Musicology for a maximum of one week. Please consult the library staff.

The following shelfmark groups are categorically excluded from borrowing (even in exceptional cases):

Rare collections
Year of publication up to and including 1900
Literature from the course reserve collections
Journals (shelfmarks Z and BZ)
Music sheets (shelfmarks KA, P, PF, Y, YF, X- XX)
Plus the following shelfmarks: BA-BI, KT, LA-LW, TW a, MA, OA a, OT, W

Introductory sessions

Introductory sessions for first semester students on how to use the library, the online catalog and the specialist databases are held at the beginning of the fall semester as part of the orientation course.