Romance Studies

Opening hours

Bibliothek Romanistik

The Romance Studies Library is a sub-library of the University Library Bern (UB). Its collections are primarily intended for members of the university, students and other experts in the specialist area covered. Other interested persons are requested to register beforehand.

Books are available for borrowing (except for non-lending collections) for a period of one month.

The documents cannot be ordered online.

The Romance Studies Library contains around 130,000 volumes with annual growth of around 1,200 volumes. The entire collection is contained in swissbib Basel Bern. You will also find some 250 subscribed journals in the library and at various special locations that are also included in swissbib Basel Bern. The library's special collection of films and audio recordings can only be accessed at the inquiry terminal in the library and the borrowing of these non-books is reserved exclusively for the staff of the institutes of Romance languages and literatures and students of Romance Studies.

Purchase proposals can be submitted using a form (please select the Romance Studies Library as the destination).

Collection priorities: The sub-library of the two departments of the Institute of French Language and Literature focuses on works of and about French literature, French linguistics and French history.

Works on Spanish literature as well as South American and Catalan literature and Spanish philology can be found in the sub-library of the Institute of Spanish Language and Literatures (literature department).

The sub-library of the Institute of Italian Language and Literature (literature department) contains both books about Italian literature as well as general works about the culture of the language area as in other sub-libraries.

The sub-library of the former Institute of Romance Studies and the Karl Jaberg Library that was founded from a donation by the scholar who worked in Bern until 1945 offer an overview of the Romance languages and their dialects as well as Old French and Vulgar Latin literature.

The six sub-libraries are each identifiable by their own system:

Faculty Library Shelfmark Prefix in the Online Catalog Shelf Label
romance philology RO light blue
Jaberg Library JAB dark blue
French linguistics LAF yellow
French literature LIF green
Spanish literature ESP red
Italian literatur IT pink

* The shelfmark prefix is NOT visible on the book shelfmark.

* Spanish and Italian linguistics form part of the Romance Philology sub-library.


  • Study places: 80 long-term workplaces (including 15 individual workplaces with a waiting list kept by library staff)
  • Three search points
  • One inquiry terminal for internal databases
  • Wireless LAN (network of the University of Bern)
  • 33 cupboards (reservations made with library staff)
  • One photocopier (copy cards can be purchased from library staff, no UNIPRINT)


The collections of the Romance Studies Library are primarily intended for members of the university, students and other experts in the specialist areas covered. All others are requested to consult the library staff.

Some of the collections are kept at so-called special locations and must be requested from library staff.

The borrowing period is one month and can normally be renewed (by e-mail).

The terms of use are undergoing revision in terminological and content terms.

Interlibrary loans: The Romance Studies Library can also procure literature from other libraries in Switzerland and abroad for staff of the institutes of Romance languages and literatures and for advanced students of Romance Studies. Students wishing to obtain interlibrary loans via the Romance Studies Library should have their requests confirmed by the lecturers (the form for this is available from library staff). Other customers are requested to obtain literature required from other libraries via the interlibrary loan service of the University Library Bern.
Interlibrary loan requests to the Romance Studies Library are only accepted from other libraries (ISIL Be 127).

Information: Skilled library staff are available during the entire opening hours of the library to assist you with general questions concerning the library or inquiries about the procurement of literature. For more specific detailed questions you are recommended to make a personal appointment with the library staff.

Introductory sessions

Three brief introductory sessions to the Romance Studies Library are offered at the start of the fall semester (one each for French, Italian and Spanish students). The dates are announced at the beginning of the semester and also posted on the noticeboards (third and fourth floors).

Furthermore, the Romance Studies subject librarian offers students of Romance Studies one-hour introductory sessions to catalog searches each fall semester and one-hour introductory sessions to the databases each spring semester. The precise dates are communicated in the lectures at the start of the semester and posted on the noticeboards (third and fourth floors).

It goes without saying that it is possible at any time to request individual training and guided tours from the library staff.



Subject Librarian