Swiss Library of Eastern Europe SOB

East European Studies • History • Politics

Opening hours


  • 18 study places
  • Wireless LAN (eduroam/network of the University of Bern)
  • Media delivery service via Bern and IDS Courier
  • Scanner, photocopier, microfim/microfiche reader


Our terms of borrowing and lending are based on the University Library's regulation and fees.  A user account is required for borrowing

  • Ask a Subject Librarian: If you need help researching information on a specific topic, we offer consultation hours every Thursday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. during the semester; otherwise by agreement via e-mail
  • Tours through the library, introductory/training sessions (by appointment)
  • Scanning and photocopying service
  • Commissioned information research (by appointment)

Events and information

From our new acquisitions (selection)

The Swiss Library of Eastern Europe is Switzerland's largest public library on contemporary history, politics, society and culture of all Central, South East and East European countries. We hold a unique and growing collection of over 160'000 media - historical and new books, journals, newspapers and other media, both in Western and East European languages. Most works can be borrowed locally or ordered to other libraries via inter-library loan.
Its collections comprise

With its Rossica Europeana, the SOB also houses a valuable special collection of publications, maps and charts portraying Russia from a (Western) European perspective (sixteenth to nineteenth centuries).



The Swiss Library of Eastern Europe (SOB) stems from a private collection about the Soviet Union and the communist-ruled countries of Eastern Europe that the Bernese political scientist Peter Sager started to build after the Second World War. In 1959 the library and the Swiss Eastern Institute were legally separated. Responsibility for the library now lay with the Foundation of the Swiss Library of Eastern Europe, a private organization which was subsidized by the Confederation, the cantons and other institutions.

In 1997 the Swiss Library of Eastern Europe was incorporated as a branch of what was then the Town and University Library (StUB) by resolution of the Cantonal Parliament of Bern. Together with the StUB, the Swiss Library of Eastern Europe merged with the university libraries in 2007 to form the new University Library Bern (UB) where the SOB today belongs to the Theology and Humanities Subdivision.

Further information:

News and events

Consultation hours with subject librarian

Each Thursday, 15-16 h, we assist you with all specialized research questions - whether you are just starting your studies or researching for your PhD. Please send us a mail beforehand so we can better prepare for your inquiry.

31.08.19 Beratung