Plant Sciences

Opening hours

The Library of Plant Sciences is a publicly accessible scientific library.


  • 8 study places (only for students of the institute), some with lockable cupboards containing drawers, with priority for students of Plant Sciences
  • An inquiry terminal for library database searches. Access with a library account or campus account
  • PC pool with 12 workstations (only for students of the institute) available in descending priority for teaching, maintenance activities, academic assignments, research
  • Seminar room for up to 12 participants
  • Journals: current year in the magazine rack in the library office (ground floor left), older series in the mobile shelving also in the library pavilion, ground floor right.
  • Book collections can be found in the library room with the mobile shelving unit (pavilion, ground floor right), in the library room, pavilion, first floor right, in the old mobile shelving unit (bridge section, ground floor right) and in the group libraries and at the Botanical Gardens. Separately, on the bookshelves in front of the mobile shelving: reference works, textbooks, new additions. Please note: No borrowing
  • Video conference system
  • Wireless LAN (eduroam)
  • Photocopier


During office hours: 9:00-12:00, 14:00-17:00, the staff is available for information and support


  • A user account is required.
  • Books can be just borrowed in the library with a  IDS Basel Bern user card or a UniCard. Activation is required before first use. 
  • A self-checkout system is provided
  • The conditions of borrowing and usage are based on the user regulations of the University Library Bern.


For members of the IPS the Library Plant Sciences acquires literature that is not available online and also advises on obtaining literature online.
Peter Ballmoss supports students and staff fo the IPS in the use of literature databases and in the search for information in the field of botany. 


On request we present the Library of Plant Sciences: Duration approximately 20 minutes.
Training  in literature search is offered on request by Peter von Ballmoos, subject librarian at the Library of Plant Sciences

Further information

Bern University Library regulations and fees

Most of the collections are freely accessible and can be borrowed (except for journals and special collections). They can be searched using the swissbib Basel Bern catalogue.

The books are arranged by subject group/callnumbers in the open access area of the library pavillon. Old books and special collections are kept in a closed bookstack. Further collections can be found in the premises of the Botanical Garden. They are available on request in the reading room.

No interlibrary loans. Copies of documents less than 50 pages can be ordered online via the swissbib catalogue a PDF or on paper.

The Library of the Institute of Plant Sciences has its origins in the book collections of the Botanical Institute in the time of Ludwig Fischer (Professor of Botany from 1857 to 1897, flora of Bern) and his son Eduard Fischer (Professor of Botany from 1887 to 1933, specialist in mycology). They were followed by William Henri Schopfer (1933‒1962) whose main area of expertise was growth substances and their effects. The library was expanded over the course of time to include systematics and geobotany (especially flora and monographs) as focal areas. Furthermore, a large number of in some cases extensive collections and donations were incorporated into the library collection.

The present focal priorities of the Institute of Plant Sciences are vegetation, paleo and plant ecology as well as plant physiology and molecular biology. This is reflected in the current collection. Please contact the consultant, Peter von Ballmoos, with any purchase proposals.