Services University Library

Rare books

Bern Reading and Museum Society

Between 1897 and 1980, around 30,000 books from the Bernese Reading and Museum Society became part of the University Library Bern. The two societies were established in 1791 (Reading Society) and 1847 (Museum Society) and merged in 1941. The Reading Society experienced its heyday in the 19th century. A small literary association became a sophisticated entertainment library, semi public in nature. Half of the collection dates back to the 19th century, mostly travel books and German fiction. After its liquidation in 1979/80 letters, pamphlets, bibliographies and record books were taken over by the University Library Bern as well.