Posters: overview

The Swiss National Library’s (NL) poster collection covers Swiss poster production from its origins in around 1860 to the present day. It encompasses all the notable Swiss styles spanning a range of subject areas.

Content and scope

Visible: Ausstellungsplakat der GS mit Abbildung eines unsichtbaren Buches
Visible: PDD exhibition poster with an illustration of an invisible book
© Poster design: Franziska Schott&Marco Schibig
  • Cultural posters on Swiss events, national exhibitions, major trade fairs, important artistic and cultural events, popular culture, “Swiss festival culture”, culture promotion, books, reading, artists’ books, typography and graphic design related to archives held by the NL
  • Tourism posters for all parts of Switzerland
  • Posters on social and scientific topics (e.g. charitable organisations, prevention campaigns)
  • Political posters on federal elections and votes, general campaigns of the Federal Administration (e.g. Swiss Council for Accident Prevention, Federal Office of Public Health), complete
  • Cantonal elections and votes, typical examples
  • Posters from the First and Second World Wars and the inter-war period
  • Commercial posters (examples of Swiss product advertising for cheese, chocolate, wine, beer, typical Swiss foods, etc.)
  • Artist and author posters, including a collection of poster designs
  • Author poster collections of individual designers such as Claude Kuhn, Fred Bauer, Karl Gerstner and Daniel Spoerri

Collection principles

  • The aim is to compile the most complete possible collection of Swiss poster output from the beginnings of the medium in around 1860 to the present day.
  • The NL’s Prints and Drawings Department coordinates its collection activities with other poster collections in Switzerland under the umbrella of the Association Swiss Poster Collections SPC, of which it is a founder.

Research and access

  • The NL’s Prints and Drawings Department manages the catalogue of the Association Swiss Poster Collections SPC
  • Information about the poster collection is available on request.
  • Digitised works can be consulted on site (by appointment).

Last modification 10.05.2021

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Swiss National Library
Prints and Drawings Department
Hallwylstrasse 15
3003 Bern
Phone +41 58 462 89 71

Print contact

Opening hours

by appointment