A large proportion of the special collections were acquired by the National Library (NL) during the era of Director Marcel Godet (1909–1945). The librarian Karl Jakob Lüthi also played a role in building up the holdings. He bequeathed his large collection of Bibles and the International Press Collection to the NL. The collections are no longer being expanded.
Only limited viewing of the special collections is possible, and an appointment is required.