New library system

In the course of 2018, the Swiss National Library NL will upgrade its library management system, the Helveticat catalogue, to a new software solution from the company Ex Libris. This system change does not involve the HelveticArchives database nor e-Helvetica Access.

This system change will affect patrons, staff of NL and its partners, as well as libraries in Switzerland and abroad.

From now on, this page will provide you with up-to-date information on the project and about upcoming dates.


Beginning of November 2017: conclusion of contract with the company Ex Libris GmbH Germany

15.11.2017 until 15.12.2017: user information about the migration of personal data

01.02.2018: start of the project with the company Ex Libris GmbH Germany

FAQ: Migration of users’ data

What is the context of the migration of users’ data?

In order to modernize its library management software, the Swiss National Library has acquired an efficient IT tool from the Ex Libris company. Between April 2018 and October 2018, personal data related to each user’s account will be transferred to the software provider company, Ex Libris.

What do you mean by personal data?

Only the data necessary to provide services to users, i.e.:

  • Last name and first name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Current items on loan

Where were the data stored before?

Until the final migration of the Swiss National Library’s system, the data were stored at the FOITT (Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication) in Bern, just like the majority of data in the federal administration.

Where are the data physically stored in the new system?

The data are stored on servers belonging to the software provider, Ex Libris. The servers are located in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Ex Libris observes the highest standards of security in data processing and protection of information. In addition, Dutch law offers similar guarantees to Swiss law (PDF, 254 kB, 13.11.2017) regarding the processing and management of personal data.

How are my personal data used?

The transferred data are only used in the same way as they have been used until now and are not passed on to third parties.

I don’t want my data to be transferred, what should I do?

You may tell us this using the stamped addressed envelope we have provided mid-November or by e-mail to
Please note that this means you accept that you will no longer benefit from some of the Swiss National Library’s services, in particular that you may no longer borrow documents.

Who has access to my personal data?

Only Swiss National Library staff who need to access personal data in order to provide a service (for example, a loans desk or information desk) may access the data. Each access right is granted individually and strictly monitored.

What is the exact schedule for data migration ?

A test migration will take place in April 2018, and the definitive data migration will take place in October 2018.

Specialist staff
Last modification 13.11.2017

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