All questions

The photograph shows an assortment of different coloured federal ration stamps (1939–48). Each one displays the quantity of food that can be obtained in exchange for the stamp (meat, pulses, oats, barley, pasta).

Rationing and making do

How do you cook when food is scarce or rationed? The Swiss National Library looks at the relationship between diet and rationing.
The photograph shows a small, artistically decorated, three-pronged silver fork. The left and right prongs are both curved slightly outwards. The fork shaft is somewhat broader towards the end and has ornament-like decorations.

Fillet steak or veggie burger? Food is about more than just nutrition

Filet mignon or sausage salad? Meat or vegetarian menu? The Swiss National Library asks what our eating habits say about our lifestyle.
In addition to the book title “Das billigste Kochbuch” and further details from the title page, the advertisement informs readers that the new publication is available from the Schablitz’sche Buchhaltung bookshop in Zurich, price 75 centimes. It also reproduces the full table of contents.

Nose to Tail

Using every part of an animal is a modern trend; but in fact it dates back to traditional practices of efficient resource management and the enjoyment of good food.
The hall of Zurich’s Herdern slaughterhouse resembles a cathedral. This photograph shows the central nave. The hall has a barrel-vaulted ceiling. Its clerestory is punctuated by arched lattice windows which make the space light and elegant. Construction machinery, a skip and other building tools stand around on the floor. The photograph dates from the years 1985–87, during which the hall was renovated and transformed.

Zurich’s slaughterhouses and the changing face of meat production

The changing face of meat production: the Swiss National Library looks back at the development of slaughterhouses in the city of Zurich.
The Birchermüesli advertising poster by Hans Rausser shows a pot of yoghurt against a yellow background, with a lemon to one side and a banana, hazelnuts, prunes and fresh apricots in front. Lettering above the yoghurt pot advertises a product from the company “fini fix”.

Birchermüesli – a Swiss dish goes global

In around 1900, a vegetarian dish from Switzerland became a worldwide success story. Discover the story of Birchermüesli.
The colored drawing shows a family at a festively set dining table. An employee is bringing a steaming and decorated roast into the room.

Festive flab – a “meaty” problem

Why do we eat so much meat over the festive season? The Swiss National Library investigates why we pile on the pounds during the winter break.
Man wearing armour on his legs and feet, with a giant pillow tied to his back. He carries a cannon and sabre in his right hand, and a mattress serving as a shield in his left. A giant snail sits on his head, and his nose is extended into a kind of trumpet designed to detect anarchists

Flashback 125 NL – The beginnings of anarchism in Switzerland

The emergence of an anarchist movement in Switzerland within the First International, with the creation of the Jura Federation at Sonvilier in 1871.
In the front row, 4th, 5th and 6th from right: Edmond Privat, René de Saussure and Hector Hodler.

Flashback 125 NL – Esperanto in Switzerland

The “Esperanto” project for a universal, humanist language was flourishing in 1895, the year in which the NL was founded.
The picture shows the stony monument of the Universal Postal Union on the “Kleine Schanze” in Bern. In the upper left corner you can see the symbol of the Universal Postal Union, which shows different people transmitting letter mail around the globe. On the right side of the picture is a stone figure, which benevolently looks at the hustle and bustle in the upper right corner of the picture. In front of the stone monument a small pond can be seen.

Flashback 125 NL – Internationalism and Switzerland

Around 1895, the year in which the Swiss National Library was founded, numerous international organizations based in Switzerland were also established. Why?
The picture shows three men working in the Bernese Telegraph Office in 1900. On a raised wooden table stand the telegraph apparatuses, around which the three men sit on raised chairs.

Flashback 125 NL – Swiss Telegraphic Agency

The NL was founded 125 years ago. What was Switzerland like back then, what were the issues on people’s minds, and what were the trends and fashions of the day? Where did Switzerland get its news from? Like the Library, the Swiss Telegraphic Agency started work 125 years ago, in 1895.