Special collections

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.

Zwyssig’s Swiss national anthem (“Swiss Psalm”)

Musical estates

The Swiss Literary Archives are home to musical estates, archives, collections and private libraries as well as individual acquisitions from reference code groups Ms M, Ms Mq and Ms Mf.
Laufmeter Bibeln aus der Bibelsammlung Lüthi

Lüthi Bible collection

Visit the Bible collection assembled by Karl Jakob Lüthi at the National Library. It contains around 5,000 Bibles in almost 450 languages, from weighty tomes to microscopically small editions dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries.
Auszug aus dem Aktenbündel zur «NHG Gruppensitzung» der Ortsgruppe Bern

Archives of the New Helvetic Society

The archives of the New Helvetic Society document the activities of the oldest citizens’ association in Switzerland promoting political freedom, the rule of law and democracy.
Indienreisetagebücher von Johann Bernhard Rudolf Wyss aus dessen Indica-Sammlung.


The National Library’s special collections include documents on subjects such as library science, the press and radio.