Further information

The amount of electronic information resources is increasing; therefore it is sometimes difficult to find the most relevant sources. For this reason, the Swiss National Library has made a selection of online resources (catalogues, search tools, databases, dictionaries, encyclopedias, websites) and recently developed a search form allowing specific search to be carried out. These explanations will help you to get to know the features of this tool.

Search capabilities

Full text search with the aid of one or more search criteria
You can enter either a search term in the search field or the beginning of the term followed by a wildcard (*) in order to extend your search to words beginning with that term (for example "mountain*" also finds "mountainous".etc).

When you enter several terms, the system automatically links them with the Boolean operator [OR]. This means that the search is extended to all documents containing one or more of the terms you have entered and the number of search results increases. In contrast  to this the operator [AND] refines the search because all search terms have to occur in the resource. The number of hits decreases. If you want to use this option you must click on "and" at the right of the search box.

If you do not enter any term in the search field, automatically all resources will be selected.

Search by subject
The selected sources of information are classified according to their content into five thematic categories: Library and Information science and Press; Politics and Law; Culture and Art; Literature and Language; History. Once you select a category, you can further refine your search by using keywords that appear on a second and third level. If you do not select any further subject, the search is conducted in the whole category selected.

Geographical Keyword
You can restrict the geographical range of a resource by selecting a predefined
geographical keyword. By default the search includes all geographical terms.

Each resource is described by a short text in the language(s) used in that resource. By default the search is set to retrieve resources in all languages, but you can also choose to restrict it to a specific language (German, French, Italian, English, others).

Type of resource
Each resource is classified according to its type in one of the following sections: Catalogues and Search tools, digital resources, dictionaries, encyclopedias, websites of institutions, other websites. By selecting a resource type you can  narrow down your search.

Display of search results

A description of each resource appears if you click on the "+" sign next to the title of the content. The language(s) of the resource are also indicated.

You can evaluate the resource by assigning stars. Via the command "add to watch list" you can save your links in temporary lists. The watch lists remain available during your whole session. Afterwards you can save your watch list's links as a PDF, print it or send it via email.


For each resource we indicate if there is free online access available or if it may only be consulted on-site in the NL.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask the NL's public information team: info@nb.admin.ch


Swiss National Library
Information Retrieval Service
Hallwylstrasse 15
3003 Bern
Phone +41 58 462 89 35
Fax +41 58 462 84 08

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