Bibliothèque Publique et Universitaire (Geneva)

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The facade of the library

The Library of Geneva (fr. Bibliothèque de Genève), known until 2006 under the name Public and University Library (Bibliothèque publique et universitaire BPU), is one of the oldest university libraries of Switzerland. Located in Geneva, it was founded in 1559 as a part of the University of Geneva by John Calvin, and was mentioned for the first time in 1561.[1]

The department of incunabula and manuscripts is the most important part of the collection. It contains valuable and rare documents, posters, pictures of Geneva, maps and plans.


The collections as a whole contain more than two million print volumes as of 2014.Collection Information

2,497,264 works in print 25,126 maps and charts 4,397,160 picture documents 164,079 microforms 25,126 manuscripts 10,118 audiovisual items

204,077 individual digital items available on line


The Bibliothèque de Genève occupies four different sites in iconic places within the city. The central site Bastions (next to the University buildings, facing the Reformation Wall), the Musée Voltaire in Les Délices, La Musicale in the Grütli Theater and the Centre d’iconographie on the Boulevard du Pont d'Arve.

In addition there is the historical library of the Villa La Grange (the only existing 18th-century library in Geneva), which is managed by the Bibliothèque de Genève.Branch Locations

Some manuscripts


  1. ^ Historique de la Bibliothèque de Genève

Further reading

  • David H. Stam, ed. (2001). International Dictionary of Library Histories. Fitzroy Dearborn. ISBN 1579582443. 

External links

  •, Site de la Bibliothèque de Genève
  •, Catalogue of papyri of the Bibliothèque de Genève

Coordinates: 46°11′56″N 6°08′43″E / 46.1988°N 6.1452°E / 46.1988; 6.1452

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