The ETH-Bibliothek in Zurich and the EPFL Library are two of the leading technical and scientific documentation centres in Europe. Millions of media reflect a large proportion of the available knowledge. Tens of thousands of customers appreciate the services offered by the two libraries, which are also open to the public.

InfoCenter at the ETH-Bibliothek Zurich. Photo: ETH-Bibliothek

The ETH-Bibliothek in the main building of ETH Zurich was established in 1855 and is Switzerland’s largest public natural science and technology library. Together with the EPFL Library in the Rolex Learning Center, it is considered to be one of the best libraries in Europe for technical and scientific subjects. Both institutions also have a reputation as innovation drivers. Thus the ETH-Bibliothek launched an e-lending service, for instance, and the registration of DOIs for Swiss universities and research. It pays particular attention to e-publishing and digital data preservation.

The collections held by the libraries at ETH and EPFL cover areas including architecture, construction science, engineering, the natural sciences and mathematics, system-oriented sciences, as well as management and the social sciences.

A service for industry

In addition to its function as the central university library at ETH Zurich, the ETH-Bibliothek has a second purpose: it is a national information centre for the natural sciences and technology, and therefore also collects works about the relevant fields of research and development being pursued in Swiss industry. Regular users include university staff, doctoral candidates, students and industry-based researchers.

Central library network

The ETH-Bibliothek also operates the lending network NEBIS (Network of Libraries and Information Centres in Switzerland). The NEBIS network catalogue lists the inventories of the ETH-Bibliothek and of more than 140 other Swiss libraries, including the EPFL Library, Zurich Central Library and the libraries of the University of Zurich.

Collections and archives

Above and beyond this, ETH Zurich is home to significant collections and archives. When it comes to the strategic orientation and maintenance of the partially valuable inventories, the ETH-Bibliothek plays a leading role. Its activities include extensive digitalisation projects, the establishment of publicly accessible online platforms with digitalised contents, and conservational measures.