Abbey Library of St.Gall
Abbey Library of St.Gall

Lending Library & Reading Room

The Abbey Library is not only Switzerland’s oldest library, containing a unique collection of books and manuscripts, but also a public lending library. The library owns some 170,000 books and other media. Books printed after 1900 can be borrowed, whereas older volumes can only be used in the Reading Room.

Manuscripts and incunabula can be viewed in the Reading Room in exceptional cases. To cater for scholars and researchers who are interested in these documents, we are in the process of digitising the manuscripts. They are accessible on the following website

In the Reading Room there is a reference library with the most important reference works and compendiums. Due to space limitations, all additional basic literature is kept in a separate storeroom, but can be viewed at any time. In the reading room, there is WiFi access and a computer that can be used to access the St. Gall library catalogue 'SGBN'.

Loan of books

The Abbey Library is a member of the association BibliOpass. If you hold a valid library user’s card issued by one of the 600 libraries belonging to the association, you can borrow books from the Abbey Library. We will be pleased to issue a library user’s card free of charge to anyone residing in Switzerland who does not yet possess one.

Opening hours of the lending library / reading room
Monday - Friday: 8:30 – 11:45 and 13:45 – 17:00

The lending library and the reading room are closed on the following days:

30.03.18 Good Friday
02.04.18 Easter Monday
10.05.18 Ascension Day
21.05.18 Whit Monday
02.07.-06.07.18 Summer School (reading room closed / lending library open)
01.08.18 Swiss National Day
30.08.-17.09.18 closed
16.10.18 Feast of St. Gall
01.11.18 All Saints' Day
06.11.18 Cleaning Work
24.12.18 - 02.01.19 Christmas Holiday

Duration of loans
Books are normally loaned for eight weeks, but they may be recalled by the library at any time after four weeks have elapsed. In this case, the borrower must return the books without delay.

Loans from external sources
For loans from the collections of other libraries a fee of CHF 10.- per document will be payable. Extra charges will also be made for additional services (e.g. copies, reproductions etc.).

Reminder (after expiry of the loan period): no charge
First recall: CHF 10.- per item
Second recall: CHF 20.- per item
Third recall: CHF 35.- per item