The Abbey Library of St. Gall is the oldest library in Switzerland, and one of the earliest and most important monastic libraries in the world. Its extraordinary collection of books reveals the development of European culture and documents the cultural achievements of the Abbey of St. Gall from the 8th century to the dissolution of the monastery in 1805.
Many works of fundamental importance to the transmission of European intellectual thought have been excellently preserved here. As a result, the Abbey Library and the entire abbey precinct in St. Gall were included in the UNESCO list of global cultural heritage sites in 1983. At the core of the collection is the largely indigenous corpus of Carolingian and Ottonian manuscripts dating from the 8th to the 11th centuries.
Today, the Catholic Administration (Katholischer Konfessionsteil) of the Canton of St. Gall (www.sg.kath.ch) owns the Abbey Library. In addition to its role as a modern research library specialising in the medieval period, the Abbey Library is one of Switzerland's leading museums. Every year, some 100,000 visitors come from all over the world to view the exhibitions in the Baroque Hall.