Découvrez les bibliothèques de la Ville de Genève
Toute l'offre culturelle

  • La Bibliothèque de Genève déploie sur 4 sites un patrimoine écrit, imprimé, musical et iconographique unique qu’elle sélectionne, protège, valorise et transmet au grand public comme au public scientifique.
  • Site internet de la Bibliothèque de Genève

  • Les Bibliothèques municipales sont des lieux de rencontre, de découverte et de partage qui vous proposent de nombreux documents à emprunter ainsi que des activités gratuites pour petit-e-s et grand-e-s.
  • Site Internet des Bibliothèques municipales

  • Les musées d’art et d’histoire, le Musée d’ethnographie et le Museum d’histoire naturelle, les Conservatoires et Jardin botaniques et le Fond municipal d’art contemporain proposent un accès à leur bibliothèque scientifique .
  • Site internet

  • Vous avez une question et vous souhaitez une réponse personnalisée? Le réseau des bibliothèques genevoises vous offre, en moins de trois jours, un résultat fiable et des sources identifiées.
  • Service Interroge


The acquisitions policy takes into account the library’s patrons and its missions. It is also influenced by the local context of print and book publishing. It is based on the rich history of collections that have been put together over the centuries and shows us, among other things, that the Bibliothèque is grounded, too, in all that reflects life in Geneva. The BGE has defined three centers of excellence, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and Genevensia. Acquisitions for these three areas are meant to be exhaustive.

The Genevensia center of excellence comprises all documents published on paper in Geneva under the legal deposit law, regardless of their subject, as well as documents not covered by the legal deposit whose author or subject matter have some connection with Geneva, regardless of where they were published.

The Réformation center of excellence takes in all of the subjects that are useful to understanding that phenomenon fully. All of Protestantism, especially in its French-language developments, is included here (Huguenots, the Refuge, or French Protestant flight from France, the Desert, or years of clandestine practice of French Protestantism within France, and so on).

The Enlightenment, whose flame burned especially bright in Geneva, notably in literature and the sciences, is also one of the centers of excellence with the full complement of subjects that help us understand the “long 18th century.”

The idea of the center of excellence is horizontal. That is, readers will find in the Reformation center of excellence studies devoted to Calvin as well as literary texts, historical studies (the history of mentalities, religion, books, etc.), even science-related studies (the Copernican revolution).

The Bibliothèque’s acquisitions policy also includes the following points:

general history, regional and national history, the history of science (FR)
French language and literature (FR) (with emphasis on the 16th and 18th centuries)
the history of religions (FR) (in particular Calvinism and Protestantism)
ancient Greece and Rome, antiquity (FR)
philosophy (FR)

Finally, other fields of the human sciences (music, cinema, the arts) and the social sciences (geography, economy, sociology, etc.) are also covered, although in a more generalist approach. As for music, the Bibliothèque de Genève (Bastions) and la Musicale (Maison des arts du Grütli) work together in making acquisitions of non-printed music. For printed music, la Musicale sets its own policy.

The Bibliothèque policy concerning documents also extends to digital items (see Digital library), whose share of what is available on the martket has been increasing regularly. The Bibliothèque de Genève works closely with the University of Geneva library and is a member of the Consortium of Swiss academic libraries.

Purchases are aimed at both an educated general readership and the academic world. Priority goes to French publications, notably university-level studies and books on general knowledge. Academic works are also acquired in English, German, and Italian, although the choice is narrower.

In order for the collections of the Bibliothèque de Genève to live and grow despite the constraints imposed by the available space, a rational approach to managing the storage areas has been put in place. A selective conservation policy and a regular critical review of the collections are also important aspects of our documents policy.

List of recent acquisitions (FR)

A list of recent acquisitions, by major fields, is drawn up every month.


Proposing a purchase

Anyone can make a suggestion about what the library should buy next by writing to the following address: acquisitions.bge[at]ville-ge[dot]ch. Proposals will be considered insofar as they fit into the acquisitions policy described above.

Donations and bequests

Although most acquisitions involve a purchase, what donations and bequests contribute to the library is far from negligible indeed. Over the centuries, numerous donors have helped to enrich the library’s collections thanks to their generosity. As part of that fine tradition, the Bibliothèque continues to accept in general donated works inasmuch as they fit into our acquisitions policy. Likewise, items that come into the library thanks to exchange programs with other institutions are treated like the works that are donated to our institution.

Promenade des Bastions 8
1205 Genève

T: +41 22 418 28 00
F: +41 22 418 28 01

Monday to Friday: 9 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 12 pm

Marie-Pierre Graber
T: +41 22 418 28 36