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


You don’t have the time for a guided tour? You want to discover the Bibliothèque on your own? Here is a self-guided tour of the site of the Bastions main library that you can follow on your mobile phone or tablet.

The Bibliothèque de Genève has occupied the Bastions building since 1872 (see history of the Bibliothèque). Designated a historic monument, the building comprises three floors, only parts of which are accessible to the public.

Ground floor:

The entrance is located on this level, with a welcome and information desk, as well as a shop selling the books and documents published by the Bibliothèque. It is here as well that patrons can pay any late fines they may have accrued.

The wing on the left is the Salle Saussure, an open access library that currently offers a selection of some 35,000 recently published works. All fields are represented, although special emphasis is placed on literature (studies of classical and modern literature, classical literary texts), history, social sciences, and philosophy. These books can be borrowed directly from the shelves with a library card.

In the hall facing the entrance is the Espace Ami-Lullin, where the library mounts its temporary exhibitions. These are mainly centered on the Bibliothèque’s own collections. The exhibition space has a lecture area as well that seats around fifty. The Espace Ami-Lullin owes its name to the great art patron, pastor and professor of church history Ami Lullin (1695-1756). This scholar and aesthete made a princely gift to the library of 84 medieval manuscripts on parchment, richly illuminated in most cases.

The exhibition room was completely renovated in 2008. The removal of the partition walls dividing up the space and the decision to respect the earlier colors of the floor, displays, walls and ceiling were decisive steps in reviving the original look of the 1900 décor, a rare occurrence in Geneva.

First floor:

At the top of the stairs on the left is the Salle Eugénie Droz, the library’s main reading room. Seating 112, this reading room is meant for study and in-library consultations, notably of library materials that are excluded from circulation. The room holds reference works and other books for ready consultation spanning most of the fields of knowledge, encyclopedias, dictionaries, biographies, atlases, and so on.

The Eugénie Droz Reading room is equipped with WiFi and has a service room with photocopiers and a scanner.

On the same floor the librarians at the welcome area and reference desk are on hand to direct or assist you in searching for materials (catalogues and databases), consulting sources, or locating library items in Geneva or further afield in Switzerland and the world through the Interlibrary lending service. The reference desk can also answer your search questions, whether general or of a more practical nature. The staff of the reference desk offer sessions in how to use the library and its print and electronic resources. The sessions are by appointment and can be tailored to the specific needs and research requirements of individuals and groups.

On your right, in the catalogue room computer terminals allow patrons to carry out library searches. Regional newspapers and general reviews are also available here for consultation. Currently occupied by the card catalogue, this space is scheduled for a transformation in 2019 to make room for a vast work and reception area.

In the hallway on the left of the reference desk, you will find the circulation desk (Service du prêt), where requests for library items are submitted and requested items are delivered to patrons. Requests can also be made online (see catalogue). Delivery times usually take around 30 minutes. It is also here that new patrons submit their inscription forms to become a member of the library.

On your left and to the right of the hallway, opposite the circulation desk, the Salle Moynier is home to the library’s Periodicals department, where you can freely consult newspapers, journals and specialized reviews. The Moynier offers 12 work places and 4 additional work places for consulting the library’s periodicals.

Here the library provides open access to the year’s issues of some 1150 specialized reviews as well as a selection of current press titles, notably Genevan (Tribune de Genève, Le Temps and Le Courrier). Bound volumes of issues from earlier years are kept in storage and can be called up for consultation.

Besides the library’s print resources, important collections of microfilm and several thousand online periodicals are also available.

Two computer terminals allow patrons to do online searches, while a microfilm reader is available for reading periodicals on that support.

Second floor:

On the right is the Salle Bonivard. There you will find on the open access shelves reference works and major collections in the fields of general history, religious studies, and philosophy, along with a collection of personal biographies.

The room is equipped with a reader-printer for microfilm and microfiche, and a photocopier. WiFi is also available.

In the Salle Senebier patrons can consult manuscripts and works kept in the library’s rare books storeroom. You can request the items you need directly in this room, making use of the files and bound catalogues that are provided for your search. Inquire with the room superintendent.

The Promenade des Bastions:

Ideal for a stroll or losing yourself in your thoughts, the Promenade des Bastions provides the Bibliothèque de Genève with a unique verdant setting. This walk was by turns a stable, a potato field, and a botanical garden. Over the 19th century it was gradually developed on grounds where the city’s former fortifications had once partly stood in the 16th and 17th centuries. The area took on its present aspect in 1910, and in 1917 it became the site of the famous International monument to the Reformation, also known as the Reformation wall.

Located at the foot of Geneva’s old town by Place de Neuve, and just a few steps from the Grand Théâtre and the Plaine de Plainpalais, the promenade is a place where Genevans like to gather or take a walk in the park. At the center of the city’s life, the Promenade des Bastions hosts public events throughout the year like the Escalade race and the Fête de la musique.

Marcio Nunes
Chargé de communication
022 418 28 93

Bibliothèque de Genève
Promenade des Bastions 1
1211 Genève 4

Salle Ami-Lullin, on the ground floor of the Bastions building.

Monday to Friday: 9 am – 10 pm, Saturday: 9 am - 5 pm
Sunday: closed