Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering / Engineering and Computer Science Library Burgdorf

The Burgdorf Library is a specialised academic library. It is a member of SLSP (Swiss Library Service Platform) and open to the public. A library ID is required to borrow media. We will be happy to help you with your research or obtaining documents. Please get in touch if you have any questions about the search platform swisscovery and the electronic resources.


use the swisscovery search platform to search nationwide in Switzerland

Opening hours



No lending


Mon, 18 July to Fri, 16 September 2022
9am–1pm, afternoon closed

Swiss Federal celebration

Mon, 1st August 2022: closed



The e-NORM successor solution SNV-Connect for accessing the standards is now available to you.

Log in with your SWITCH edu-ID at to access the standards.

Note: The data in e-NORM will no longer be updated. Access to e-NORM will be discontinued on August 31, 2022.

The current dates of our training courses on literature research and reference management can be found on Moodle:

Self study


Webinar SpringerMaterials

How to find the data you need for your research


  • What Springer Materials is and how it can support your research
  • How to find materials’ properties data using SpringerMaterials
  • Practical examples

Please register for the SpringerMaterials info session on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 09–10am under this link

Winter Holidays

Monday, 14 February – Friday, 18 February 2022
9 am – 1 pm, afternoon closed

Easter Week

Thursday, 14 April 2022
9 am – 1 pm, afternoon closed


Good Friday, 15 April – Easter Monday, 18 April 2022

Ascension Week

Monday, 23 May – Wednesday, 25 May 2022
9 am – 1 pm, afternoon closed


Thursday, 26 May – Sunday, 29 May 2022

Whit Monday

Monday, 6 June 2022


Monday, 18 July – Friday, 16 September 2022
9 am – 1 pm, afternoon closed
Swiss Federal Celebration Monday 1st August 2022

Christmas/New Year

Friday, 23 December 2022
9 am – 1 pm, afternoon closed

Saturday, 24 December 2022 – Sunday, 8 January 2023

The library

Collections focus

  • Architecture
  • Civil engineering
  • Electrical engineering and information technology
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Art
  • Natural sciences, business and communications

Our stock is accessible for free. All media except reference holdings can be borrowed.

Facilities and services

  • Loan and information counter
  • 30 workspaces
  • 2 research stations
  • Wi-Fi access (bfh-open for external users)
  • Daily newspapers, weekly press for use inside the library
  • Research advice

Borrowing and Terms of use

Below you will find details of the services and conditions of use of our library.

1. Scope

The following terms of use apply to the following libraries of the BFH Library:  

  • Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering Library Biel/Bienne
  • AHB/TI Library Burgdorf
  • Health Library
  • HAFL Library
  • Swiss Literature Institute Library
  • Social Work Library
  • Engineering and Information Technology Library Biel/Bienne
  • Business Library
  • HKB Media Library
  • HKB Music Library

The EHSM Sport media Library HSM, Magglingen has its own terms of use. 
All these libraries are part of the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) and accessible with search platform swisscovery, which is operated by SLSP.

2. User authorisation

The BFH Library provides information and literature for BFH students and employees. These are also available to other interested parties. Use of BFH libraries is free, although there are charges for specific services (see Fee table in FAQ about swisscovery).

3. Registration 

By registering, the user accepts the present terms of use.

Registration (free of charge) on the swisscovery research platform is required for borrowing media and using other services. Therefore, a SWITCH edu-ID account is necessary and may be created during the registration process if it does not already exist.

The users are responsible for ensuring that the personal details they provide are correct and up-to-date (see SLSP General Privacy Statement). They must update their personal details (such as address) themselves in their SWITCH edu-ID account. 

Employees of the BFH Library cannot make any changes to personal data.

The user can set the preferred address (home or work) in the swisscovery account and add or remove library cards: swisscovery – Library Card Management and Settings.

The library card is required for on-site borrowing. It is personal and therefor non-transferable. The library card may be purchased at any swisscovery library. BFH students and employees can use their BFHcard as a library card. Library cards issued by other swisscovery libraries are also recognised.

Further information: see User account section in FAQ about swisscovery.

4. Borrowing

Library items are generally available for borrowing. However, certain designated items can only be used on site. Special loan conditions may apply to individual media or media groups. A maximum of 100 items can be borrowed per user.

The standard loan period is 28 days for most media. Unless the borrowed item is requested elsewhere, it is automatically extended for a further loan period of 28 days (up to five times). The deadline is displayed in the swisscovery user account.

When the maximum loan period expires, the item must be returned. If the item has not been reserved, you can borrow it again from the lending desk.

Items should be returned prior to absences longer than the loan periods of the borrowed items (military service, holidays, study abroad etc.).

5. Courier service and postal delivery

Media can be ordered for collection at a charge from all BFH libraries participating in the SLSP Courier service. The terms of use of the supplying library apply. The University library pays the courier fees for BFH members, provided that the pick-up location is a BFH library. Requested media must picked-up within 6 library working days. Courier media that are not picket-up will be returned. The delivery fees must also be paid in the event of non-collection (see Borrowing + Courier section in FAQ about swisscovery).

For a fee, BFH libraries can send out items from their own inventories (see Costs section in FAQ about swisscovery).

6. Liability

Media should be handled with care, protected from damage and returned in an undamaged and complete condition. Notes and marks shall also be deemed to be damage. Any cost of repairs or replacement shall be assumed by the responsible party.

The user is fully liable for any damage or loss of borrowed documents. Existing damage or missing inserts (data carriers, cards, parts etc.) must be reported immediately, or at the latest upon the return of the material.

For damaged or lost media, the University library charges repair or replacement costs as well as handling fees (see Fee table in FAQ about swisscovery).

7. Costs

The user is responsible for adhering to loan periods. Reminders that are not received are not accepted as grounds for late returns. No correspondence will be entered into in this regard.

After the loan period has expired, an "Overdue items - Reminder" (free of charge) is sent from <>. Subsequent reminders are subject to a fee.

The third reminder also results in the blocking of the swisscovery user account. If the item is not returned it is entered as lost. The replacement costs and administrative fee are charged to the responsible party (see Fee Table in FAQ about swisscovery).

Overdue fees can be paid at the lending desk in cash or with TWINT if an invoice has not yet been issued.

8. Copyright issues and further use of media

Use of library media is governed by the Swiss copyright guidelines and is intended exclusively for personal use. Transfer to third parties and commercial use are prohibited.

Chamber music scores and scores for solo instrument with (piano) accompaniment may be given to third parties under the following conditions: The borrowing person is responsible for ensuring that all parts and possible supplements are returned on time, complete and in perfect condition (without annotations). If the music sheet or parts of it are returned too late or with annotations, the borrowing person is liable and will be charged the corresponding fees. Commercial use is also excluded.

Users are responsible for informing themselves about any copyright issues. The BFH declines all liability in the case of copyright infringement.

9. Using online resources and internet

For information about Conditions for access and use of online resources, see FAQ online resources.

Public workstations in the BFH libraries are primarily provided for information on online offerings and research for scientific, specialist, professional or educational purposes.

All users are required to observe legal provisions with regard to Internet use. With respect to liability, misuse and the consequences of misuse, we refer users to the Guidelines on the use of IT resources at BFH.

10. Conduct within the library

The conduct of users within the library areas must not impinge upon the rights of other persons, impact library operations or cause damage to equipment, facilities etc.

Users are obliged to comply with the instructions of library staff. Failure to do so can result in the user being asked to leave. Repeated or severe infringements of the terms of use can result in exclusion from library use.

[January 2022]

Ordering journals articles

You can use the search platform swisscovery to order journal articles.
Fees for this service vary. Please consult the fees list of the respective library.
Members of BFH-AHB and BFH-TI can order article copies from the Engineering and Computer Science Library. This applies to articles from journals that are not available online.
Please send the details of the article you require (title, author(s), journal title, volume, number/issue, year, page reference to the following email address

Acquisition request

We welcome suggestions for new purchases.
Please make sure to check whether the required document is already indexed on the search platform swisscovery before you submit a purchase request.
Then send us as much information as possible (author, title, publisher, ISBN) and your user number. We will look into every suggestion.
You will hear back from us within a week. If we do purchase the document, it will be reserved for you automatically. You will be informed by e-mail about its arrival and the document will be waiting for you at the library.

Using our resources

BFH swisscovery

The complete collection of the AHB/BFH-TI Library is indexed on the BFH swisscovery platform. Most media can be ordered online. Please note that a library ID is required to borrow media.
BFH swisscovery is part of the new nationwide search platform. It lists over 30 million books, series, magazines and non-book items as well as over 3 billion articles.
swisscovery is operated by SLSP, the Swiss Library Service Platform. SLSP was initiated by 15 universities. As of today, 475 libraries are affiliated.

Users of BFH swisscovery have the possibility to extend their search to the overall collection of all 475 affiliated libraries with just one click (swisscovery).


The catalogue of the Swiss National Library.

It contains everything published by in and about Switzerland.


Network of the libraries of the Canton of Vaud.

Karlsruher Virtueller Katalog KVK

A meta catalogue of citations for media held in the catalogues of libraries and bookshops worldwide.

Paid eBooks

You can only access the fee-based contents of eBooks and eJournals from the BFH network or externally via a VPN.

Bauwelt Fundamente

Online access to the ‘Bauwelt Fundamente’ series, the only collection of German-language texts and sources about the theory and history of architecture and urbanism.

It comprises over 130 issues from a period of more than five decades.

Springer Link

Online access to the collections ‘Technik und Informatik’ (from 2011), ‘Engineering’ (from 2013), ‘Medizin’ (from 2010), ‘Sozialwissenschaften und Recht’ (from 2010), ‘Wirtschaftswissenschaften’ (from 2007), ‘Business and Economics’ (from 2011), ‘Energy’ (from 2016), ‘Naturwissenschaften’ (from 2017)

Hanser eLibrary

Online access to about 150 titles published by Hanser Fachbuch Verlag. Subjects include mainly computer science, mechanical engineering and business. No access to the journals.


A database containing abstracts of recent business literature in the fields of management, strategy, business, politics and innovation

O'Reilly for Higher Education

Online access to computer science, electrical engineering, economics - offer of latest publications, videos, interactive learning from over 250 publishers

WISO eBooks

eBooks on business, management and other topics

ProQuest eBook Central

A selection of eBooks purchased for BFH

Pschyrembel Online

A medical specialist dictionary containing English translations

Springer Reference DE

A constantly updated collection of German-language reference works in psychology, humanities, social sciences, law, engineering, business and medicine

Freely accessible eBooks

DOAB – Directory of Open Access Books

A search portal for peer-reviewed, open-access books from academic publishers

swisscovery search platform

The collections of the BFH Library (books, periodicals, DVDs, etc.; except for the library of the Abegg Foundation) can be searched using the swisscovery search platform:

swisscovery is operated by the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP).

Fee-based journals

You can only access the fee-based contents of eBooks and eJournals from the BFH network or externally via a VPN

Springer Link

Online journals (abstracts, full texts) from Springer

Science Direct/Elsevier

Online journals (abstracts, full texts) from Elsevier

WISO Fachzeitschriften

eJournals about information technology, business and other topics

Individually licensed journals

JAMIA – online access to the Journal of American Medical Information Association

The official, peer-reviewed journal of the American Medical Information Association

Schweizer Zeitschriftenportal SZP

A directory of print and electronic journals held in Swiss libraries.

Does not support direct searches for journal articles/studies.

Freely accessible journals

DOAJ – Directory of open access journals

Access to full-text articles from peer-reviewed, open-access journals; covers all subjects and many languages


The Directory of Open Access Repositories is a public collection of publications from many university document servers


Free full-text access to digitised Swiss journals about science and culture (includes architecture and engineering)


A new, interdisciplinary full-text database of articles from open-access journals


A pre-print repository at Cornell University containing contributions in physics, mathematics, information technology, quantitative biology and statistics

The archives of the following publishing houses are available to the entire population of Switzerland:

  • Cambridge University Press (articles published between 1770 and 2015)
  • De Gruyter (articles published between 1826 and 2015)
  • Oxford University Press (articles published between 1895 and 2015)
  • Springer Nature (articles published between 1832 and 2012)

These archives contain all journals of the above publishing houses from the very first issue until 2015.

Content from 2016 will be available after an embargo of 2 (De Gruyter), 3 (Oxford University Press), 4 (Springer Nature) and 5 (Cambridge University Press) years, respectively.

The same rule will apply to later years.


Most of the bibliographic subject databases and other online resources offered by the BFH libraries are accessible to BFH students and staff on the BFH network (WLAN bfh or VPN), and are available to other library visitors at the research stations in the library.


e-norm (Schweizerische Normen-Vereinigung SNV)

The data in e-Norm will no longer be updated. Access to e-NORM will be discontinued on August 31, 2022. Successor solution: SNV-Connect (see below).


SNV-Connect is the successor solution for e-Norm and enables access to standards. Log in with your SWITCH edu-ID.

IEEE/IET Electronic Library (IEL)

A database licensed by the BFH Department of Engineering and Information Technology.

The IEL offers full-text access to current literature (from the beginning to present day) in electronics, electrical engineering and computer sciences


Pharmacological and biomedical database

Freely accessible databases (architecture, civil engineering)


International architecture database with information about the buildings and plans of renowned architects

Building inventory

Building inventory of the city of Bern, freely accessible district inventories (excluding the old town) of the municipal office for the preservation of historical monuments (Städtische Denkmalpflege) of Bern, published in PDF format


The online portal about the history and culture of the city and canton of Bern:

digitised books, journals, newspapers, databases and geographical maps


Information and graphics about various construction materials

Freely accessible databases (medicine)


Reference database for medicine and biomedicine with more than 28 million references. A free service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM, USA).

Access to MEDLINE (since 1966, with MESH), OLDMEDLINE (1949–1965, without MESH) and PubMedCentral.

Cochrane Kompakt

Selected reviews in the fields of public health, midwifery, nursing sciences, physiotherapy, urology and current issues

BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine)

A worldwide search engine for academic online documents. 60% of documents indexed in BASE are freely accessible in full (open access); the index comprises more than 100 million documents from over 5,000 sources.

Google Scholar

A special Google search engine for academic literature research.

It contains journal articles, papers, dissertations, theses, pre-prints and books from academic publishers, specialist publishers and universities either as full-text versions or references.

Google does not provide any information about the scope, selection criteria, currency and coverage of the materials.


A search engine that claims not to store any personal details nor search queries.

The book search provides access to abstracts of all students’ bachelor’s theses since 2012.
You can search the abstracts by key words or by divisions.
The archive contains abstracts of the works from 2006 to 2011.

The browser extension Lean Library leads you directly to electronic full-text content offered by your BFH library

Download Lean Library

  2. Install browser extension
  3. Select the library: Berner Fachhochschule
  4. Begin your search for academic literature. The Lean Library pop-ups lead directly to the full-text.

For best results, always activate the VPN.

Lean Library is available for

  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • Opera
  • Microsoft Edge

For Internet Explorer, only a limited version is available. The download for Internet Explorer requires administrator rights.

Use on mobile devices:
iOS operating system from Apple: Academic Browser
Android from Google: under development 

Try Lean Library after download 

  • If the article you are looking for can be found on different platforms, Lean Library will take you to where you have direct access. >> test link
  • If the e-book you are looking for is offered by the BFH libraries, Lean Library will take you directly to the free download. >> test link
  • If you need a password to access a source, Lean Library will inform you accordingly. >> test link
  • If you wish to search the swisscovery library system using a specific search term, click on the desired search term with the right mouse button on any website and select "search@BFH".


Highlight and Search

Lean Library enables you to initiate a search on the swisscovery search platform from any website:

  • highlight one or more terms 
  • right-click with your mouse
  • choose “Search@BFH” in the drop-down menu
  • proceed to search in swisscovery

If you have any questions, please contact your BFH library.

The BFH is offering test access to the entire Cairn STM (science and technology) collection until the end of June.

Cairn is a French-speaking platform that offers mainly humanities and social sciences journals.


Individual advice – we’re here for you.

Are you looking for information about a specific topic?
Do you need help with your research?
Would you like to find out about the (online) resources available in your subject area?

If you need help with your research, please tell us your reason for contacting us and state the topic of your work in progress.

No appointment is needed to get an introduction to the search platform swisscovery or the library itself. 
Just drop by and report to the front desk.

We are happy to help.
Please get in touch and make an appointment for a 30-minute consultation.

Literature research

For information about literature research, please take the Moodle course ‘Literary research BFH’.

To access the Moodle courses, you need to be logged into the BFH network or accessing it via a VPN. 
To log in (click ‘Login with Switch edu-ID’), you need to use your BFH code and password. You do not need a registration key.

Our team’s office hours

Eveline Schuler
Tuesday to Friday

Esther Wüthrich
Monday to Friday

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