HKB Media Library

The HKB Media Library is part of the BFH library and a member of the Swiss Library Service Platform SLSP/swisscovery. It is open to the public and a centre of learning and exchange for HKB students, lecturers and staff.

Opening Hours



  • on all national holidays incl. bridge days
  • Mon 25.12.2023 until Fri 5.1.2024


swisscovery is the national search platform of academic libraries in Switzerland.

In our short course you will learn ...

  • ... how to use swisscovery efficiently
  • ... how to borrow books and how to download e-books.

Dates 2023

  • Tuesday, 26 September, 5 pm (English)
  • Thursday, 28 September, 12 noon (German)
  • Monday, 30 October, 5 pm (French) 
  • Wednesday, 25 October, 5 pm (German)
  • Tuesday, 21 November, 12 noon (German)
  • Friday, 15 December, 12 noon (French) 
  • Wednesday, 20 December, 12 noon (German)

Dates 2024

  • Thursday, 18 January, 12 noon (German)
  • Monday, 19 February, 5 pm (German)
  • Tuesday 20 February, 12 noon (French)
  • Wednesday, 20 March, 12 noon (German)
  • Tuesday, 23 April, 5 pm (German)
  • Friday, 17 May, 12 noon (German)
  • Tuesday, 21 May, 12 noon (French) 
  • Wednesday, 19 June, 12 noon (German)

Info on the short courses

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Registration: not necessary
  • The short training sessions will take place via MS Teams

Information about swisscovery can be found at
If you have any questions, please contact

Contact us if you would like to have a short course on a different date or in English.

Note on data protection

You can participate in the training, which takes place virtually via MS Teams, using the link above. Only your dial-in and registration data will be transmitted via MS Teams. Sound and image data will only be processed if you allow this in your settings (microphone, camera). The Bern University of Applied Sciences does not store any personal data that can be seen from the event; in particular, no recording is made. In addition, the BFH has chosen MS Teams, a program for which compliance with the standards required by data protection law is assured. The responsibility for the operation of the software lies with the provider. Details on the processing of personal data can be found in the provider's data protection information. By participating, you consent to the processing of your personal data.

Borrowing + access to online resources

The HKB Media Library combines the holdings of four divisions: Design and Fine Arts, Conservation and Restoration, Research and the Y Institute.

The physical media are generally freely accessible and can be borrowed (prerequisite: swisscovery account). They can be searched via

Media can be returned outside opening hours via the return box. The return box is in front of the media library and is emptied daily at 9am. Borrowed media items that are dropped off later than 9am will only be registered as returned as of the following working day.

The electronic media or online resources are accessible to students and employees of the BFH in the BFH network, i.e. in the WLAN bfh or via VPN. For other visitors, they are available at the research stations in the library.

The collections of the BFH Library (books and ebooks, periodicals and ejournals, DVDs, etc.; except for the library of the Abegg Foundation) can be searched using

Art & Architecture Source

Database for visual and applied arts, design and architecture. Includes the databases Wilson Art Full-Text and Art Index Retrospective as well as 750 journals in full-text, references and abstracts from renowned international journals (USA, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Holland), 220 e-books and 63'000 images.


Collections of images from museums, private collectors, photographic agencies, photographers of architecture, etc. for use in research and teaching.

ETH E-Pics Image Archive

In the image archive of the ETH library more than 500'000 images are available for free download, 100'000 of these images are in the public domain and can be used without restrictions. The collection includes photos of Swiss history of science and technology, the archives of Swissair and the Fotostiftung Schweiz as well as the Baugeschichtliche Archiv of the city of Zurich.


Prometheus is a distributed digital image archive for art and cultural studies. The Prometheus image archive functions according to the principle of a database broker that brings together heterogeneous image databases. The image providers make their databases available to research and teaching free of charge. Prometheus thus enables a comfortable image search via a common interface in different image archives, institute, research and museum databases.

Rijksmuseum Studio

More than 500'000 images of works in the museum's collection have been digitised in high resolution; 200'000 of these images are available in the Rijksmuseum Studio and can be freely adapted.

Statens Museum for Kunst (National Gallery of Denmark)

As part of the Google Art Project this museum has digitised in high resolution approximately 40'000 images of works of art in the public domain, which can be used and adapted by the public.

Lost Art Internet Database Deutschland

‘Lost Art’ is the official German database for the documentation of cultural objects seized during the Nazi dictatorship. It contains cultural objects that were displaced or confiscated as a result of organised looting efforts by the Nazis, especially from Jewish owners.

Anlaufstelle Raubkunst, Federal Office of Culture

A governmental online portal about artworks plundered by the NS regime. Contains general information as well as information about provenance research.

The HKB Media Library collects the diploma theses of HKB students.

Projects in the field of Conservation and Restoration are integrated into the holdings of the HKB Media Library. BFH swisscovery lists them under their title and author’s name.

Projects completed in the Division of Design and Fine Arts are collected in the Media Library. They can only be viewed on site.

The HKB Media Library owns around 100 valuable, rare publications.

Their classmark is RARA. They are not available for loan. Rarities can only be used for reference on site or borrowed for short-term use in internal classes.

You can use BFH swisscovery to search our rarities.

Literature search support

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

Download Lean Library

  1. Open 
  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

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".

Search directly in swisscovery with Lean Library

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, contact us:

The Moodle course BFH Literature Search gives BFH students an introduction to researching scientific literature.

  • Why Google is not enough
  • From the research question to the search terms
  • Scientific literature and its differences
  • Tips for the search
  • etc. 

Depending on the type of publication, you can choose the appropriate search tool:

  • You will find books and e-books using swisscovery. For e-books the section “Consult online” directs you to the full-text. The design of the button or link for downloading can vary greatly: “Full-text”, “PDF”, “Read”, etc.
  • You can find periodical articles using specialized subject databases.
    The periodicals themselves can be accessed via swisscovery if the database does not include the full-text (see the paragraph “Finding periodical articles”)
  • The library also provides search tools for norms, images, statistics, newspapers, etc.

Always look for the “search@BFH” button. It often leads directly to the text you are searching for.

Install LeanLibrary, a browser extension, to support your research.

Activate your BFH VPN, even when using Google or Google scholar, for ex., as this can in some cases lead directly to the full-text.

Searching in Subject Databases

Journal articles can be found primarily in bibliographic subject databases. You will often find direct access to full-text PDFs here as well. Depending on the database, the design of the download buttons or links can vary greatly: «Full Text», «PDF», «Read», etc.

Sometimes the DOI or «digital object identifier» directs to the full-text.

Also pay attention to the «» button, as this can also direct to full-text.

Finding journal article full-text

In some bibliographic databases you will find neither full-text access nor PDFs, only citations for the articles you need. In this case, go to the swisscovery search platform.

Search in swisscovery using the title of the journal instead of the title of the article. Then use «Tweak your results», go to the heading «Resource Type» and choose «Journals».

If the electronic version of the journal is available, you will be directed to the journal full-text by clicking on the “Available Online” link and you can then find and download the article PDF. In some cases, you may need to enter a password again (“Passwords”).

If the journal is only available in print, you can copy or scan the article at the library where it is located.

If the BFH Library does not have the journal you need in its collections, broaden your search to include all of swisscovery, i.e. all member libraries (drop-down menu next to the search box). You can often order the journal issue for loan. 

Some swisscovery member libraries allow you to order copies or scans for a fee. Alternatively, use the service "Orders for Copies" of the University Library of Bern.

Using reference management software you can 

  • enter your literature references,
  • organize them,
  • import references from swisscovery and specialised catalogues,
  • export references into text documents.

In the Moodle course Literature Management, BFH students and employees receive instructions and training dates for the reference management software Zotero. Instructions and sources of supply for Citavi, EndNote and Mendeley can also be found.

Writing is not a question of talent. Writing is a question of practice. Especially when it comes to writing scientific texts.

In the Moodle course "Schreiben – écrire – writing" BFH students can find instruction in the art of academic writing and helpful suggestions for getting started with the writing process. The course is intended to introduce you to the topic and can later be used for reference purposes, as needed.


The HKB Media Library is part of the BFH library.