HKB Media Library

The Media Library is a centre of learning and exchange for HKB students, lecturers and staff. It is also open to the public in order to inform and inspire interested specialists and laypeople alike. The holdings of the HKB Media Library are indexed in the discovery tool BFH swisscovery. The vast majority can be borrowed.

Opening Hours

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

Closures 2021:

5. July  – 5. September reduced opening hours: Monday and Wednesday 9 am – 5 pm
24. December – 9. January 2022 (winter closure)

Media return

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. 


Bern University of the Arts
Media Library
Fellerstrasse 11
CH-3027 Bern

T +41 31 848 38 31



Corona Safety

Currently, a Covid certificate is required upon entry to the library. Please find the information on the precautionary measures and tests here

Please order media online on BFH swisscovery.

  • Mailing: CHF 5 per medium
  • A reduced number of reading stations is available

The Media Library

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


Art and art education

  • Artists’ monographs and exhibition catalogues
  • Theory and philosophy of art
  • Art history, art epochs, art movements
  • Sculpture
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Illustration
  • Graffiti
  • Comics
  • Performing arts
  • Media art


  • Architects’ monographs
  • History of architecture
  • Architectural theory
  • Urban development
  • Landscape and garden architecture
  • Interior design


  • Designers’ monographs
  • History of design
  • Design theory
  • Industrial design
  • Graphic design, visual communication and commercial art

Handicrafts and decorative art

  • Woodworking
  • Textile design and fashion
  • Paper design

Graphic art

  • History of graphic art
  • Print methods
  • Graphic printing

Photography, film, animation

  • Photographs’ monographs
  • History and theory of photography
  • Documentary photography
  • Architectural photography
  • Artistic photography
  • Cinematography
  • History of film
  • Film technology
  • Film criticism
  • Film theory
  • Animation


  • Philosophy
  • Sociology
  • Pedagogy
  • Psychology
  • Theatre
  • Film library (feature films, documentaries, animated films)
  • Physics, chemistry and biology
  • Paints, binding agents, solvents, varnish
  • Painting and sculpture
  • Graphics and written material
  • Photography, film and video
  • Architecture, interior design and furniture
  • Modern materials and media
  • Art history
  • Art epochs and movements
  • Iconography
  • Sources


The collection of the HKB Media Library contains around 40,000 media: 4,000 films, more than 200 journals, more than 30,000 exhibition catalogues, illustrated books, monographs, reference works, almanacs and teaching materials on the subject areas of the library. The HKB Media Library is open to the public. Users must be registered to borrow media from the library. The registration can be completed for free on site.

Special holdings


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.

Theses and dissertations (diploma, bachelor, master)

The 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 is open to the public. All individuals with a valid IDS library ID can borrow media. You can get a free library ID at the Media Library. Alternatively, your BFH card can be activated as a library ID. We generally recommend being logged into the university network or using a VPN to search for media, as you will be unable to access licensed media otherwise.

Literature and media search

BFH swisscovery is a search platform that covers the libraries of the Bern University of Applied Sciences and the Magglingen sports media library at EHSM. Searches can be extended to the holdings of all 475 participating libraries.


Prometheus is a digital image archive that combines 94 institutional, museum and research databases in a single interface. Members of HKB can access more than 1.7 million high-quality, digitised images in the arts, culture and history on campus or via a VPN.


Artstor is a non-profit organisation that builds and distributes the Digital Library, an online resource containing more than 1.9 million images in the arts, architecture, humanities and social sciences.

e-norm (Schweizerische Normen-Vereinigung SNV)

Approximately 37,000 standards from the SN (INB/SWISSMEM), ISO and Electrosuisse collections.
To access the database, please contact the HKB Media Library,

EAI Electronic Arts Intermix

This collection of video and media art contains works of art from the beginnings in the 1960s until today.


Access links to electronic sources of information, including specialist databases, journals and books, for students and staff of the Swiss universities of applied sciences. The universities of applied sciences maintain joint subscriptions to these sources. Free access from the university network. The platform also lists a number of important sources of information that are accessible for free.

Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek (EZB)

The EZB (Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek) is dedicated to facilitating the efficient use of academic journals online. It offers instant, structured, uniform access to full-text academic journals. Members of Bern University of Applied Sciences can use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to access the databases externally.


e-periodica is the ETH library’s platform for digitised Swiss journals. Its oldest holdings date back to the early eighteenth century. The stock is constantly updated to include the latest issues. All journals held by the platform are accessible for free. Depending on the agreement with the respective publisher, there may be an embargo on recent issues.


JSTOR is a non-profit organisation based in New York. It operates a fee-based online archive containing older issues of select specialist journals.
Any publications (papers, journals, books and primary sources) that have been licensed can be viewed, printed and downloaded externally via a VPN (virtual private network).

Schweizerisches Zeitschriftenportal (SZP)

The SZP (Schweizerisches Zeitschriftenportal) is a service offered by the Swiss National Library and the regional associations and libraries. The portal supports meta searches for journal articles in Switzerland’s main library catalogues.

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.

Conditions for access and use of online resources

Please pay attention to and obey all Conditions for Use stipulated by publishers/service providers. These general principles apply:

  • Access to full-text is only provided for members of the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) community. In exceptional cases, access may be further limited to individual areas of study within the BFH.
  • Systematic mass-downloading of full-text or search results is prohibited.
  • Full-text materials may only be printed or saved locally for personal use.
  • Articles may not be forwarded electronically or in print form to third parties.
  • Contents and layout of the articles may not be removed, changed or suppressed in any way. Examples: Identification features such as author and publisher names, copyright notices, logos or trademarks.

Violations of Conditions for Use can lead to the denial of access to full-text publications by the publisher/provider in the future.

With the browser extension «Lean Library» you can find the full text of the scientific literature available at the BFH. The following browsers are recommended: Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Edge. For Internet Explorer «Lean Library» is only available in a limited version.
Installation Lean Library: Find scientific literature more easily and faster


Loan periods

The standard loan periods are 28 days for books, 14 days for other media (e.g. DVDs) and 3 days for circulating journals.

Unless the borrowed media are requested by another user, the initial loan period is automatically renewed twice.

Library account

In your library account, you can view your loans and reservations, manually renew your loans and update your address details.
You need your ID number and password to log into your library account.
Please check your loan status regularly in your user account. Reminders are sent as an additional service. We do not accept any liability for non-receipt (e.g. due to spam filters). Please see the NEBIS FAQ for details.


Library fees 2019
Loans from the NEBIS Association
User ID


Courier service between members of the NEBIS Association (e.g. ZHdK, HGK, ETH)

Postal delivery (domestic shipment)
CHF 12 (per document)
Postal delivery (international shipment)

CHF 44 (per document)

Photocopying fees


PDF by email: up to 20 pages

CHF 7, plus CHF 0.20 for each additional page

PDF by email: up to 20 pages

CHF 10, plus CHF 0.20 for each additional page


PDF by email: up to 20 pages

CHF 12, plus CHF 0.50 for each additional page

PDF by email: up to 20 pages

CHF 15, plus CHF 0.50 for each additional page

Overdue fees



1st overdue notice (after 10 working days)

CHF 10 (per document)

2nd overdue notice (after another 10 working days)

another CHF 10 (per document)

3rd overdue notice (after another 10 working days – your account will be blocked)

another CHF 15 (per document)