The library of the Museum der Kulturen Basel and of the Ethnological Seminar of Basel University is the largest and oldest specialised ethnological library in Switzerland.

With a collection of roughly 100,000 publications – including 200 current scientific journals – the library has a vast range of resources to offer. Its focus is on the museum’s diverse fields of collection and on anthropological theory.
In addition the library holds a collection of children and adolescents’ books from the estate of Elisabeth-Brigitte Schindler-Holzapfel. For access to the collection, please consult the library.

The library is open to all and free of charge.

Our holdings are listed in the national search portal of academic libraries SLSP swisscovery. For more information regarding the search portal and registration go to University Basel's website.

The majority of our media are held in the closed storage facility. Please order online through swisscovery Basel.

In the reading room, you will find current editions of journals, a selection of reference books, course reserves, and new acquisitions.

Books can only be collected and returned during opening hours or at courier libraries.

Except for our courier service, we presently offer neither interlibrary loan nor home mailing service.

Returning materials
Books can only be returned during library office hours or else sent by post.

Digitization orders
For a fee, we send copies of articles from journals and books held in our holdings (electronically or by post) to users registered with swisscovery.

Indexing system
The materials are indexed according to the OWC (geographic) and OCM (subject) classification systems, allowing you a detailed search of the anthropological literature.

Literature search
swisscovery Basel (library network Basel) 
swisscovery (library network Switzerland, incl. Central Discovery Index (CDI)) 
Thematic Research OCM
Geographic Research OWC
New material acquired during the last month