As both a general and academic library, ZHB Sempacherstrasse is specially geared toward the needs of a wider audience. The library offers a varied range of literature concerning training and careers, leisure and entertainment, including specialized, non-fiction and light fiction books, which is constantly updated and available to borrow.

The ZHB Special Collections bring together manuscripts and old prints, a picture library and a special music collection. The core tasks of this department include the collection, preservation and proper indexing of valuable manuscripts, early prints, numerous bequests and image documents. The ZHB fulfills the role of Lucerne's cantonal library by collecting and archiving publications from and about the city and canton (Lucernensia) as comprehensively as possible.


The ZHB holdings include around1.2 million items:

  • Printed works
  • Image documents
  • Manuscripts
  • Audiobooks and other sound recordings
  • Maps and plans
  • CD-ROMs
  • Electronic information sources

ZHB Sempacherstrasse acquires over 13,000 new additions every year.

More than 50,000 items are directly accessible to borrow from the open stacks, covering current non-fiction and specialist literature from various fields of knowledge, materials for degree programs and continuing education, an appealing range of recent fiction and audiobooks. (Overview of open access holdings)

There is also a reference collection in the reading room, for an introduction to a variety of subjects. 

In addition, the library has an external storage facility with 800,000 volumes covering a diverse range of specialist subjects, most of which you can borrow. You can request these items via swisscovery for pick-up from the ZHB locations at Sempacherstrasse, Lucerne School of Business and the Uni/PH Building. The ZHB courier delivers twice a day.

Newspapers and journals

  • ZHB Sempacherstrasse has a well-chosen selection of Swiss and foreign daily and weekly newspapers as well as a wide range of (specialist) journals.

E-newspapers and e-journals

  • ZHB gives you access to electronic newspapers such as NZZ, the New York Times and Süddeutsche Zeitung as well as newspaper portals such as EZB, where you can find thousands of specialist academic journals. ZHB has held around 21,000 licensed electronic journals since 2008, in addition to some 27,000 free ones.
  • All e-journals and e-newspapers are available to browse on public terminals at our various locations.

Digitized newspapers

  • Lucerne ZHB stocks and archives local and cantonal newspapers and publications as comprehensively as possible. By digitizing and microfilming older Lucerne newspapers we can offer you unlimited access going way back through history: Luzerner Tagblatt (1852–1991) and Vaterland (1833–1963) are available to browse at two special workspaces in the basement at Sempacherstrasse, where you can also view (and print) newspapers on microfilm, such as Luzerner Neueste Nachrichten and Luzerner Landzeitungen.


Lucerne ZHB holds publications about Lucerne on behalf of the canton, including books, journals, newspapers, gray literature, films, sound recordings and more. The Lucernensia collection includes publications about Lucerne, authored by its citizens and from Lucerne publishers.

To view the catalog of publications with content relating to the canton, click the links in the table below. The titles are listed in the Lucerne bibliography published through 2020 in the Geschichtsfreund journal. Publications are listed three years after they were first published. The Geschichtsfreund is in the open stacks at ZHB Sempacherstrasse under call number P.b 100 (1).

all from 1999 onward2002
editorial deadline 2005
editorial deadline 2006
editorial deadline 2007
editorial deadline 2008
editorial deadline 2009
editorial deadline 2010
editorial deadline 2011
editorial deadline 2012
editorial deadline 2013
editorial deadline 2014
editorial deadline 2015
editorial deadline 2016
editorial deadline 2017
editorial deadline 2018
editorial deadline 2019
editorial deadline 2020


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