e-rara.ch renders the rare books available in Swiss libraries accessible online. The spectrum ranges from books and maps to illustrated materials – from the beginnings of printing to the 19th century. In December 2015 over 37.000 titles were available.
It is possible to browse the entire collection, Swiss prints by century, or thematic collections (such as: alchemy, magic, and Kabbalah; illustrated works on anatomy; 18th and 19th-century Bernensia; 17th-century Italian poetry and prose; and Swiss children’s books and books for young people). They can also be filtered by author/collaborator, period, language, place, printer/publisher, and library. Basic search in the entire collection is also possible, with the possibility to filter the search results afterwards.
Items are shown in high definition, and can be downloaded in PDF format. They are accompanied by a core set of metadata, while for a more detailed description the respective library catalogues and archive databases should be consulted.
e-rara.ch dates back to a joint venture between Bibliothèque de Genève, ETH-Bibliothek Zurich, Universitätsbibliothek Basel, Universitätsbibliothek Bern and Zentralbibliothek Zurich. Numerous other libraries are also involved in expanding the range with their holdings.