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The ETH Bibliothek in Zurich and the EPFL Library are two of the leading technical and scientific documentation centres in Europe. Millions of media reflect a large proportion of the available knowledge. Tens of thousands of users appreciate the services offered by the two libraries, which are also open to the public.
The ETH Bibliothek in the main building of the ETH Zurich was established in 1855 and is the largest academic library in Switzerland. Together with the EPFL Library in the new Rolex Learning Center, it is considered to be one of the best libraries in Europe for technical and scientific subjects. Both institutions also have a reputation as drivers of innovation and are pioneers in areas such as digital data handling and new services. The collections held by the libraries at ETH and EPFL cover areas including architecture, construction science, engineering, the natural sciences and mathematics, system-oriented sciences, management and the social sciences.
A service for industry
In addition to its function as the central university library at the ETH Zurich, the ETH Bibliothek has a second purpose. It is a national centre for technical information in the natural sciences, and for this reason holds media and data not only on the subjects researched and taught at the university but also on the major fields of research and development being pursued in Swiss industry. Regular users include university staff, doctoral candidates, students and industry-based researchers.
Central library network
The ETH Bibliothek also operates the lending network NEBIS (Network of Libraries and Information Centres in Switzerland) and its central catalogue database. NEBIS catalogues the collections in the ETH Bibliothek and the media at more than 80 other Swiss libraries, including the EPFL Library and Zurich Central Library.
7.7 million media
The key figures for the ETH Bibliothek demonstrate the value of the institution for users and the academic world and the important role it plays in preserving the country's cultural heritage. It holds a total of 7.7 million media, among them 86,000 e-books, 400,000 plans and geodata and 261,000 individual manuscripts. The library offers access to 5,330 print journals and 13,900 electronic journals. Some 32,000 active users take advantage of this enormous offering. In 2009, for example, they borrowed almost 300,000 printed media.