Register for free !

Registration conditions

  • you are at least 14 years old
  • you live in Switzerland
  • you are a student, teacher or employee at UNIL, EPFL, HEP Vaud, or one of the gymnasia (secondary schools) in Provence or Renens
  • you are a Swiss citizen living abroad
  • you are a cross-border worker working in the canton of Vaud

If you are under the age of 14, please contact us to request an exemption.

General conditions for registration and borrowing


  • student, assistant, PhD student or professor: come to one of our desks to validate your campus card, which will act as your library card
  • holder of a Swiss university library card or a card from the City of Lausanne library: complete the pre-registration form and then validate your card at one of our desks

 If you do not have any kind of library card, please complete the pre-registration form. To obtain your library card, go to one of the BCUL desks with a valid identity document (Swiss identity card, Swiss passport, Swiss driving licence or residence permit valid for a minimum of 3 months).

Managing your user account

Log in to your user account to:

  • renew your loans
  • manage your loan requests
  • check when your loans are due back
  • update your personal details

If you have forgotten your password, ask to update it (document in french) or go to one of our desks.




Our collections contain both rare and valuable documents and current digital resources!

Reading room

Alongside the thousands of works that are freely accessible at our various locations, we have  a collection of cultural heritage documents that are available only in the reading room at the Unithèque site.

Rare, precious, or fragile historical documents are available to you in an environment designed to assure their preservation.

Documents available in the reading room

  • manuscripts and archives
  • maps
  • rare books
  • items from the Iconographic collection
  • prints  prior to 1850
  • UNIL dissertations (Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Geosciences and Environment, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences)

To access these documents you do not have to be registered with the library, but your are requested to fill in – a registration form for the reading room at your first visit( yearly renewal).


Requesting a document prior to 1850, a rare book or a map: once you have found the document in Renouvaud, log into your user account, and click on the “Request” button. 

Don’t have an account? Write to (works prior to 1850) or (rare books and old maps)

Requesting a manuscript or UNIL dissertation: write to

Requesting an item from the Iconographic collection: write to

Depending on the type of document, it can take between 1 hour and 2 working days to prepare your order. Reading restrictions apply to certain documents because of their conservation conditions. An authorization may also be required, particularly for archival material.

To use the reading room you need to book a time slot. Once your order is prepared, we will send you an e-mail to confirm your time slot.


Further information about conditions and copying fees for documents available in the reading room.

Digital resources

  • as a student or employee at UNIL, CHUV or HEP Vaud, you have access to all the digital resources in the Renouvaud catalogue marked as [Access UNIL; CHUV; HEP Vaud; BCUL sites]. Items can be accessed locally (through your institution’s computer network) or remotely through your institution’s VPN.
  • Library users have access to the digital resources in the Renouvaud catalogue marked as [Access UNIL; CHUV; HEP Vaud; BCUL sites]. You can access materials at our various locations, from the public computers or the UNIL Wi-Fi networks.
  • some resources in the Renouvaud catalogue identified as [Free access] are accessible to anyone, from any location

Full conditions of access and restrictions on use of our digital resources.


Borrow, reserve and renew !

Loans and returns

You can borrow up to 30 documents at a time. There are special conditions for UNIL professors, researchers and PhD students.

Loan period

  • standard loan: 28 days
  • 14 days: DVDs from the Riponne, HEP Vaud, Renens and Provence sites, DVD documentaries, box sets and series from the Unithèque site and magazines from the Riponne site
  • 7 days: free access newspapers and magazines from the Unithèque site, and DVDs and Blu-ray discs from the Cinespace at the Unithèque site
  • You can borrow anything except for documents marked “not available for borrowing” in the Renouvaud search tool (reference works, old and precious books, compilations of legislation and case law, etc.)


  • renew your documents in a few clicks from your account
  • items cannot be renewed if they have been reserved by another reader
  • online renewals are available for a maximum of 4 times the initial loan period. Once this period has expired, please return your items to the desk.


  • to the desk at all locations
  • to the returnboxes
  • by post

A fine of CHF 0.20 per working day for each document is payable from the first day of delay on any late returns. Any costs incurred as a result of damage or loss of a document, including administrative expenses, will be payable by the user in full. For any transactions involving a third party, please complete the proxy form (document in french).

The following documents must also be returned to one of our locations:

  • books obtained through the interlibrary loans service (PEB)
  • books borrowed from Lausanne medical libraries


Documents available in the open shelves and from the stacks

If the document is available free access, you can find it yourself and borrow it. If the document is available from the stacks, at another site or has already been borrowed, log in to Renouvaud and click on “Request”. As soon as the document is available, you will receive an email inviting you to collect it from your chosen location.

Preparation times for document requests

Remote lending

Get a book from another library or BCUL delivered to you !

Inter-library loans (ILL)

Books, articles or even book chapters from other libraries can be ordered via our interlibrary loan department. Please be advised that a fee will be charged for this service.

Order a document

  • log in to Renouvaud, click on the PEB tab and fill out the form
  • documents from Lausanne libraries (HES libraries, the university medical library, university psychiatric library, Institute of Humanities in Medicine library, etc.) cannot be ordered through the interlibrary loans service. These must be borrowed directly from their holding libraries.

Important information

  • A fee is charged for this service. Payment (document in french) must be made in person when you collect the document.
  • loan periods and conditions of use (e.g. whether the document can be borrowed or only read on site) depend on the holding library
  • we will let you know that the document is available as soon as it reaches us. It will be available for you to collect from the desk at the Unithèque or Riponne sites until the expiry date set by the holding library.
  • a fee of CHF 10.- is payable for any uncollected items
  • renewal requests must be sent to the inter-library loans service
  • partner libraries can contact us to the following address:

Loans by post

To have a book from the BCU Lausanne collections sent to your home, once you have found the document in Renouvaud, log in, click on the “Request” button and and select “Postal delivery: home address” or “Postal delivery: work address”. The item will be sent to you by post for a fee of CHF 13 per volume

Before you use the loans by post service,

  • check that the address on your account is correct
  • pay any outstanding fees and fines


  • we only deliver within Switzerland
  • items are sent by second-class post (± 2 days)


  • when your item is due to expire, return it by post to the BCUL Unithèque in appropriate packaging
  • return costs are payable by you


  • fees for sending items to you will be added to your account

these must be paid using the payment slip sent separately.

Home delivery

Is it difficult for you to travel? The “Livres à vous” service offers you free home delivery. A volunteer will bring your items to your home and return them for you.

  • sign up for the “Livres à vous” service

People with reduced mobility living in the Greater Lausanne area


Read digitally and lighten your bag! Choose from 12’000 ebooks of all styles: literature, detective novels, biographies, history, humanities and social sciences, etc.

Access eLectures

Other items

Have you forgotten to bring a USB stick with you? Have you always dreamt of programming a robot? We have a number of other items available to lend.