Responsable de collection

Dr Marc Tiefenauer
+41 21 692 47 85

Contact us


The rare books collection at the Unithèque site includes all works and books printed in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Valdensia prior to 1800, highly illustrated or superbly bound rare books, and modern, sometimes unique, confidentially published modern books, often illustrated with original engravings.

Video : Etonnantes collections – Chants des pays du Rhône

Closing of the reading room starting from October 2nd.

As part of the expansion of the Unithèque, our service will benefit from new storage facilities and a new reading room starting in 2025. In the meantime, due to the relocation of our collections, the consultation of items from the Rare books collection will be unavailable from October 2nd until summer 2024. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


Items in the rare books collection are described in the Renouvaud catalogue. Once you have run a search, the books we hold can be easily found by selecting the “Rare books” filter.

Old, bibliophily and artists’ books acquired in recent years are showcased virtually on the Rarissima site.


Other virtual exhibitions produced by the rare books collection are also available online.

Over 100,000 books published before 1871 are available in a click from the Renouvaud catalogue. We are a partner of the e-rara project, which provides access to numerous collections of books digitised by the main Swiss libraries, including most books published in Switzerland in the 16th century.

Finally, a number of documents, such as newspapers and almanacs published in Vaud in the 18th century, are accessible through the Scriptorium platform.

Access various databases with a direct link to the printed heritage of Vaud and more broadly, Switzerland.

  • Biblos (Bibliography of books published or printed in Lausanne in the 18th century)
  • I.E.C.H (Directory of Swiss publishers and printers working from the 16th to the 18th century)
  • Fleuron (Database of typographical ornaments (16th to 18th century)
  • Passe-Partout (a research tool for identifying typographical ornaments (16th to 18th century) using an automated comparison or descriptive key words)


Nouveautés livres anciens


Nouveautés Bibliophilie moderne


Revue de presse


Livres uniques


Stratégies éditoriales de l'ancien temps