The Swiss portal for the historical sciences

Abbey Library of St. Gallen


The existence of the library is first attested by the Saint Galler Klosterplan around 820. As a major centre for medieval writing and illumination, the library has its own premises since 1553. Built between 1758 and 1767, the baroque hall serves as the main depository of historical books till this day.

The Abbey Library of Saint Gall is the oldest library in Switzerland. The Abbey Library and the entire abbey precinct in St. Gallen were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983. (more information about the history of the Abbey of Saint Gall)


The Abbey Library of Saint Gall is a modern institution specialising in medieval studies, codicology and palaeography.


The Abbey Library of Saint Gall has one of the most important collections of manuscripts in Switzerland.

The library holds numerous documents including incunabula, early prints, large collections dating from the 2nd half of 18th Century, as well as manuscripts of the late Humanism and Confessionalism periods.

The virtual library Codices Electronici Sangallenses (CESG) provides access to several hundred medieval manuscripts of the Abbey Library of Saint Gall.

In addition, the Abbey Library of Saint Gall also collects literature on the history of the Abbey of Saint Gall, the history of the monastery, the history of the Benedictine Order in particular, and on other specific topics.

The collections can be searched in the St.Galler Bibliotheksnetz. The catalogue of manuscripts (1875) and the catalogue of incunabula (1880) are both available online.

Postal address
Klosterhof 6D
St. Gallen
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