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Italian-Swiss Collections

We acquire material published in the Italian-speaking Swiss canton of Ticino and material published in Romansch (the fourth official language of Switzerland). The Library's holdings in both are impressive, thanks to an acquisitions policy maintained since the 19th century, and probably represent the most significant such collections outside Switzerland itself, providing a rich resource for historical and linguistic research.

There is a large collection of early Bibles and other religious works in Romansch and the Library has continued to purchase local publications, including on occasion translations of classic English literary texts for their linguistic interest. The publications of the principal organisation promoting the use and study of Romansch as a minority language, the Lia Rumantscha, can also be found here. 

The Library's collections of Ticinese publications include a large part of the production of the two main publishing houses in the region (Casagrande and Dadò), covering the main research disciplines, smaller firms publishing modern fiction and poetry, and more local publications, with an emphasis on local history and customs. There are also good holdings of art catalogues mainly from the galleries of Lugano and Bellinzona (especially of the work of Ticinese artists) and of important official publications.

 Guides to the British Library's Italian-Swiss material

Switzerland 700 by Peter Barber and curators of the British Library and the British Museum. London: The British Library, 1991. The catalogue of an exhibition held in 1991 gives an overview of items relating to Switzerland both in the British Library and in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum.


 Bibliographical resources for Italian-Swiss studies

Current Ticinese publications as well as books on Ticino published elsewhere together with publications in Romansch are listed in the Swiss national bibliography:

Das Schweizer Buch / Le Livre suisse / Il Libro svizzero. Bimonthly.

Zürich: Schweizerischer Buchhändler- und Verleger-Verband, 1901-

HLR 015.494

Two important retrospective bibliographies for Ticino are:

C. Caldelari, Bibliografia ticinese dell'Ottocento. 2 vol.

Bellinzona: Casagrande, 1997


Edizioni ticinesi nel Convento dei Cappuccini a Lugano, 1747-1900.

Lugano: Edizioni Padri Cappuccini, 1961


The following two Ticinese periodicals are also useful bibliographical sources for publications on the region:

Archivio storico ticinese.

Bellinzona, 1960-


Fogli: informazioni dell'Associazione Biblioteca Salita dei Frati, Lugano.

Lugano, 1981-



 Italian-Swiss Internet Resources


InformaTI: la guida di Tinet al Ticino e alla rete
[Paginas rumantschas] For organisations, publications, etc. concerned with Romansch

 Libraries and archives

Bibliothèque Nationale Suisse

 Italian-Swiss publishers and booksellers

Edizioni Casagrande, Lugano
Associazione dei Librai della Svizzera Italiana


Corriere del Ticino
Giornale del Popolo
Ticino7: settimanale della Svizzera Italiana
Punts (monthly magazine in Romansch and English)

 Politics, administration and education

Repubblica e Cantone Ticino
Higher education and research in Ticino
Università della Svizzera Italiana
Banca Svizzera Italiana

 Travel and tourism




Italian Section
The British Library
96 Euston Road
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7412 7573 / 7531 / 7696
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7784