Switzerland - Libraries and museums

The library of Basel University (3.1 million volumes) and the Swiss National Library in Bern (3.1 million volumes) are the largest in Switzerland. The University of Geneva has 1.8 million volumes; the University of Lausanne has about 1.7 million; and the University of Fribourg has two million. Switzerland has an extensive public library system with 2,344 service points in 1997 holding 28 million volumes in total. The federal archives, the libraries of the UN European Center and the International Labor Office in Geneva are among the most important special libraries.

The National Museum, a federal institution in Zürich, houses historic objects; other historical museums are located in Basel, Bern, and Geneva. Basel houses both the Museum of Ancient Art and the Basel Museum of Fine Arts, which has a fine collection of 15th- and 16th-century German masterworks, paintings by Dutch artists of the 17th and 18th centuries, and a survey from Corot to Picasso. The Museum of Fine Arts in Bern contains paintings by old masters and impressionists (Klee Foundation). The Zürich Art Museum houses modern Swiss paintings, as well as works by Dutch and Flemish masters of the 17th century. Geneva houses the Museum of the Voltaire Institute, the Museum of the Institute of Henri Dunant, founder of the International Red Cross, the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Museum, and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, which opened in 1994. There are arts and crafts museums in most of the larger cities, and Neuchâtel has an ethnographic museum. Many fine examples of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architecture are found in Switzerland.

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