DigiTUR Project

As the oldest cultural institution in Zurich, the Zentralbibliothek Zürich (ZB) houses manuscripts dating from the Middle Ages to the modern era, a wealth of printed books published before 1800, pictorial collections from the 15th to the 21st centuries, an impressive collections of maps from the 16th century to the present day, as well as a large collection of printed sheet music. In addition, the five Special Collections of the ZB include more than 800 estates, collections and private libraries of authors, academics, artists and musicians. Many of the documents relate to the city and the canton of Zurich and are thus so-called Turicensia.

As the Turicensia guardian, the library has embarked on a large project to make this cultural heritage accessible to the public. Generously funded by the Lotteriefonds of the canton of Zurich, the library has started to digitise an initial selection of its historical Turicensia-holdings and will continue this project over the next 5 years. This comprises collections with a high significance for the history of the city and the canton, visually attractive documents, copyright-free newspapers and journals of Zurich origin along with a wide range of Zurich-related documents from all historical periods (manuscripts, books, music prints, graphics and maps). The project DigiTUR, which aims to safeguard the cultural heritage of the city and the canton of Zurich, started in spring 2013 and will take place over five years until spring 2018.

Logo Kanton Zürich Lotteriefonds

Access and Guided Tours

The digitised documents can be accessed on www.e-rara.ch, the digital platform for rare books and other printed material from Swiss libraries, as well as on www.e-manuscripta.ch, the digital platform for manuscript material from Swiss libraries and archives. A preview picture and detailed metadata of illustrated material and maps are also available in the library catalogue. For access to all the library’s historic documents in digital format, please visit the website E-Resources.

For the free guided tours "Hinter den Kulissen der Digitalisierung - Unterwegs auf DigiTOUR" (in German only), please view the website Workshopreihe "Im Fokus".

Selection of historical Turicensia-holdings for DigiTUR

The DigiTUR-project aims to digitise and present online 5,000,000 pages of Rare Books, 115,000 pages of printed sheet music, 100,000 pages of manuscript documents, 70,000 graphic works and photographs, 5,000 geographical maps and panoramas and 400,000 pages of newspapers and journals. The definitive selection of the historical Turicensia-holdings to be digitised in the project DigiTUR has already been made. Further suggestions can therefore unfortunately not be accepted.

Currently, the following holdings are in the process of digitisation:

From the Manuscript Department:
- medieval and selected early modern manuscripts relating to Zurich
- autographs from Zurich scholars (Salomon Gessner, Johann Jakob Scheuchzer, Johann Jakob Bodmer, Johann Jakob Breitinger)

From the Rare Book Department:
- books printed in Zürich and Switzerland until 1800 (mainly from the Library of the Rheinau monastery and the Library of the Natural History Society of Zürich)
- Pamphlet-collection by Josias Waser (17th century)

From the Music Department:
- Sheet music printed in Zurich, 16th to the 18th centuries

From the Department of Prints and Drawings/Photo Archive:
- City views and landscapes from the canton of Zurich, 17th to the 20th centuries (including postcards)
- A wide range of portraiture pertaining to Zurich
- Works by Zurich-based artists, 17th to the 20th centuries
- Ex libris, caricatures, traditional costumes etc.

From the Map Department:
- Maps relating to Zurich, 16th to the 19th centuries
- Panoramic maps relating to Zurich, 18th to the 19th centuries

Alexa Renggli, Dr. phil.
Zentralbibliothek Zürich
Zähringerplatz 6
CH-8001 Zürich
Tel +41 44 268 31 00
Fax +41 44 268 32 90
E-Mail: Alexa Renggli