Subject librarian


UB Wirtschaft - SWA
Peter Merian-Weg 6
4002 Basel

In terms of its economy, Switzerland tells a remarkable success story which could not have been foreseen 150 years ago.

Mario König

Guided tours and training courses on sources available in the Swiss Economic Archives (SWA)

Conctact us for:

  • a guided tour of the Swiss Economic Archives
  • an introduction to sources in the Swiss Economic Archives on the topic of your research or course
  • an introduction to searching archive finding aids.

Course – handling of sources from business archives

In collaboration with the Department of History, this course is offered every other year: Next course: autumn semester 2025.


Conctact us to schedule a consultation appointment:

  • Searching for sources on economic and business history
  • Use of archive finding aid
  • Help with search strategies.

Main area

  • Economy, economic statistics
  • Economic policy
  • Country information (in particular Switzerland and its relationship with foreign countries)
  • Business information, industry information
  • Biography (people with links to the economy: managers, economic politicians)
  • Economic history / business history (Switzerland and international), social history
  • Swiss history (in particular local history)
  • Economic archives
  • Business administration see Business and Economics

Literature and source types

  • Special focus: document collections on topics, companies/organisations and people
  • Lexicons, encyclopaedias, address books, directories and bibliographies
  • Monographs and academic journals
  • Government documents, legal materials
  • Statistical yearbooks, statistics
  • Report literature, especially annual reports, country reports
  • Commemorative publications on companies and associations, PR material, advertisements
  • Business press
  • Newspapers and journals by companies, associations and others
  • Economic organisations
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Publications by international organisations
  • Reference works, monographs and journals on economic archives
  • Archive guides, archive directories
  • Within the university’s network: electronic journals and newspapers, online databases, (company profiles, country information, statistics, etc.)
  • Archives of companies, economic organisations and social institutions
  • Private papers from entrepreneurs, politicians, economists

Time period

  • Documentation of current matters
  • Historical documentation from around 1850 onwards
  • Archival documents from around 1750 onwards; oldest document from 1544; emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries 


  • Emphasis on Switzerland: Confederation, cantons, regions, municipalities
  • European Union (EU)
  • All countries of the world: mainly comprehensive compilations (country reports, statistical yearbooks, etc.), and the countries’ relationships to Switzerland
  • Archival documents: all of Switzerland, focus on the Basel region


    • Swiss national languages (territorial principle)
    • Publications from the Confederation and from bilingual cantons, mostly in German
    • Publications from the EU, in German or English
    • Publications from international organisations, usually in English
    • Archival documents in German or French