Subject librarian

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