Archives of institutions of the Burgergemeinde
As the record office and archives for the Burgergemeinde of Berne, the Burgerbibliothek of Berne holds the archives of the various institutions for burghers. For the Culture Casino, these are mainly documents and plans relating to the building. The Natural History Museum archives include the papers of certain scholars, but the scientific archives are held at the Museum. The documentation from the Burgerspital (home for sick and older “burghers”) is very diverse and dates back a long way but, like that in the Burgerheim archives, does not relate to former occupants. The archives of the Children’s Home for “Burghers” include material about the different roles played by the orphanage that was first founded in 1757.
All these partial archives are listed in the Online Archive Catalogue with a short introduction.
6.6 linear metres of archives and plans, 19th century—1997
With the exception of a few annual accounts, the Casino archives contain virtually no administrative files. The archives consists mainly of construction-related files; there are also some agendas and documents relating to specific events and about the use of the premises. Because different bodies have managed the old and the present Casino building, material can be found not only in the administrative archives of the Kultur Casino but also in the Field and Forestry Commission, Estate Management and Burgerkanzlei archives.
Burgerliches Jugendwohnheim (Children’s Home for “Burghers”, formerly: Waisenhaus/Orphanage)
27 linear metres of archives, 17th—21st century
The Children’s Home Archives document the work of the authorities in charge of the orphanage, which was set up in 1757, including correspondence, minutes, invoices and files about the buildings, procedures and occupants. There is no material relating to the prison and orphanage that existed in the 17th century.
69 linear metres of archives, from about 1300—20th century
The archives include the files of all the charitable institutions since the 14th century from which the Burgerspital was created in 1715: the upper and lower hospital and the workhouse; the infirmary in Belp was another subsidiary organisation. The Burgerspital in Berne owned large areas of land which it used for its food supplies. This fact determines the structure of the archives, which include registers of fief ownership, boundary descriptions, records of revenue, maps and tithe and estate plans. No documents about the occupants have been handed down. For conservation reasons, the collection of deeds, including contracts from the 14th to the 19th century, cannot yet be used.
Berne’s GenerationenHaus was opened in 2014. Consequently, documents about its planning and organisation have not yet been archived in the Burgerbibliothek of Berne.
Burgerbibliothek of Berne
12 linear metres of archives, 16th—21st century
The administrative archives of the Burgerbibliothek of Berne consist of an older section including documents from the former City and University Library before 1951. These include the records of the Library Commission since 1579 and library invoices dating back to 1802. The more recent section consists of material relating to the Burgerbibliothek of Berne since 1951. It consists entirely of administrative documents and does not include any further archive holdings or books. The main elements are correspondence and files relating to the publication series.
Natural History Museum
5.7 linear metres, 1801—1980
A natural history collection formed part of the Burgerbibliothek of Berne from the 17th century and in 1832 a separate museum was created which, in 1882, moved into its own premises. This is why parts of the administrative archives of the Natural History Museum are in the Burgerbibliothek of Berne and parts are at the Natural History Museum. The academic archives are at the Natural History Museum, while the archives at the Burgerbibliothek of Berne consist of files and correspondence, the papers of scholars and construction-related files and plans.
The archives of the Deposito-Cassa Bank, which was founded in 1825, is not at the Burgerbibliothek of Berne. This institution administers the assets of the Burgergemeinde, arranges financial transactions and handles the banking business of members and non-members of the Burgergemeinde of Berne. The DC Bank runs its own archives.