Open Cultural Data Hackathon 2017
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Swiss Heritage Data

This page contains a list of open heritage data from and/or about Switzerland. Feel free to add any further datasets that are in line with the OpenGLAM Principles. Save for a small number of exceptions listed below, GLAM datasets for the hackathon are being published and promoted on, the national open data registry. Data providers are invited to manage the description of their data themselves under their own organizational account. Datasets which have the tags “glam” and “openglam” for English, French, German and Italian will automatically be included on the list below. As an exception, the OpenGLAM CH Working Group may take care of the listing of the data on behalf of data providers which do not have their own user account on (yet).


Several sources have somewhat more restricted or complex licensing terms, preventing their publication on, yet still represent very interesting datasets for OpenGLAM projects.

¹ Data collection is described at, please have a look at our collection for the 2016 hackathon there.

Inventories of Historical Collections

Archives d'Etat de Genève (State Archives of the Canton of Geneva)

Donation de la comtesse Eldegarde au prieuré de Satigny 21 février 912, cote CH AEG P.H. 1, Public Domain

Inventories of three historical collections:

  • Collection des pièces historiques - This collection contains documents dating from 912 through 1846. It was assembled in the 19th century with the goal of gathering all documents considered interesting from the point of view of political history. The collection comprises 5700 folders with ca. 40'000 documents. Scans of the documents are accessible on the Adhémar database. More (in French)...
  • Archives du département du Léman - This archival collection comprises the documents from the Administration du Léman (Département du Léman) and the Sous-préfecture de Genève during the French administration of Geneva between 1798 and 1813 (see also: "Léman (département)" in the Historical Lexicon of Switzerland)
  • Finances P - This collection consists of accounting documents from the 14th century onwards, organized according to year and topic.

License: CC-0 (Inventories); Public Domain (Scans of historical documents)

Formats: CSV / Excel (Inventories); JPG (Scans of historical documents)

Data / Documentation: (Inventories and documentation in French); Adhemar (Scans of historical documents - search for “pièces historiques” in the section “Recherche de documents numérisés”)


VSJF-Refugees Migration 1898 - 1975

Archives of Contemporary History / Archiv für Zeitgeschichte, ETH Zürich

Food bank for refugees in Switzerland during World War II. Photo: VSJF, Archives of Contemporary History, ETH Zürich

The VSJF-Refugees Migration data are an excerpt of the VSJF-database hosted at the Archives of Contemporary History, ETH Zurich. The database contains data sets of refugees which have been registered by the “Association of Swiss Jewish Refugee Aid and Welfare Organisations” (Verband Schweizerischer Jüdischer Fürsorgen, VSJF), a private organisation for the aid to Jewish refugees founded 1925 and active to the present time.

The organisation was responsible for the aid for most Jewish refugees who entered Switzerland. However, some refugees did not claim for assistance because they had savings or could take employment (after World War II) they were not registered by the VSJF. At the beginning almost all costs of the aid were borne by private donations or partner organisations. Only after World War II, Swiss public authorities started to refund a significant part of the organisation's expenses.

Based on the historical archives of the VSJF with more than 12'000 files containing about 1.5 million pages of documents, the Archives of Contemporary History gathered data on around 20'000 mostly Jewish refugees who entered Switzerland between 1898 and end of 1975. In order to protect data privacy, 390 records of refugees who entered Switzerland after 31.12.1975 as well as all the dates of birth, professions and names have been either filtered or anonymized.

License: CC-BY-SA-3.0

Formats: CSV (Metadata), PDF (Description)

Data / Documentation:

Contact: via Contact Form or via email:

Personnalités Vaudoises

Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire Lausanne BCUL


Anne Cuneo at the Salon du Livre 2011 in Geneva. Photo: Rama, CC BY-SA, via Wikimedia Commons.

A rich database about people notable for special artistical and cultural merits for the Canton of Vaud “personnalités vaudoises” including detailed biographical information and many links of various nature. This data stems from the database originally designed in 2006 to celebrate the Rumine Palace centennial. The database can be browsed online via:

License: Public Domain

Formats: MySQL dump, CSV

Data / Documentation:


Proper Names Authority Data

Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire Lausanne BCUL


Card index. Photo: Momir Čavić, CC BY-SA, via Wikimedia Commons

Proper names authority data in linked data format. The collection includes data on persons, organisations, geographical places, publications. These authority records are curated by the BCUL and its partners in the RERO library network. They are used to index the documents in the library. Please note that this data is in a preliminary stage and therefore is deemed relatively crude by its providers.

License: Public Domain

Formats: RDF/XML

Data / Documentation:


Inventory of Historical Monuments (Canton of Zurich)

Canton of Zurich - Monuments Protection Service

Photo: Roland zh, CC by-sa 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Inventory list of historical monuments in the Canton of Zurich (Denkmalschutzobjekte).

License: Open use

Data: WMS / WFS / XLSX

Documentation: Geographical Information System of the Canton of Zurich /


Bibliographic metadata from the Knowledge Portal


Zurich, ETH Zurich, main building (HG), main library, students in the reading room, Photo: unknown photographer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via ETH-Bibliothek, Bildarchiv

The rich and diverse dataset provided via a RESTful API consists of metadata from different sources:

  • NEBIS library catalogue including metadata of analogue and digital resources held by approx. 140 libraries and research institutions from all over Switzerland
  • ETH E-Collection serving as the institutional repository for ETH Zurich
  • listing retrodigitized Swiss scientific journals
  • ETH E-Pics image catalogues with digitized images from the Image Archive of ETH-Bibliothek as well as digitized illustrations from rare books held by the ETH-Bibliothek
  • Archivdatenbank Online comprising the holdings of the ETH Zurich University Archives
  • Multimedia Portal of ETH Zurich featuring podcasts and webcasts from ETH Zurich including recordings of lectures, talks and conferences

License: The bibliographic metadata are free of any copyright restrictions.

Format: JSON

Data / Documentation: RESTful API Client (Link provided before and during the hackathon) - For organizational reasons the API as well as the data are only publicly accessible before and during the 1st Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon. You may of course use downloaded data after the event as well since there are no restrictions in use regarding the bibliographic metadata.



PCP Inventory

Federal Office for Civil Protection, PCP Section

Wiesener Viadukt, winning picture of the Wiki Loves Monuments 2013 international photo contest. Photo: David Gubler, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Inventory of Cultural Property in Switzerland (historical buildings and heritage collections). The list of A-objects contains cultural properties of national significance, while the list of B-objects contains the cultural properties of regional significance. Earlier versions of this lists have been transposed to Wikipedia and have been used as a basis for the Swiss edition of the Wiki Loves Monuments international photo competition. Openly licensed pictures of the various objects can be found on Wikimedia Commons.

License: CC-0

Format: CSV / Excel


Documentation: German / French / Italian


Inventory of Historical Traffic Routes in Switzerland

Federal Roads Office

Historical Road on Septimer Pass. Photo: Mgloor, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Inventory of Historical Traffic Routes in Switzerland is a unique enterprise worldwide: on behalf of the Swiss Confederation ViaStoria has created a cartographical and descriptive survey of all roads and paths, based on their historical traffic importance or on the preserved historical structures of national importance (ca. 3'750 km). These traffic routes are protected under the Swiss Federal Law for the Protection of Nature and Landscape (NHG). More...

License: Non-Standard (Open use. Must provide the source. Use for commercial purposes requires permission of the data owner)

Format: Shapefile (among others)

Data / Documentation:


Statistics on films and new releases screened in Switzerland 1995-2015 (STAT-TAB)

Federal Statistical Office FSO

The interior of the Piccadilly Cinema, above Piccadilly Arcade in Perth, Western Australia. Photo: Rob Chandler, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This statistics dataset shows the number of all films and new releases screened in Switzerland by country of origin and admissions. The numbers come from the Swiss Film and Cinema Statistics SSCin (in German) and are collected by ProCinema, reference period is the Cinema year (52 or 53 film weeks), catchment area is Switzerland. The survey excludes film festivals, open-air cinema, cinema clubs and adult cinemas.

The data is part of STAT-TAB. It's presented in data cubes with variables that can be interactively combined. The result of the request is shown in a table whose appearance can quickly and easily be changed by selecting different options. The tables can be personalized (choice of the variables, representation). The data can be exported through diverse standard formats and re-used locally.

License: open use

Format: HTML table, XLSX, Tab-separated values (TSV), Semicolon delimited values

Data / Documentation: Data: / Usage: / Documentation:


Lausanne Museums

  • Musée historique de Lausanne (Lausanne Historical museum)
  • Musée Romain Lausanne-Vidy (Lausanne Roman museum)
  • Collection de l'Art Brut (Art Brut Collection)
  • Mudac (Musée de design et d’art appliqués contemporains)
  • Fonds des arts plastiques de la Ville de Lausanne

Lausanne. Le Grand-Pont est inauguré en 1844

There are 185'000 objects, many with digitized images, available through this website which brings together the collections of five museums and art institutions from Lausanne, Switzerland. All items dating from before 1900 are in the Public Domain and the metadata usable under Creative Commons licenses. Additionally this includes the Jacques-Edouard Berger collection from the mudac museum. However, note that most items in the collection de l’art brut, mudac and FAP are copyrighted, but the works of authors deceased for more than 70 years can be used.


  • Images dating from before 1900: Public Domain / no known copyright
  • Works of authors/photographers deceased more than 70 years ago: Public Domain (this will often require some research as the dates of death of the creators are not systematically indicated in the metadata)
  • Other images: All rights reserved.
  • Metadata: CC BY-SA

Formats: JPEG

Data: (click Collections for search options)

Bulk data: will be available at the hackathon courtesy of a team working on a scraper

Contact: Yann Ringgenberg

Historical Playing Cards


Historical Tarot Cards, Public Domain

Many playing cards were produced in Switzerland throughout history. Particularly famous was the Müller company in Schaffhausen which is the ancestor of today's AGMüller. But even before there was playing cards manufacturing in Switzerland. We have digitized the playing cards of a tarot game wich was designed in the manufactory of Johann Georg Rauch between 1831 and 1838. Also we have digized a deck of the ancestor deck “Tarot de Besançon”.

License: Public Domain (images)

Format: TIFF

Data: Will be available during the hackathon (to be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons)


Place Descriptors of Basel

Staatsarchiv Basel-Stadt

Johann Jakob Schneider: View from St. Johanntor onto the City of Basel around 1844, Staatsarchiv Basel-Stadt, BILD Schn. 2., Public Domain

Place descriptors represent a growing thesaurus of places, streets and even monuments within the city of Basel and its surroundings. They constitute a sort of a local authority file for geographical description and are used to describe all sorts of archival material, including paintings and photographs. Place names are an easy way to investigate the archive's holdings. For most of the entries one or multiple images can be retrieved. By now, there are roughly 40'000 paintings, engravings and photographs digitally available. However the place descriptors have not been linked to any other geographical authority file (e.g. VIAF or GND) yet, nor to corresponding geographical coordinates.

License: CC-0

Format: CSV

Data: FTP


The Grand Council's Minutes in Audio and Text (Basel-Stadt)

Staatsarchiv Basel-Stadt

Minutes of the Grand Council at the State Archive of Basel-Stadt, CC-0

The Grand Council's Minutes (Grossratsprotokolle des Kantons Basel-Stadt) offer a great opportunity to generate added value by computational methods. Since both the audio and text transcripts are available, they could now be referenced to each other. Doing so, it would result in an innovative user experience, making the political debate more accessible. To read and to listen simultaneously into the past debates in the town hall makes political decision processes more transparent. For prototyping purposes we give access to one year of debates, the official year 1989/1990.

License: CC-0


  • Sound recordings: mp3 (12 GB) upon request
  • Scanned Minutes: PDF (dirty OCR), tif or jpg files upon request

Data: FTP


Klosterneuburger Evangelienwerk

Stadtbibliothek Schaffhausen

Detail of page 19 of the “Klosterneuburger Evangelienwerk” (Stadtbibliothek Schaffhausen, Gen. 8, Gen. 8, f. 5r), Public Domain

The “Klosterneuburger Evangelienwerk”, held by the Municipal Library of Schaffhausen, is a large-format manuscript from the 14th century, which contains the oldest version of an illustrated copy of the so-called Klosterneuburger Evangelienwerk, a German prose translation of the Gospels, together with the Lives of the Apostles and various Apocrypha from the New Testament. Over 400 pen and ink wash drawings, irregularly interspersed throughout the manuscript, accompany and illustrate the text.

License: Public Domain (If you make use of this work in a publication, an app, or the like, it is suggested that you cite it according to the citation format proposed by e-codices and send a short notice to the Municipal Library of Schaffhausen.)

Format: JPEG / TIFF

Data: JPEG-files in various formats are available via e-codices / High resolution TIFF-files will be available during the hackathon.

Documentation: e-codices


  •, e-codices (for the TIFF-files)

Inventory of Research Libraries in Switzerland


The inventory contains all institutions which are included in the swissbib libary meta-catalogue. It comprises ca. 900 institutions with name, address, codes, URLs, etc. and is presently available as a data dump which is updated on a daily basis.

License: CC0

Format: JSON / RDF/XML

Data: swissbib-libraries


Aerial Photographs by Eduard Spelterini

Swiss National Library

Photo: Eduard Spelterini, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Since 2014, the Swiss National Library is making its collection of images of aviation pioneer Edward Spelterini (1852-1931) available via Wikimedia Commons. Between 1890 and 1910 Spelterini undertook balloon rides over Switzerland and other countries and photographed the view. Images from the bird's eye view from this period are rare. The collection makes an important contribution to historical research. The 120 images were digitized from glass plates and are available on Wikimedia Commons in good quality and high resolution. (Deutsch / français / italiano)

License: public domain (images) / CC-0 (metadata)

Format: TIFF / JPEG (images)

Data: Wikimedia Commons /


Bibliographical Records via The European Library (TEL)

Swiss National Library

© The European Library (TEL)

The European Library Open Dataset constitutes the subset of The European Library’s aggregated data that is made openly available by its partner libraries, including the Swiss National Library. Two mechanisms are available for interacting or obtaining the dataset: It can be obtained as downloadable bulk files and according to the specifications of the W3C Linked Data Platform 1.0. More...

License: CC0

Format: Dublin Core / RDF / Turtle

Data/Documentation: The European Library (You will need to register with The European Library to get access to the apis)


Bibliography on Swiss History (1975-)

Swiss National Library

Photo: Marianabeauty, CC by-sa 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bibliography on Swiss History (BSH) comprises publications from both Switzerland and abroad that relate to the nation’s history. They include monographs, articles from collective works and serials, dissertations as well as master’s theses, on all types of data storage media. The definition of “Switzerland” includes the territory within the country’s present-day national borders, irrespective of political allegiances in earlier times. More...

License: CC0




Gugelmann Collection

Swiss National Library

Bern, bird's eye view from the West (1858). Artists: Charles Fichot and Th. Muller, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Since 1982, the Swiss National Library (NL) has been home to the Gugelmann Collection, a large group of works by the Schweizer Kleinmeister - Swiss 18th century masters - assembled by Annemarie Gugelmann and her brother Rudolf. It is one of the most valuable donations the NL has ever received. With the rise of the classic “grand tour” among the European nobility in the 17th century and - mainly from the mid-18th century onwards - the upper middle classes, the Schweizer Kleinmeister began producing drawings, watercolours and oil paintings that captured Swiss landscapes and characteristic genre scenes. The work of the Schweizer Kleinmeister from the mid-18th to mid-19th century offers a rich insight into the landscape and culture of Switzerland at the time. It is therefore of continuing relevance today, both for art and cultural history and for the natural sciences. As those artworks were sold to travellers passing through Switzerland, their dissemination throughout Europe shaped the typical image of Switzerland that abides to this day. More...

License: Public Domain

Format: TIFF / JPEG (images)

Data: Wikimedia Commons /

Documentation: Swiss National Library Website


Swiss Book (2001-)

Swiss National Library

Photo: Marianabeauty, CC by-sa 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Swiss Book is the national bibliography of Switzerland published by the Swiss National Library (NL).

This bibliography lists Swiss publications in all media: books, maps, music scores, electronic media and multimedia, periodicals, newspapers, annual publications and series. Music scores are published annually in issue no. 16. However, Swiss sound recordings are catalogued and collected at the Swiss National Sound Archives in Lugano, and Swiss films at the National Film Archive in Lausanne.

A publication is considered Swiss if: - at least one third of the authors are Swiss; - or the publishing house is Swiss; - or at least one third of the content concerns Switzerland.

A publication is included in The Swiss Book if: - its content is public; - it has at least 6 pages; - and it is less than 10 years old.

Publications whose content is the work of Swiss translators, compilers (editors) or contributors or by authors re-siding in Switzerland are collected by the Swiss National Library but are not included in The Swiss Book. More...

License: CC0

Format: MARCXML (since 2016, a sample dataset in RDF format is also available)



Metadata of the Catalogue for Manuscripts and Archives HAN

Universitätsbibliothek Basel

Objects from HAN

The HAN network (Verbund Handschriften - Archive - Nachlässe) describes and catalogues hundreds of archives and collections from natural and juridical persons as well as thousands of medieval and early modern manuscripts, letters, notated music, photographs and objects, and makes them accessible to the general public. It includes objects from the Basel University Library, the Swiss Economic Archive, the Rorschach Archives and Collection, the Archive on the history of women in Switzerland, the Cantonal Libraries of St. Gall and Appenzell-Ausserrhoden, the Central Library of Solothurn, the Central- and University Library of Lucerne and last but not least the Abbey Library of St. Gall. The metadata are available as a EAD-XML-File, converted out of the original MARC21 bibliographic format and enriched with lots of persistent identifiers for persons, corporate bodies, conferences and geographical entities from the Integrated Authority File (GND).

License: cc-by-nc (metadata)

Formats: EAD-XML