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. New arrivals since the last Open Cultural Data have been highlighted with a ⭐️. 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. GLAM datasets on can be found via their tags glam and openglam (for English, French, German and Italian).

Data providers are invited to manage the description of their data themselves under their own organizational account on 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).

Note that we are in an ongoing dialogue with the Swiss Federal Archives, who are running, in view of the improvement of the platform with regard to the presentation of heritage data. If you have any suggestions or comments in this regard, please let us know: info(at)

Exceptions not hosted on

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License: CC-0 (Inventories); Public Domain (Scans of historical documents)

Formats: CSV / Excel (Inventories); JPG (Scans of historical documents)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


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: 20170907_persovd.xlsx


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 (City of Zurich)

City of Zurich - Monuments Protection Service

Preview of the geodataset «historical monuments» with the Müllerplan from 1793 as basemap

Inventory of historical monuments in the city of Zurich (Denkmalschutzobjekte).

License: CC-0

Formats: Shapefile (CH03) / WMS / WFS (XML)/ GeoJSON (WGS84) / KMZ (WGS84)

Data / Documentation: OGD Portal of the City of Zurich


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 consists of metadata from different sources:

  • Bibliographical metadata
    • Monographs
    • Series
    • Journals
    • Map material
    • Rare books
    • Metadate sets from selected holdings
  • Hs 1056 correspondence C. G. Jung
  • Max Frisch Archive
    • Primary literature
    • Secondary literature
    • Translations

License: It can generally be assumed that bibliographical metadata is not protected by copyright, see

Format: MARCXML, (CSV) + access with the Z39.50/SRU Client

Data / Documentation:


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)

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)


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