Kunsthaus Zürich

User regultations

Mission and purpose

The Kunsthaus Library is an academic library specializing in the art history from the nineteenth to the twentyfirst century. As a museum library it supports the museum, as a public institution the library serves everybody who needs information for his or her scientific, artistic or journalistic work as well as for education and training. During the openeing hours the collection of the library may be used by everbody free of charge and without registration in the reading room.

Registration and user cards

Anyone wishing to borrow books, periodicals or other media for use outside the premises must first register as a library user. Only individual persons can become members of the library. Registration implies acceptance of the library's user regulations and fees and charges. Persons under 18 will also require the signature of a parent or guardian by way of guarantee in the event of loss or damage to the library's resources.

User registration also constitutes admission to membership of the Zurich Art Society. As a member of the Zurich Art Society you can not only borrow books and other media from the library but enjoy also free entrance to the permanent collection of the museum and to all exhibitions in the Kunsthaus Zürich. Furthermore you receive discounts when you buy somthing in the museum shop, you get the musuem journal four times a year and will pay reduced entrance fees for events and vernissages in the museum. Membership is for one calendar year. For membership fee information, please refer to the library's fees and charges.

When registering as a library user, an official document confirming the holder's current address must be presented. Persons who do not live in the Zurich region are only allowed to borrow, if they are always able to return borrowed media when necessary. The library is to be informed of any change of address without delay.

The user authorizes the Zurich Art Society to store his or her personal data for internal membership administration purposes. Data pertaining to persons belonging to special user groups (as defined in the following
section) will only be stored by the Kunsthaus Library. All personal data will be deleted when the membership of the library and the Zurich Art Society is cancelled, unless there are outstanding debts.

Special user groups

  • On presentation of a valid ID card from the relevant educational establishment, schoolchildren and students may be registered as library users for the duration of said card.
  • On presentation of a valid press card, journalists may be registered as library users for the duration of said card.
  • ICOM members with a valid membership card are entitled to borrow library resources free of charge.

Persons belonging to special user groups will also be required to provide proof of their current address.  The enrollment at the library on the basis of the provisions on special user groups does not include membership of the Zurich Art Society.

Using the library

The holdings of the library are kept in closed storage rooms and must be ordered from the catalogue. Users do not have access to the stocks. The reference works, handbooks, bibliographies and journals in the reading room can be used directly.

Using the library in the reading room
Any of the works in the library's possession may be ordered for use in the reading room. Users who are not registered members of the library have to provide a passport or a deposit as security when they request items from the stacks. The copy machines of the library allow the production of black and white as well as color copies by self service. At least 10 orders of a user are issued immediately. Further orders may only be available later the same day or the next working day depending on how busy it is. In the case of particularly valuable and / or poorly preserved documents the use of the original items may not always be possible due to conservational requirements. The library may keep personal data about the use of such rare items for some time even after they have been returned. For the use of archival material and libri rari it is necessary to arrange an appointment in advance.

Registered users are entitled to borrow items and take them home. The maximum number of titles which can be borrowed per person at a time is 30. Individually a higher maximum can be agreed upon on request. The following items can only be used in the reading room and are not for loan:

  • the reference library in the reading room
  • all items published before 1900
  • catalogues raisonnés and historical-critical editions
  • video tapes
  • the current journal issues on display in the reading room
  • books with photographs or prints glued in
  • artist books, signed copies and other libri rari
  • fragile items, whose conservation status does not allow any further tension

Loan period
The basic loan period is 30 days, extended to a maximum of three months by tacit agreement provided the item in question has not been reserved by another user. During the loan extension period, the library may recall an item on loan at any time without explanation. Items recalled during the loan extension period must be returned within ten days. Users returning items by post do so at their own risk. When the library is closed it is possible to return items at the cloak room of in the museum. In this case the return date will be the next working day of the library.

Any item on loan can be reserved. It will be recalled by the library as soon as the loan period of 30 days has expired. Reserved items will be held for a period of ten library opening days.The subsequent user will be informed that the requested work is available for collection.

A reminder always refers to one volume. As such, reminder charges will be incurred on each volume not returned within the prescribed period.

  • A recall massage can be issued at any time after the loan period of 30 days has expired, if an item on loan is reserved.
  • The first reminder is issued 90 days from the date on which the item in question was initially borrowed.
  • If the borrowed item is not returned when recalled or after the first reminder, a second reminder will be issued after ten days.
  • In the event of the borrower not responding to the second reminder, a third will be issued after a further ten days.
  • Until such time as the item in question is returned and the applicable charges are paid, the user will be banned from borrowing any further library resources.
  • If the borrowed work has still not been returned ten days' after the third and final reminder, its immediate return will be demanded and the user informed of the Library's intention to take action to seek its replacement.
  • Should a user be prevented from returning borrowed resources as a result of ill-health (confirmed by a doctor's note), the library is to be duly notified.
  • Users are obliged to respect the deadlines mentioned above even without notification. A reminder which has not been delivered does not extend the loan period.
Other services

Interlibrary loan: Books and journal articles, which are neither available in the library of the Kunsthaus Zürich nor in another library in the town of Zürich, can be ordered from other libraries in Switzerland or abroad by interlibrary loan.
Copies, photographs, scans: The library can produce reproductions of items in its collection on behalf of a user, if copying in self service is not allowed because of the value of an item or due to its poor and fragile condition. The costs of this service have to be paid in advance.
Information and research: Straightforward information and research services are free of charge. In the case of more complex enquiries, an administration charge will apply, depending on the amount of work involved.

Fees and charges

Details of the Zurich Art Society membership fee, together with charges for reproductions, reminders and other library services are set out in the library's current list of fees and charges.


Any reproductions made by the user him/herself or on his/her behalf must be for said user's own personal or academic use. Responsibility for compliance with the applicable copyright legislation lies with the user.


The user is responsible for the care of borrowed items and accepts liability for any damages or losses sustained in this connection. Notes, marginalia or other such marks are not permitted. The use of adhesive labels is also prohibited. When sending library resources by post, the user shall be liable for the associated transport risk. Any repair, replacement or processing costs incurred as a result of damages, losses or administrative inconvenience will be passed on to the user responsible. In the event of the loss or destruction of a work which is no longer available in the shops, the library must be recompensed accordingly. It is not allowed to give borrowed items to third parties. Damages caused by third parties due to the misuse of the user card, will be passed on to the registered user responsible. If a user card is lost or stolen, the library has to be informed immediately.

House rules

Before entering the reading room coats, jackets and bags must be placed in the lockers. In the interests of other users and the protection of the resources, smoking, eating, drinking and the use of cellular phones is not permitted in the reading room. Users are kindly asked to keep noise to a minimum. The visit of the library can be denied to people, who have consumed alcohol or other drugs or who appear unwashed and smelling strongly. Anyone found guilty of repeatedly disregarding the house rules, causing damage to library resources or equipment, stealing or in any way causing a disruption despite official warnings may be temporarily or permanently excluded from the library.

Zürich, July 2006