• Swiss National Museum
  • Swiss National Museum
  • Swiss National Museum
  • Swiss National Museum

Collection Centre





The Swiss National Museum holds a unique collection on the cultural history and the craftsmanship and artworks of Switzerland from its beginnings up to the present day. The Collection comprises more than 860,000 objects and is divided into 14 collection groups. The collections form the sources for and starting point of our research activities and exhibitions.

Online Collection


The organisation, duties and responsibilities of the Swiss National Museum are regulated by the Federal law on the museums and collections of the Swiss Confederation (Bundesgesetz über die Museen und Sammlungen des Bundes, MSG) of 12 June 2009. Since its entry into force on 1 January 2010, the SNM, comprising the National Museum Zurich, the Château de Prangins, the Forum of Swiss History Schwyz and the Affoltern am Albis Collections Centre, has been a public-law institution with its own legal identity, which organises itself and maintains its own accounts.

Under the MSG, the SNM is subject to supervision by the Federal Council, which exercises its oversight function in particular by electing and discharging the Museum Council and approving the annual report. The Federal Council sets out the strategic objectives of the SNM, usually for four years; the achievement of these objectives is reviewed annually.

Pursuant to the Museums Act (Museumsgesetz), the organs of the SNM are the Museum Council, the Management Board and the auditors. The funding of the SNM is determined by Parliament every four years in the government’s cultural policy statement (Kulturbotschaft), most recently at the end of 2015 for the period 2016-2020.

Museum Council

Under the Federal law on the museums and collections of the Swiss Confederation, the Museum Council ensures the implementation of the strategic objectives set by the Federal Council and reports on their achievement.

left to right:

André Holenstein (Member, Professor at the University of Bern),  Ladina Heimgartner* (Vice-President, Head of Corporate Center Ringier AG, Member of the Group Executive Board), Stefano Stoll (Member, Director of Festival Images and exhibition curator), Tim Guldimann (President, political scientist, diplomat and politician), Fulvio Pelli* (Member, lawyer and notary public), Sonia Abun-Nasr (Director of the Vadiana Cantonal Library in St. Gallen), Marie-France Meylan Krause (Member, Director of the BIBEL+ORIENT Museum at the University of Fribourg), Sandrine Giroud* (Member, lawyer and Director of the Art Law Foundation in Geneva).

*Members of the Finance Committee

Management Board

Pursuant to the Museums Act, and subject to approval by the Federal Council, the Museum Council appoints the Director of the Swiss National Museum and, on request by the Director, the other members of the Management Board. The Director presides over the Management Board, is responsible for the operational management of the Swiss National Museum, recruits staff and represents the institution externally.

From left to right:

Dr Heidi Amrein (Chief Curator), Beat Högger (Head of Museum Operations), Dr Andreas Spillmann (Director), Helen Bieri Thomson (Director, Château de Prangins), Markus Leuthard (Deputy Director, Head of the Collections Centre), Barbara Meglen (Assistant to the Director)

* Member of the Management Board
** Member of the extended Management Board

Image archive

The image archive is the Swiss National Museum’s specialist photography documentation centre. The archive mainly contains images of objects from the collections, exhibitions, architecture and events. When placing an order, you will need to provide specific details of the image and its intended purpose. A fee is payable for this service and the acquisition of usage rights.

Image archive


In its main focus areas of Cultural History, History and Art History, the Swiss National Museum’s publicly accessible library presents current exhibition catalogues and the latest volumes of a large number of journals. The Museum library offers attractive work spaces with views of the Limmat and Platzspitz Park; in the summer months the balcony is opened.

The library’s holdings comprise around 85,000 individual publications and 700 current periodicals.

All holdings can be searched and requested via the catalogue www.nebis.ch


Study centre

The public study centre includes the study collections, the library and reading room, the image archive and the Collection documentation. Objects and documents may only be consulted on site and by prior arrangement. For groups, a study room is available on request.

Study centre


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