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Next stop:
Musée jurassien d’art et d’histoire, Délemnont
February-August 2016


Latest entries

Commercial novelties cataloged and preserved in the archives of the Phonotheque.

Our latest news


19.09.2015 – 7.11.2015
Studio Dabbeni, Lugano
Hermann Scherchen: alles hörbar machen I

By Luca Frei

Mattmark, 50 years later

In memory of the victims of the worst catastrophe in the history of Swiss construction.

On August 30th, fifty years ago, a block from the Allalin glacier, in the Saas Valley, right above Visp, crashes on […]

SUPSI-DFA, Formazione Master Storia. Laboratorio didattico.

“Dall’orpello alla chiave. L’utilizzo dei documenti sonori nella didattica della storia” – Matteo Notari
Fonoteca Nazionale Svizzera, Lugano, 29.04.2015.

Audio Media Preservation through Imaging – Washington D.C., USA

“Practical VisualAudio” – Stefano Cavaglieri

The Swiss National Sound Archives is the official depository of audio records in Switzerland. Its mission is the preservation of our country’s audio heritage. Founded by law in 1987 as a private Foundation working in close collaboration with the Swiss National Library in Bern, the Phonotheque performs a part of the tasks assigned by law to the latter.

The Swiss National Sound Archives collects and catalogs audio documents related to the history and culture of Switzerland, both music and speech, for example: recordings of classical music, rock, jazz and pop, audio books, stories, theatrical works, interviews, research documents (field recordings) and private collections.


The Swiss National Sound Archives collects, documents and makes available to the general public all the audio carriers that, because of their content, have a link with the history and culture of our country. The collecting activity began in 1986. The documents collected are documented and listed in the FN-Base32 database and archived in our air-conditioned stores.

The technical and computer department performs copying and restoration work. It is responsible for digitization and for the archiving system of digital documents. It also monitors technical developments in the audio world and offers consulting services and various kinds of technical services.


The Swiss National Sound Archives presents its collections to the general public in various forms.

The Catalog allows you to search on the database for any audio carrier, musical piece or recording.

Other sources of information are available in Special Collection and Discographies.

The Phonotheque offer various services of Consultation, Advice and Technical services.

In addition to accessing the documents on the premises of the Phonotheque (Regulations for access/loan), users can avail of a network of external Listening stations at other institutions.


The Gallery presents those activities of the Swiss National Sound Archives that provide interested users with more detailed and more in-depth information on specific topics.

Specific collections, scientific work and other themes related to the audio carriers, their history or their content are covered under the heading “Display”.

With “Raising the Q-Bar” the Phonotheque promotes a number of projects that aim to optimize the playback quality of each and every sound recording.

An overview of the presence of the Swiss National Sound Archives in other foundations and associations can be found under “Conferences”.

Collectors who wish to share their passion, experiences and suggestions with others should select “Collectors”.

Collaboration in projects with other institutions is presented under the heading “Partner projects”.

Our youngest visitors can discover our activities by selecting “Kids corner”.



Support us - Save our sound heritage

Please help us saving our sound heritage
We should save our sound heritage before these recordings become unplayable. We work in the urgency: digital copying, conservation and documentation of our collections are essential activities to ensure that it will remain accessible also to future generations. These tasks require highly qualified staff and a state-of-the-art infrastructure. Please help us saving our sound heritage.
To make a donation in a simple and safe way, please click on the “Donation” button.More

Archives at risk: Much more to do!

Listening spots

In addition to accessing the documents on the premises of the Swiss National Sound Archives, users can avail of a network of external listening stations at other institutions, such as libraries, archives, universities and others.

In the listening spot the user can listen to all documents, which were already digitized, of the archives of the Phonotheque. The listening spot also serves as an access portal to the sounds of other institutions.

More informations

Swiss National Sound Archives. Commercial novelties 2014.

Rock & Pop