Our specialised library

    Mission 21's library is open to interested members of the public as well as students. The library, which has close ties with the Research Archive, can look back on well over 200 years of active collecting, and it also has Basel Mission's rich stock of works at its disposal. In addition, the library offers the latest specialist literature on mission studies, worldwide Christianity, contextual theology, African studies and development policy. The entire stock of books can be consulted in the online catalogue of the Universities of Basel and Berne: ► go to the swissbib Basel Bern website

    Using the library and borrowing

    New registrations

    We shall be glad to give new users a brief introduction to our rules in person. We therefore request you to register during the afternoon hours when library staff are present, and to bring your official identity document or a University Library user's ID card with you. By the way: You can also order this card online: aleph.unibas.ch. It is valid not only in our library, but also in the university library and in many other libraries.


    Open-access area

    The books here are shelved according to subject areas. Users can browse through the shelves themselves and make their own selections. Desks are available for working, with two computers for catalogue searches and a small reading room for periodicals. Except for works shelved in the reference zone, all the books can be borrowed. Periodicals are not for loan.



    We shall be glad to fetch books from the repositories for you during the afternoon. Works published before 1890 can only be consulted on the premises, but all others can be borrowed (with some isolated exceptions for reasons related to conservation).


    Notes on lending

    Lending is done online. You can book the selected books and brochures at the computer station in the entrance area of the library. A return container is available for returning the borrowed titles.

    Lending period: The lending period for books from the Mission 21 library is generally 28 days. If there is no reservation, this period is automatically extended twice and can be extended three more times in the user account. Maximum loan period: 6 months.


    usage regulations

    More detailed information on the topic of use and lending can be found here (German).

    Opening hours

    Open-access area:

    Monday to Friday, 9 am – 5 pm

    Advice, new registrations and lending from the repositories:

    Monday to Friday, 2 pm – 5 pm

    or by agreement: ► Email


    From now on: Limited reopening of the library

    1. the library rooms remain closed until further notice

    2. lending is possible via online orders

    •    Books from the magazine (MAG): order via Swissbib as before

    •    Freehand books (FH): Order via Swissbib new

    •    The ordered books are ready for you in the entrance area of the library as soon as you receive the pickup invitation

    •    Book return: around the clock in the return box as before or by mail

    3. consultations by appointment only: ► Email

    4. new enrolments: please contact the university library


    Mission 21 Library

    Missionsstrasse 21

    Mission House, 1st floor

    CH-4009 Basel

    Tel. +41 61 260 22 41 (afternoons)

    ► Email

    Claudia Wirthlin

    Tel.: +41 (0)61 260 23 39
    ► Email

    The main subjects covered by our collection

    Mission and theology

    African studies

    Development policy

    Two factors determine the main subject areas covered by our library. On the one hand, there is the enormous amount of material collected by Basel Mission over many years (1815 – 2000); and on the other, the subjects we cover are geared to Mission 21's ongoing development cooperation work and the requirements of researchers in our own archive and elsewhere. As well as specialised academic literature, we also offer non-fiction books on socially relevant issues that are easily understandable to general readers. In addition, our stock includes a small selection of novels from different continents, and in various languages. We are constantly expanding and updating the stock of materials in our specialist areas.

    Subjects covered by our collection:

    • Mission – in history, and in the present
    • World religions, interfaith dialogue
    • Theological perspectives from Africa, Asia and Latin America
    • African Studies, with heavy emphasis on West Africa and Southern Africa
    • Development policy in the broadest sense, personnel exchange in development cooperation, with a special focus on religion and development
    • Key geographic areas:
      • Africa: Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, DR Congo, Tanzania, South Sudan, South Africa
      • Asia: India (especially South India), China (South China), Sabah/Malaysia, Indonesia
      • Latin America: Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Argentina

    Further links

    swissbib Basel Berne library catalogue: ► https://baselbern.swissbib.ch

    IDS BS/BE (Basel-Berne Information Alliance for German-Speaking Switzerland) library catalogue: ► http://aleph.unibas.ch

    Basel University Library: ► www.ub.unibas.ch/ub-hauptbibliothek

    GlobeTheoLib: ► www.globethics.net/gtl

    Library of the Faculty of Theology, University of Basel: ► https://theolrel.unibas.ch/bibliothek

    WCC Library at the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey: ► http://library.oikoumene.org

    Association of Librarians of Swiss Faith-Based Institutions: ► www.bibrel.ch

    Network of Swiss Development Documentation Centres (NEDS): ► www.neds.ch