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Switzerland and Liechtenstein: Address and Telephone Directories

Directories are used by genealogists and historians to identify people and businesses from a particular place and era. This guide lists uncataloged and cataloged directories from Switzerland and Liechtenstein in the Library of Congress


Image of Swiss telephone books on shelf
Swiss telephone books. Library of Congress General Collections.

The Library of Congress maintains a large collection of retrospective foreign and domestic telephone directories, most of which are not cataloged. (More specialized directories for commerce, industry, and specific professions are cataloged and may be identified in the Library's online catalog.) The uncataloged directories listed below reflect the Library's holdings (as of July 2007) of telephone directories from Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Since 1919, Switzerland has provided diplomatic representation for Liechtenstein, and in 1920, the two countries agreed to a transitional postal union. A more permanent postal union came about in 1921, which provided for Liechtenstein's postal, telegraph, telephone, and postal savings bank services to be managed by Switzerland. Thus, Swiss telephone directories include separate listings for the Principality of Liechtenstein, usually in the same volume that covers the nearby Swiss cantons of Appenzell Inner Rhodes, Appenzell Outer Rhodes, and St. Gallen.

The list of directories is arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by city or region (single areas of coverage are listed before multiple areas of coverage). The oldest telephone books in our collection covered Switzerland in three volumes, then over time the number of volumes increased to 25. The type of directory is indicated by the words "Res." (listing home addresses), "Org." (listing businesses, institutions, and government offices), or "both." The "Notes" field is used to provide additional information about the directory, indicating how each directory is arranged and often listing smaller towns nearby. The phrases "Listings given in German" and "Listings given in French" mean that the page headings and street names are in German or French, respectively.

Please note that some administrative districts have changed boundaries over the years, which means that some towns were moved from one jurisdiction to another. Note also that some books cover several years, and are indexed here according to the first year covered.

In addition to the uncataloged directories listed in this guide, the Library also holds a handful that are cataloged and may be requested using the online catalog. To locate these directories, search the Library of Congress Online Catalog using subject keywords such as "Switzerland" or the name of a city and "directories." In addition to telephone directories, there are also business/address directories from Switzerland.

Here are some examples of books that can be of interest to those who are looking for information about telephone books from Switzerland and Liechtenstein. More books are available in the collections of the Library of Congress Library of Congress Online Catalog.