Allgemeine Lesegesellschaft Basel, Münsterplatzl. Photo: TES.

The Reading Society in Basel

The Reading Society (Allgemeine Lesegesellschaft ) of Basel is a place for reading, studying and contemplation at the Münsterplatz, close to the cathedral. For over two hundred years it has provided access to books, newspapers and magazines. Founded on 26 October 1787, it is one of countless societies that emerged in Europe during the Enlightenment of the 18th century. The objectives have always remained the same over the years: to facilitate access to literature and contemporary knowledge for an interested population. Initially, it was open exclusively to men from Basel citizenship, although it was mainly wealthy people who could afford to join. In contrast, a broad spectrum of men and women from Switzerland and abroad are members today. ( Further information: