The Bibliothek Andreas Züst includes approximately 10,400 titles on topics ranging from, e.g., the weather, geology, astronomy, physics, literature, photography, art, kitsch, and popular culture. Since 2010, the Bibliothek has been located at the Alpenhof. The former hotel, situated on the Appenzellian St. Anton (1,110 m.a.s.l.), not only offers facilities for overnight stays, but also spaces for working. For CHF 100 per year, it’s possible to become a sponsor of the Bibliothek. In return, sponsors receive the option to borrow books for up to one month.

History

Ten years after the death of Andreas Züst, his former library has found a new abode. Previously located at his Spiegelberg house, the approximately 10,400 books were already endangered by the possibility of becoming homeless stacks, when in 2003, Plinio Bachmann invented a classification system, which makes the private library also comprehensible for outsiders. With the inventorization, eventually the idea matured to make this collection of gems and trash accessible to the public. Discussions with different institutions indicated, however, that any integration into an existing collection would not do justice to the unique character of the Bibliothek Andreas Züst. At the end of 2007, as it became apparent that the Kulturfrachter Alpenhof in Oberegg would be open to the public, it was clear where the new home of the library should be. During planning for the upcoming move, the idea emerged to show the Bibliothek Andreas Züst on its journey from Zurich Oberland to the Ausserrhoden hinterland, as well as the trek through the cantons in between. The resulting project was called “Von Andreas bis Züst. Eine Bibliothek geht auf Wanderschaft”. The stations along the way included Corner College / Perla-Mode in Zurich, Sitterwerk in St. Gallen, and the Kantonsbibliothek Appenzell Ausserrhoden in Trogen. The exhibition accompanying the library included artworks by artists Thomas Galler, Ingo Giezendanner aka GRRRR, Laurent Goei, Lutz/Guggisberg, and Bessie Nager. A practical moving box system was developed, and subsequently, in summer 2010, with the active support of diverse engaged parties, the move to the Alpenhof was accomplished. There the Bibliothek Andreas Züst has been open to the public since the end of August 2010.

While 2011 mainly served as time for the books to recover from their travels and for dealing with administrative matters, afterwards, in the fall 2012, the exhibition project “Ein Buch bei Nacht” was realized. This exhibition project was also shown at various locations and in winter 2012/13 was invited — together with the entire library — to CAN (Neuchâtel). While diverse artists as well as designers had been invited in “Ein Buch bei Nacht” to convey — as an object — his or her own specific interpretation or sense of meaning of one book (or of several), in the CAN exhibition — entitled “Technique & Sentiment”— , the focus was on questions concerning the generation of knowledge and scientificity or the application of scientific methods and principles. For the exhibition, the entire library was staged as a sacred space within CAN. Participating artists/designers included: Habib Ahmed Afsar, Ivo Mendes Barão Teixeira, Beni Bischof, Gabi Deutsch, Daniel Gafner, Mariano Gaich, Estelle Gassmann, Peter Hutter, and Norbert Möslang, as well as additional participants of CAN: Massimo Furlan & Claire de Ribaupierre, Alexandra Leykauf, and Beat Lippert. Exhibition venues included: Staziun (Lavin), Corner College (Zurich), and Alpenhof (Oberegg). In 2014 the Bibliothek Andreas Züst became a branch of the Kantonsbibliothek Appenzell Ausserrhoden. This incorporation was accompanied by a re-cataloging of the entire collection and integration of this data into the St. Galler Bibliotheksnetz in 2014/15.

Literature about the Bibliothek

Buchort:
“Bücherarche mit Aussicht”
from Michael Guggenheimer
“Überraschungen”
from Heinz Egger

“Die Melancholie der Bücher”
from Patrick Frey

“Von Andreas bis Züst”
from Plinio Bachmann

“Ausstellungen in Schweizer Bibliotheken. Untersuchungen und Konklusionen unter informationswissenschaftlichen Gesichtspunkten”
from Raymond Grenacher

Andreas Züst

The photographer, painter, natural scientist, publisher, and collector Andreas Züst (1947–2000) was a legendary figure in the context of Swiss and European art. He was a universalist with a tireless thirst for knowledge, as well as being a great bibliophile. 1967–70, he studied natural sciences at the ETH Zurich and sociology at the University of Zurich; during 1973–80, he was research assistant in climatology and glaciology in Canada, Greenland, and the Swiss Alps. His engagement as an artist began in the 1970s, and, as of 1979, his artwork was shown in solo and group exhibitions in Switzerland and internationally. In 1994, the Andreas Züst Verlag was founded. In his artistic work Andreas Züst was interested in societal and natural phenomena. In 1991–94, he co-produced the film “Picture of Light” by Peter Mettler, and, as of the mid-1990s, he worked with Peter Weber on the diaporama “Himmel”. Several publications about the artwork of Andreas Züst have been released. More information about him and his artwork can be found at the Andreas Züst Website und SIKART, Lexicon On Art in Switzerland.

Press Reviews (selection)

“Flaschenpost aus der Bibliothek Andreas Züst”
Amira Hanafi, Bianca Pedrina
Saiten, May 2017

“Plötzlich diese Übersicht: Flaschenpost aus der Bibliothek Andreas Züst”
Marie Artaker, Margherita Huntley, Dylan Spencer-Davidson
Saiten, December 2016

“Nachts in den Siebzigern”
Georg Gatsas
Saiten, January 2016

“Föhn gegen Nebel”
Hansjörg Quaderer
Schweizer Monat, December 2015

“Mit Aussicht auf Einsicht”
Frank Heer
Annabelle, 18 November 2015

“Une gigantesque bibliothèque mène l’art au sein des grottes”
Delphine Dozé
L’Express, December 2012

“Hof der Aussichten auf dem St. Anton”
Transhelvetica, November / December 2012

“Jedes Buch braucht sein Gegenüber”
Rolf Rechsteiner
Appenzeller Volksfreund, 28 October 2012

“Das Sammelsurium”
Vera Pache
Süddeutsche Zeitung, 18 October 2012

“Mal reinlesen”
Susann Sitzler
Zeit Reisen, October 2012

“Météorologie mentale”
Kunstbulletin 7–8, July / August 2012

“Enzyklopädischer Eklektizismus”
Marc Zitzmann
NZZ, 26 June 2012

“Andreas Züst, le style d’une époque”
Laurent Wolf
Le Temps, 29 May 2012

“Le Phare. Journal de Centre Cultural Suisse”
Nr. 11, May 2012

“Ein Kosmos der Leidenschaft”
Barbara Basting
passagen, Nr. 58, 2012

“Ein perfekter Tag”
Frank Heer
Annabelle, 29 June 2011

“Die Bibliothek des Wolkenschiebers”
Roman Bucheli
NZZ, 20 August 2010

“Suchen geht nicht. Aber man findet”
Guido Berlinger-Bolt
St. Galler Tagblatt, 18 June 2010

“Von Andreas bis Züst — Wanderbibliothek”
Ilona Stämpfli
Art-TV, 14 June 2010

“Von Andreas bis Züst — eine Bibliothek geht auf Wanderschaft”
Daniel Thür
Appenzeller Zeitung, 22 March 2010

“Bücher zu Bücher”
Ursula Badrutt Schoch
St. Galler Tagblatt, 2 December 2009

“Brownes real / wie früher”
Kim Dang
Z – Die schönen Seiten, 20 November 2009

“Öffentlich zugängliche Bibliothek ab Juli 2010”
Rolf Rechsteiner
Appenzeller Volksfreund, 19 November 2009

“Andreas Züsts Sammlung von neun Tonnen Büchern”
Feli Schindler
Tages-Anzeiger, 17 November 2009