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Research guide to applied gerontology resources

Our discipline-specific selection of media, search tools and references allow you to conduct your research efficiently.

University Library holdings

Media from the former Pro Senectute library have been integrated into the Applied Gerontology collection at the ZHAW University Library Winterthur. The collection is continually being developed and stands out for its focus on Switzerland and its practical relevance. In addition to topics such as age, ageing and intergenerational relations, other areas related to the topic of gerontology are also covered, including care work, social work, psychology and matters related to housing.

Media searches

The Applied Gerontology collection is available via ZHAW swisscovery. Titles on the topic of ageing from other University Library holdings, regardless of location, can also be found in the subject search area.

Media use

Books, DVDs, CDs, activation games and e-books from the Ciando platform (in German) can all be borrowed. They can be ordered by SLSP courier to a swisscovery library near you for a fee or sent to your home. You can access freely available online resources electronically at any time.

The physical media of the existing holdings are available as non-circulating items in the University Library Winterthur during opening hours. Due to technical reasons, however, it will not be possible to borrow the media until April 2022.

Journal articles and book chapters can be scanned onto a USB stick on site free of charge. It is also possible to order and pay for a scan of the pages that you require, which you will then receive as a PDF file by e-mail. You can place the order directly from the title record in ZHAW swisscovery.

Special collections

The special collections in the Applied Gerontology collection cover a wide range of age-related topics and include activation resources, fiction, specialised media, films, music and journals. The media can be used in a variety of ways.


The e-books in the applied gerontology subject area are aimed at people who are confronted with the subject of ageing, either professionally or privately, on a regular basis.  

Requirements for use (including ZHAW staff and students):


The ZHAW University Library currently has 120 active journal subscriptions in the area of applied gerontology. The collection also includes historical journals or journals that are no longer in print that document developments in the area of ageing, work opportunities for the elderly and policies for the elderly in Switzerland. The collection also includes important articles from these publications.

As the journals are non-circulating items, you can scan the articles onto a USB stick on site free of charge. You can also order and pay for a scan (form in German only) of the pages that you require, which you will then receive by e-mail.

In focus

We keep you up to date on the topic of ageing with a new publication service, reviews, events and our newsletter.


Four times a year, the Applied Gerontology Newsletter (in German only) provides you with up-to-date information on new publications, events and other news related to ageing.


Applied gerontology at the ZHAW

The donation of Pro Senectute’s collection prompted the ZHAW to consider establishing an inter-School focus in applied gerontology. With its eight Schools and numerous institutes, the ZHAW is already active in the field of ageing, be it through research, business services, or education and continuing education programmes. The various competencies are now being brought together in the AGe+ (in German) focus area to form a large whole. In cooperation with Pro Senectute, among others, a multi-perspective view of the topic is to be promoted. This is in step with the ZHAW’s mission to conduct research and to teach in an application-oriented manner that is grounded in real life, as well as to orient its business services to the needs of the user groups.

History of the collection

The collection has been built up and continually developed by the organisation Pro Senectute Switzerland (in German only) since the 1950s. In 1996, it was made available to the public as part of Pro Senectute’s library, and, in 1998, media from Pro Senectute’s audiovisual media unit was integrated into the collection. As part of the partnership between Pro Senectute Switzerland and the ZHAW, the collection was transferred to the University Library in spring 2021.

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