Museum of medical history books, Muri
The Museum of medical history books, Muri (MMBM) was opened on 1 October 2016 as a private museum by Dr Franz Käppeli.
The MMBM includes
- a permanent exhibition with significant works from the early modern period (1480–1780)
- a temporary exhibition, currently on the subject: "Butterflies and passion – Maria Sibylla Merian's life work"
- a valuable collection of books, first editions and handwritten documents from the early days of book printing up to the 20th century.
The MMBM is aimed at people of all ages, lay persons and professionals, who are interested in the history of knowledge. It is located in the Singisen wing of the Muri Monastery and can be visited free of charge.
The MMBM builds on the private library of the physician and medical historian, Gustav Adolf Wehrli (1888–1949).
In 2010, Dr Franz Käppeli, founder and CEO of Medica, acquired the complete collection at an auction and was thus able to preserve the unity of the library. Since then, it has been expanded by the owner with individually selected works and archive materials.
Dr F. Käppeli decided to create a museum to share his enthusiasm for magnificent historical volumes and their contents with interested people. Single-handedly, he financed the lavish reconstruction of the historical building, the scientific preparation of the exhibits, the digital implementation and the modern presentation.
Muri was selected because Dr F. Käppeli wishes to promote cultural interest in this historically significant town. In his eyes, Muri is still a piece of home with which he feels a connection. It was thanks to his patronage that the famous Muri Monastery Museum became a reality.
Dr F. Käppeli bought the Singisen wing of the Muri Monastery with a donation pledge to the MuriKultur Foundation. As builder-owner, he took into consideration that this was an historical building and strove for an aesthetically convincing and ecologically responsible renovation.
The content of the MMBM also fits into the Singisen wing of the Muri Monastery, named after the education-oriented Renaissance Abbot Johann Jodok Singisen (approx. 1557–1644). The Benedictines preserved medical knowledge in manuscripts and books and treated their brethren and travellers with herbs from their own medicinal garden. Works of art in the cloister and the monastery church bear witness to their religious understanding of health.
Tasks and objectives
The MMBM fulfils the four museum tasks of collecting, preserving, researching and exhibiting.
In its exhibits, the MMBM conveys scientific knowledge in plain language in a modern way, exhibiting selected individual works in an attractive and scientifically sound manner.
The existing book collection is properly maintained and selectively supplemented and expanded as needed. The current inventory is stored and exhibited in an appropriate climatic environment to protect these valuable cultural assets from decay and maintain them for future generations. Books and manuscripts are made available for research.
In its exhibitions, the MMBM offers instructive and, at the same time, enjoyable opportunities to interact with the world of thought of earlier centuries and contemplate the development and changeability of knowledge.
The focus of the permanent exhibition is on the early modern period, a time of upheaval: Religious fanaticism meets scientific ways of thinking, dogmatic traditions meet the curious spirit of discovery, and the exhibited books are similarly exciting. Their histories have been scientifically prepared and beckon you to embark on a fascinating journey of discovery into the past.
The collection contains additional treasures that also originate from later times and are available for future exhibitions and research.