Arts, Lore, Memory
Treasures of the Geneva Library
- Thu 23/11/06 - Sun 18/02/07
- Musée Rath| Place Neuve
Founded by Jean Calvin, the Bibliothèque Publique et Universitaire (BPU) has played a major role on Geneva’s cultural and scientific scenes since the 16th century. An essential adjunct to higher education from the beginning, it has also become an important facet of Geneva’s social life since opening its collection unreservedly to all since the 18th century. Built up over nearly five centuries, its priceless archives faithfully reflect Geneva’s political, religious, scientific and cultural history. Belonging to the entire community and at the service of all, this inventory positions the BPU among the leading libraries of Switzerland and even Europe. The exhibition at the Musée Rath will display exceptional and little known items drawn from its various collections : illuminated manuscripts, masterpieces from the beginnings of printing including some produced in Geneva, literary manuscripts (from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Nicolas Bouvier), early explorers’ accounts, etc. It will also show how the legacy of the future is being compiled today, and the impact of new consulting technologies on accessing this extraordinary collective memory that has been faithfully compiled and preserved by generations of librarians.