Learn | Share | Act | Bridge Borders
June 17 - 20, 2019 • Basel, Switzerland
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Tours & Visits: Tours and Visits
List of library and cultural tours and visits on Thursday 20th afternoon, included in the workshop registration fees.
The University Library Basel is the academic information center for the university and for the region – and at the same time, as the cantonal library, is «open to all». The library which was first mentioned in 1471, today has holdings numbering more than 3 million works, including comprehensive historical collections of manuscripts, early prints, maps and portraits. The building extensions in the 1960s by Otto Senn resulted in the architecturally unique reading hall under a large concrete cupola. The building is one of Basel’s listed buildings. A tour of the public areas as well as a presentation of some of the valuable medical works from the historical collection as from Vesalius, Paracelsus or Platter will provide some insight into the oldest university library in Switzerland.
The a href="https://www.ub.unibas.ch/ub-medizin/" target="_blank">Medical Library, located in the heart of the city, serves the students and members of the Medical Faculty and the staff of the University Hospital Basel. On the tour, we will hear about the research support services for systematic reviews and data management plans, the information literacy courses and we will visit reading rooms, open stacks and have a chat with the reference desk staff about their work.
The museum currently contains one of the largest and most significant collections relating to the history of pharmacy. The museum holds a scientific collection from the 1920s, which has been conserved until today. Highlights include apothecaries' shops, historic medicaments, laboratory equipment, a complete alchemist's laboratory, microscopes and a famous collection of pharmacy ceramics (15th to 19th centuries). The house ”Zum vorderen Sessel” is a historic location where famous men such as Erasmus of Rotterdam and Paracelsus were frequent visitors.
Basel in the spring of 1611. Once again, the Black Death had struck the city on the Rhine in the summer of the previous year. More than half the population dies before the situation improves a bit in the winter. As temperatures rise again in the spring, the mass extinction begins again. While the wealthy citizens flee to their country estates, the Basel city doctor Felix Platter (1536-1614) starts an ambitious as well as life-threatening investigation: he wants to visit every house in Basel to record statistics of how many people died of the plague in which house. Maybe in this way he can gain new knowledge about the plague, or that is his hope. Platter is already regarded among his contemporaries as a medical authority. He was one of the first physicians to recognise the influence of the psyche on the whole human organism. That the retina is responsible for image acquisition in the eye, is considered to be his discovery. Now he wants to get to the bottom of the plague! And begins a life-threatening visit through his hometown. On the tour we will follow Platter through Basel, pass historic buildings such as the town hall or the Barfüsserkirche - always in search of traces of the Black Death and the fight against it by Platter.
The Skulpturhalle Basel is located diagonally opposite the university library houses over 2000 plaster casts of Greek and Roman statues. The history of the collection goes back to the 18th century. At that time, the idea arose to also make access to ancient masterpieces possible north of the Alps. Making casts offered an ideal opportunity to look at normally inaccessible sculptures kept in different locations at close range and compare them directly with each other. Plaster collections should serve the education of a broader public and, in particular, facilitate practical exercises for aspiring art students, as the ancient world possessed an undisputed normative model character.
The main theme of Greek art is man. Walking through the exhibition, we will see how the image of man has changed over the past 500 years, how the Greek artists first created the ideal body, in order to then be able to concern themselves with people in physical or mental distress, people characterised by illness or old age or those in the throes of death.
The Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden of the University of Basel was founded in 1589 by Caspar Bauhin, a Swiss Botanist and Professor for Anatomy. Originally planned as a medieval physic garden or "Hortus Medicus", it contained numerous medical plants. It is one of the ten oldest botanical gardens in the world. Its first location was close to the old university at the border of the Rhine river, since then it has moved three times. In 1898, the Botanical Garden opened at its present location next to the University. The total area covers about 1 hectar. A large diversity of tropical and subtropical plants flourishes inside four different greenhouses. A special highlight is the historical dome-shaped Viktoriahaus, built in 1898 especially for the giant wanter lily Victoria. The rock garden presents native plants from the Swiss mountainous regions. During the guided tour we will explore botanical highlights from different regions of the world.
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