A working Museum

Where history can be felt and touched.
In the Basel paper mill fully functioning workshops come together with historical technical exhibitions in a way that is alive. Our workshops which are situated in the historically authentic surroundings of a paper mill straight out of the Middle Ages produce before the visitors’ eyes goods which are for sale. Professions which today are rare or no longer exist are brought back to life again on original machines and thus their specific skills - our immaterial cultural heritage - are preserved and documented for posterity.

A particular specialty of the Paper Museum is that our visitors too are given the opportunity to try out the so called “white” or “black” arts hands on. The creation of your own handmade piece of paper, the first attempts at typesetting as well as the creation of a decorative paper are central to every visit to the museum.
In addition throughout the museum sheltered working places are offered to employees who have a disability. In 1993 the museum received a Special Commendation in the European Museum of the Year awards. In 2006 we were awarded “a museum’s star“. The Michelin Guidebook also rates the museum with a star.

Create your own artistic decorative paper. Our skilled craftspeople will show you how it\'s doneBoth large and small visitors can hand mould their own piece of paper at the visitors vat.
On Tuesdays they can design their own coloured paper.

The collections

The central item in the museum’s inventory is the Swiss Historical Paper Collection, which emerged from the collections put together by Dr W.F. Tschudin and Sandoz Ltd.. From 1954 to 1979 this collection was attatched to the Basel Museum of Ethnology. Complementary to this collection was the foundation which had been set up by Eduard Hoffman-Feer to look after the collection of historical treasures accumulated during the 400 years of existence of the Haas Type Foundry in Munchenstein.

Rolling seal, cuneiform characters and stamp from the History of Writing collection.

The first Swiss typewriter, the Velograph of 1886.
Paper mill building and water wheel (photo: Daniel Schvarcz)