17. March 2016 - 19. June 2016


Schatzkammer der Zentralbibliothek Zürich
Predigerplatz 33
8001 Zürich

Opening hours

Montag bis Freitag, 13-18 Uhr
Samstag, 13-16 Uhr

About the exhibition

2016 marks 500 years since the birth of the celebrated physician, naturalist and polymath Conrad Gessner. Gessner served as Zurich’s city physician, founded modern descriptive zoology, and conducted nature studies in which he attached greater weight to his own observations than to the received wisdom of Antiquity and the Middle Ages. He is especially well known for his “Historia animalium”, in which he drew and described quadrupeds, birds, aquatic animals, snakes and scorpions, and also included mythical creatures such as the unicorn. His “Bibliotheca universalis”, meanwhile, is the most important bibliography of the early modern era, and an attempt to catalogue the vast quantities of books and data that resulted from the spread of printing.