Logo of Basel Historical Museum
Dunkle AnsichtHelle Ansicht
2021 – 2025

General inventory

A landmark decision for Basel Historical Museum: Basel-Stadt Governing Council and Grand Council approve 6.62 million Swiss francs for its general inventory project.

The general inventory is to be completed within five years. Thanks to a preliminary study, a rough project plan already exists, based on which the funds were approved. Since 31 January 2022, the operational phase of the general inventory has been running in the nine depots and the three exhibition sites of the Historical Museum.


Facts & figures

300,000 collection objects

Three exhibition venues and nine external depots

The general inventory is a mammoth undertaking: more than 300,000 objects from the collection have to be examined and catalogued in detail – from the statuette of Mars from Roman times to the Basel Cathedral Treasury to Roger Federer's tennis equipment.

New objects are added to the collection every year. Logistically, cataloguing is complicated by the fact that the objects are distributed among three exhibition sites and nine external depots. As part of the general inventory, key data, meaning a description, dimensions, photos, condition, storage location and digital code, are recorded for each individual object. The data are also compared with the existing database entries.


Operational analysis as a basis

Basic mission and resources

Focus on cultural heritage

The general inventory is based on the operational analysis conducted by the Munich consultancy Actori GmbH in the summer of 2019. In its analysis, Actori concluded that the Historical Museum could not fulfill its basic mission with the means and resources currently available. A central task of the Historical Museum is to carefully record and conserve the collection in accordance with international standards.

Its legal mandate (§ 3 Museum Law) must be fulfilled and that cultural and historical heritage that is unique to Basel protected and preserved from damage or even loss. Following the Governing Council, therefore, the Grand Council has also agreed to the planned procedure and has approved the total amount of CHF 6,620,917 to be paid out over five years from 2021 to 2025.

Basel Historical Museum

A word from the director

An important first step

Marc Zehntner, Director of Basel Historical Museum

«We are happy about this decision and very grateful for it. After the general inventory, all objects will be digitally recorded so that they can be searched, compared and researched internally and by external researchers. In addition, with this general inventory we are also laying the foundation for a possible digital publication of the collection.»

General inventory at Basel Historical Museum

2021 – 2025


Basel Historical Museum
Management & administration
Steinenberg 4
PO box
CH – 4001 Basel

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00

Sign up for our newsletter
Logo: FacebookLogo: InstagramLogo: TwitterLogo: YouTube
Logo: Culture inclusive
Open today from 10 AM to 5 PM
Open today from 11 AM to 5 PM
Open today from 11 AM to 5 PM
Tuesday to Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday to Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday to Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM