Logo of Basel Historical Museum
Dunkle AnsichtHelle Ansicht
23.03.2023 – 17.09.2023

Out of Use – Everyday Life in Transition

From quill pen to typewriter, from litter to balance bike, from money stocking to crinolines and trousseaus – this array of everyday objects sheds light on past ways of life.

The exhibits expose three centuries of technical and social change. The toiletries reveal evolving notions of hygiene, while the trousseau lists and embroidered kitchen aphorisms tell of changed role models. The muff made of monkey fur and cups for turtle soup attest to today’s more respectful treatment of animals.

Exhibited alongside these are the once typical accoutrements of the bourgeois dining table. Through all these objects, the exhibition at the Barfüsserkirche examines how everyday life has changed. Almost all the exhibits are drawn from the Historical Museum’s own holdings. Accompanying the exhibition is a generously illustrated publication published by Christoph Merian Verlag Basel.


What's that?

Have you found a mysterious object at home whose use is completely unknown to you? Or something that you used in the past but has fallen into disuse today? For example, an MP3 player or a flea trap? Then we would be delighted if you would share this object with us!

On the occasion of the exhibition Out of Use, we are collecting your curious objects and the stories you may still know about them.

Online on www.aussergebrauch.ch and on the identification afternoons on 5 March and 7 May 2023 from 2.00 to 4.00 p.m. at the Barfüsserkirche.


Out of Use – Everyday Life in Transition

Virtual tour


The return of the telephone booths

The telephone booths on Barfüsserplatz are probably familiar to most Basel residents. Until 2019, they served as a meeting place, landmark and – in increasingly rare cases – for telephone calls. After being dismantled, they were ceremoniously added to the HMB collection a few years ago.

In March, they will be set up for the «Out of Use» exhibition in front of the Barfüsserkirche. A good meeting place for visiting the exhibition.


Special exhibition in the Barfüsserkirche

Opening timesAdmission

Completely trilingual (German, French, English) and wheelchair accessible


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