The main part of the collections of the Swiss Open-Air Museum Ballenberg is made up of the 110 relocated buildings from all parts of Switzerland. In addition, there is a collection of objects comprising over 45'000 objects.
The Ballenberg Swiss Open-Air Museum has a collection of over 110 rural houses and farm buildings, relocated from all over Switzerland. We have our own collection concept and the collection is complete, with a few exceptions. We will only accept a building if it cannot be maintained on its original site. Here at Ballenberg, we work closely with the cantons’ own historic building services.
In order to furnish the buildings, the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum collects objects from rural life and farming from the time before agriculture began to become motorised (before 1950). These items and related secondary information of all kinds relate to earlier ways of living, social structures and economic activities in the farming community, as well as crafts and commerce. Our collection currently holds over 45'000 objects.
Do you own an object from the rural past that you would like to donate to a museum? The Swiss Open-Air Museum Ballenberg is very proud of the trust placed in us by many donors of historical objects.
Unfortunately we are currently unable to process any donation enquiries or accept any new objects into the collection. This temporary pause in accepting objects is expected to last until 30 April 2025.
The Department of Science at the Open-Air Museum is in the process of building a new database of all objects in our collections and archives. Work on this new program for managing, indexing and researching our objects is very time-intensive. This winter, our storage rooms will also need to be rearranged, and many objects will need to be moved. The administration and maintenance of our extensive inventories – providence research, indexing, object care, as well as data maintenance and data cleansing – is continuing alongside this work.
To enable us to focus all of our efforts on these tasks, unfortunately we must place a temporary pause on accepting objects.
Submitting an enquiry to another museum in your region may be a good alternative. You can find a list of museums who may be interested in your offer here: www.museums.ch/en/museums/museum-finder/
Thank you for your understanding.