Bild: GoetheStadtMuseum im Amtshaus

Collection

The origins of the museum collection can be traced back to the collective initiative of committed citizens in Ilmenau in the 19th century. Its initiator was the teacher and founder of the Industrial School Bruno Schulz (1824-1890), whose extensive merits for Ilmenau were appreciated by erecting a memorial stone at the railway station Ilmenau-Bad. Our predecessors felt that some scripts and books were worth collecting in particular; and later, other smaller items were added. The creation of a bigger antique furniture and equipment collection was limited due to a lack of space. Therefore, the collection primarily contains written and printed works to this day.


Mainly maintained voluntarily, the museum and its collection experienced a time of changing perception, with little opportunity to further establish itself and the storage of the collection was often cause for disagreements. During the 20th century, the collection was extended continuously due to the commitment of voluntary supporters of the museum, gaining specific regional paintings, graphics (including early prints by Goethe), Ilmenau coins, unique Ilmenau porcelain and glass, textiles, furniture and other objects of daily life.


Since the 1990s, changing conditions have drawn more attention to the thus-far neglected aspect of urban history in the museum's work; and gradually, the storage and restoration conditions have improved. Nowadays, the museum collection contains approximately 15,000 objects. The focus of collection and research activities is on Ilmenau's porcelain, glass, mining, health and therapeutic bathing culture, as well as Goethe and his time. Furthermore, our collection provides information on almost every issue of our town's history and it is at the disposal of any regional history researcher or scientist. Our library has been updated continually and, with its inventory of around 4,000 volumes, it is today's most comprehensive reference library of regional history.