Antiquarian society in Zurich

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Antiquarian Society in Zurich
(AGZ, Antiquarian)
purpose Research into and communication of the history of the city and canton of Zurich
President: Gisela Hürlimann (since 2016)
Establishment date: 1832
Seat : Zurich
Website: http://www.antiquä
President and Vice President of the Society around 1905: Gerold Meyer von Knonau and Johann Rudolf Rahn

The Antiquarian Society in Zurich (AGZ, or Antiquarian for short ) sees itself as a cantonal association for history and antiquity in the canton of Zurich , Switzerland . The company is based in Zurich at the State Archives of the Canton of Zurich . It deals with the research and communication of the history of the city and canton of Zurich.


The Antiquarian Society in Zurich was founded in 1832 by Ferdinand Keller as a learned society of the urban bourgeoisie. This makes it the oldest existing cantonal historical society in Switzerland. Although the society was only a private association, it received a monopoly-like right from the city and canton to carry out archaeological excavations and monument preservation activities. From 1871 to 1921 Gerold Meyer von Knonau was its president; Johann Rudolf Rahn was its Vice President for 27 years.

Every year since 1837 the AGZ has published a volume of its “Mitteilungen” (MAGZ). They include monographs and thematic anthologies relating to the history of the city and canton of Zurich and their legal predecessors. In 1862, on the initiative of the AGZ, it was decided to develop the “ Swiss Idiotikon ” (published since 1881), and from 1888 to 1957 it published the thirteen-volume “Urkundenbuch der Stadt und Landschaft Zürich”.

Corporate purpose

Quote: The Antiquarian Society sees itself as a bridge between historical science and a public interested in historical questions.

True to this self-image, the AGZ organizes lectures (especially in the winter half-year), excursions (in early summer and autumn) and guided tours. Alongside the “Zürcher Taschenbuch”, the company's publications are among the most important platforms for research results in Zurich historiography.

In the so-called “autumn meetings”, those working in the canton's museums have the opportunity to exchange ideas. The focus in recent years has been on the conservation and restoration of objects and archive materials.


One of the oldest traditions besides the "Mitteilungen" is the publication of a New Year's paper on Berchtold 's Day , a tradition of learned societies that has been cultivated to this day and taken up by many rural communities since the 18th century, which had a fundraising aspect in addition to the social aspect.

  • Werner Altdorfer, with the assistance of Ernst Egli: Local history documentation. Instructions for the construction and management of chronicle rooms . Edited by the Antiquarian Society in Zurich. Secretariat of the Antiquarian Society, Zurich 1989.

Web links

Coordinates: 47 ° 23 '49.9 "  N , 8 ° 32' 49.3"  E ; CH1903:  683675  /  250186