The local history collection offers a wide range of objects from Biberach’s almost 1,000-year municipal history.
Multifarious archaeological finds illustrate life and work in the medieval imperial town. Biberach fustian, a blend made of local linen and imported cotton, played an important role during the economic boom in the 14th century. In the 16th century, weaving was replaced by tanning as the economically significant craft. Visitors can learn more about the art of weaving in a special department dedicated to this craft:
Besides (artisan) craftwork and trade, the collection’s focus is on religion, the plague, famine, and the Thirty Years’ War. One particularity of Biberach is the town’s bi-confessional structure: Since 1548 the town’s parish church has served both confessions as a place of worship, and since 1649 all the offices and council positions at the townhall have either been divided among the two confessions or staffed doubly to ensure equality.
Christoph Martin Wieland (1733-1813) was born in Biberach. The important protagonist of the 18th century is regarded as a representative of Enlightenment and a forerunner of Weimar Classicism. As a “mentor of his epoch” he paved the way for the quadrumvirate of Weimar Classicism: Wieland, Herder, Goethe, and Schiller. An extensive collection on Wieland can be found at the Wieland Museum in Wieland’s historical summerhouse and at Biberach’s Wieland Archive.
In the late 18th and early 19th century, Biberach was defined by the Coalition Wars and the end of the town’s imperial status. The collection also illustrates the historical events that led to the emergence of bands of robbers in Upper Swabia and the making of the legendary bandit »Schwarzer Veri« (Black Veri) in the wake of the famine of 1816/17.
Industrialization came to Biberach with the town’s connection to the rail network through the Swabian Railway, and with important artisan workshops and factories – such as Württemberg’s oldest producer of tin toys. The investigation into the time of National Socialism in Biberach plays a key role in the collection and research work dedicated to the 20th century. Further focal points are the 1968 movement and migration and economic history.