The municipal museum was founded in 1900 and is therefore the oldest museum in South Tyrol. Meran owes its museum to its founding father Dr. Franz Innerhofer a native of Meran who after a successful career as a doctor in Innsbruck returned to Meran and devoted the twilight of his life to the collection of historical objects. He gave his Tyrol collection to the town of Meran in 1898 to force the founding of a museum. The collection consisted of 1,000 volumes, including 100 replicas from the Ferdinandeum collection which Innerhofer had bought in 1888. Up to his death in 1918 the library could be extended by a further 2,143 volumes.
The donation of several private libraries such as that of Otto Rudl or Franz Hafner helped the library to grow. As a result of the death of the museum`s founder and promoter, who had taken over the management of the museum, the museum experienced increasing financial difficulties until it presented the collection to the town Meran. Here, the provision outlined in Innerhofer`s testament whereby the library should remain forever within the confines of the museum was vital. In 1934 the Museum Association was forbidden and the management of the museum and the library was transferred to the Società Dante Alighieri.
In the following years, partially for ideological reasons and partially to enrich the museums in northern Italy several hundred volumes were removed from the museum. Although some of the items removed were returned after the war some valuable items such as an incunabuna dated 1485 on the Passion of Christ are still missing.
The library has been and still is extended continually and currently consists of approx. 30,000 volumes. The library’s emphasis lay in the collection of newspapers and the collection of short scripts from the 19th century. The library collects specialist works on Tyrol with emphasis on history, art and artists.
Library of the Meran Municipal Museum
Reference Person: Dr. Elmar Gobbi
Phone: [+39] 0473 270038
Fax: [+39] 0473 274615