Homepage Royal Model Chamber

Opening hours:
no public exhibition


Centre for Collection Development
Christine Nawa
+49 551 39-20741

One of the oldest collections at Göttingen University is the model chamber. There are still 25 of these objects in existence today. Looked after by mathematicians such as Abraham Gotthelf Kästner (1719-1800), supplemented and maintained by craftsmen employed by the university, used and marvelled at by many professors, students and guests.

Until the 20th century, models were considered to be excellent communicators of knowledge. The 150 or so models for engineering, mining, agriculture and hydraulic engineering that once existed were mainly used as illustrative material for the training of senior civil servants. The model chamber thus fitted seamlessly into the reform concept of the University of Göttingen, which, in the spirit of Leibniz, established a link to practice. It is therefore not surprising that one of the most valuable pieces in the model chamber was Leibniz's calculating machine (1646-1716). In addition to the models, the collection also contained scientific instruments for surveying and astronomy.

An important teacher at Göttingen University, the economist Johann Beckmann (1739-1811), is often associated with the model chamber. And Beckmann did indeed use the model chamber - in addition to his private collection - not only for his technology lessons, but also for preparing excursions that were intended to give students a practical insight into mining in the Harz Mountains or to companies in the Göttingen area.

The name Model Chamber refers more to a location than to the collection itself. In practice, however, the objects were distributed throughout the university. This situation only changed with the establishment of the Academic Museum. Some rooms could now be used to display the models.

Oliver Zauzig

Note to user

Dear user,

In response to current developments in the web technology used by the Goobi viewer, the software no longer supports your browser.

Please use one of the following browsers to display this page correctly.

Thank you.