Content - Documentation Centre
The Alfred Escher Foundation's purpose is to promote critical historical research into Alfred Escher and subjects relating to Escher. In order to fulfill this task, the Foundation has set up and runs a Documentation Centre that is open to the public. This collects and documents contemporary documents, written records and images, objects, and primary and secondary literature relating to Alfred Escher. It professionally safeguards and makes accessible this archive material and ensures it is available for academic research.
The main publicly available resource is the Foundation's correspondence archive. Approximately 5,500 letters exchanged between Escher and around 500 different correspondents have been copied from public and private archives in Switzerland and arranged into a systematic and complete collection. Further primary and secondary literature is also available, along with a wealth of pictorial material. These holdings cover the following subject areas, all focusing on the 19th century: ‹Alfred Escher›, ‹History of the City and Canton of Zurich›, ‹History of Switzerland›. This last area is further divided into the following subjects: ‹History of Swiss Railways›, ‹Transport and Tourism History›, ‹Switzerland as a Financial Centre›, ‹Social and Economic History›, ‹Politics› and ‹Cultural History›.
The Alfred Escher Foundation documents and archives speeches and newspaper articles by and about Alfred Escher, as well as publications about Alfred Escher, his family and the business institutions he founded. The Documentation Centre also holds standard reference works and selected literature pertaining to the subject areas mentioned.
The Documentation Centre is located in the «Neuberg» buildings on Hirschengraben, where Alfred Escher was born. "Neuberg", built in 1733, was acquired by Alfred Escher's father Heinrich Escher-Zollikofer in 1816. After some alterations, mainly to the interior, the Escher family moved into "Neuberg" in 1818. Alfred Escher and his family lived there for more than a decade before moving to Belvoir in the Enge district in 1831. The "Neuberg" buildings are now maintained as a monument to old Zurich, giving visitors a tangible impression of what life was like in the 18th and 19th century.