Exhibition “People, Knowledge, Paths of Life”

A project of the University of Rostock in cooperation with the Hanseatic City of Rostock and the Museum of Cultural History on the occasion of the double anniversary 2018/2019.

Exhibition venue: Rostock Cultural History Museum, Klosterhof 7, 18055 Rostoc, Germany

Exhibition period: June to November 2019

The Idea

The University of Rostock is the Baltic Sea Region’s oldest university. It was founded in 1419 to meet the growing need for well-educated academics and executives in the Hanseatic area. The City of Rostock, at the height of its economic power in the early 15th century, took on the task of establishing a university in the interest of the Hanseatic association of towns and cities.

A 600 year university and science history full of events are to be presented in a stately and pleasant setting. The University of Rostock and Cultural History Museum Rostock plan a joint exhibition that will be presented at the former Monastery of the Holy Cross. The university’s treasures as well as spectacular loans from Germany and abroad will be shown on more than 800 m².

The exhibition will mainly focus on biographies of past and present students, lecturers and staff member here. Who were the people who came to Rostock to learn, to teach and to research? How and where in the Hanseatic city did they live and what knowledge and experiences did they carry from here into the world? Based on such question, the exhibition presents personal histories, thus, giving the past 600 years a face or even many faces which, as a result, create a vivid image of the university.

As it were different interacting motives and characters even in 1419, when the dukes of Mecklenburg, the bishop of Schwerin and Rostock’s councillors jointly started to found the university. As the Hanseatic League’s central education facility, the university quickly turned into an interface of the Baltic Sea Region’s scientific and cultural life, thus attracting many students from the Netherlands, Scandinavia and the Baltic states. Renowned scientists with their wide-reaching networks contributed to Rostock becoming one of the most important spiritual centres of Northern Europe around 1600, referred to as “Wittenberg of the North”. Even after this golden age, the university has been characterizing element of many remarkable biographies. The exhibition intends to capture this versatile university history panorama and to recall it during the anniversary year.

In addition, an extensive side program is planned as well as smaller exhibition in external sites such as the university archive’s treasure chamber and the Crooked House in Bützow.