The focus of this collection is on the living conditions on the eve of the Industrial Revolution. It concentrates on the Electoral Palatinate region and on chronometry and land surveying, meteorology, medicine, trades and crafts at the time of Carl Theodor (1742–1799). The Elector’s efforts as a patron are properly documented.
The outstanding items of the astronomy collection come from the observatories in Mannheim and Heidelberg, supplemented by scientific instruments from the fields of chemistry, physics and engineering. The core of the medical technology collection consists of selected items from the university hospitals in Mannheim and Heidelberg, plus a number of complete medical and dental practices from various stages of the 20th century.