The Audio CD

For the Exhibition in the Museum Strauhof 2006, we began to develop narrative and auditory avenues of access for visitors to the exhibition. There resulted auditory collages, similar to a radio play, that sought to convey something of Ruf's personality and his impact as a doctor and playwright. The script was based on excerpts of epistolary exchanges between and documents by Heinrich Bullinger, Ambrosius Blarer, Johannes Haller, Johannes Comander, Conrad Gessner and Johannes Gast. The title, Jakob Rufs Persönlichkeit, Der Arzt und seine Patienten as well as Der Autor und Regisseur were conceived as 'acoustical portraits', given that no pictorial portrait of Ruf survives.

In the course of reconstructing Ruf's life and work, we came across varied administrative documents from the sixteenth-century bureaucracy in the cities of Zurich, Constance, Lindau and Wil. Even in Zurich alone, these documents are inconsistent in orthography and written in a grammatically (especially syntactically) difficult style, which makes reading them rather difficult. In the course of working on this material, we learned something that was of importance for the conception of the audio CD: whoever not only reads the text, but also hears it, finds it easier to understand the context in which it was written. The ear offers the eye an aid when it comes to understanding the text. This realization led to the decision to make the seven archival documents pertaining to Ruf (all edited in vol. I) available as audio files on the CD. These readings do not have the ambition of reconstructing the historical acoustics. Rather, they are spoken in an approximation of early modern Alemannic appropriate to their context in Zurich. Changes in the speaker indicate a break in content.

The CD contains the following documents (* = newly discovered by our research team): The entry to Jakob Ruf in the Bürgerbuch (1539) - The *Missive from Constance (1526), which provides the first mention of Ruf - The *Berichtsprotokoll Root in the context from the second war at Kappel (1531) - the so-called Bestallungsurkunde (1552), which lays out the newly defined conditions of Ruf's service for the town of Zurich - the so-called *Fürtrag by Jakob Ruf - The so-called Gemächtsbrief of the marriage Jakob and Cleophe Ruf (this is their will from 1555) - the entry in Bullinger's Totenbuch, the register of deaths.

The Fürtrag (petition to the city council of Zurich) is worthy of special attention. Along with the Bestallungsurkunde, it counts among the most important documents testifying to Ruf's professional and political activity as a doctor and also offers insights into the city's health system around the middle of the sixteenth century. It is one of the few extant texts in Jakob Ruf's own hand and the only autobiographical witness of him that we have. Its genesis goes back to Ruf's personal appearance before the council of the city of Zurich on November 28, 1552, as an attempt was made to regulate his unusual double function as city surgeon and interim town physician (see the Bestallungsurkunde). The concrete occasion for the petition was a meeting of the council at which Ruf was asked his opinion in light of his standing as a local expert. In modern terms, Ruf, responding to a commission from the city government, offers his professional views regarding the provision of medical services in the city.

The audio CD contains all the audio data listed above (it is included with volume I and is only available as part of the complete edition). It was produced under the technical direction of Walter Weber, MELS Multimedia- & E-Learning Services, University of Zurich. Hildegard Elisabeth Keller was responsible for the conception, script and realization. Jaap Achterberg, Andreas Nievergelt and Hildegard Elisabeth Keller participated as speakers.

Sample Track

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Prescription for a Patient 1

The Multimedia CD

In the course of the project, a great deal of material presented itself that cried out for new modes of presentation beyond that which paper can provide: audio files and many varied and sometimes interactive types of visual documents. We therefore decided to include a multimedia CD with volume V of the complete edition (it is included with the complete edition). It contains elements that volume V offers as black-and-white images, as well as other components that are only available on the CD itself.

To begin with, the multimedia CD presents the complete set of images that illustrate Ruf's works in high resolution color files. These include, among others, the anatomical pen drawings and illustration of medical instruments that accompany Ruf's opthalmological works, the woodcuts in his work on childbirth, as well as in its new edition by the publisher Sigmund Feyerabend at Francfort, printed in 1580 with illustrations by Jost Ammann. The CD further contains the illustrations to the Trostbüchlein reproduced in volume V as well as the woodcuts illustrating the first Latin edition with illustrations by Jos Murer), the pen drawings in the manuscript of the play Weingarten, the Astrologentafel with medallions designed by Heinrich Vogtherr, which are of interest for the history of science and medicine, as well as the woodcuts in the printed editions of the plays.

The digitizations of the pen drawings and woodcuts are linked to the page in the edition (this provides insight into the text-image relationship) and to a short version of the commentary on the illustration (full description of the extent set of illustrations and the individual images in the printed editorial introduction and commentary). The printed and digital documentation together provide a foundation for future research on the iconography of the images as they related to the history of medicine, media, literature and the theater.

The multimedia CD further contains materials from the exhibition in the Museum Strauhof Zürich (2006): photographs of archival documents and exhibited objects, further historical materials as well as the embedded listening stations.

The last element on the multimedia CD invites its users to participate virtually in the most important stations in Ruf's life and career in the city of Zurich. Seven interactive excerpts from Jos Murer's map of the city from 1576 (the younger Murer illustrated Ruf's Trostbüchlein) permit the following places to be visited in virtual fashion: Münsterhof - Heiliggeist-Spital - Ruf's houses - Rathaus - Grossmünster - Conrad Gessner's house.

(Kopie 2)

The multimedia CD was conceived by Linus Hunkeler and Hildegard Elisabeth Keller and produced by Linus Hunkeler with the Multimedia-Browser © Screenlight AG. Stefan Schöbi was responsible for enhancing Jos Murer's map of the city, dated 1576, with materials providing perspectives from Jakob Ruf's life and work.

Images sources are indicated in both volume I and volume V. The images of the exhibition were made by Peter Hunkeler, Zurich. The audio files were produced under the technical direction of Walter Weber, MELS Multimedia- & E-Learning Services, University of Zurich. Hildegard Elisabeth Keller was responsible for their planning and realization. Jaap Achterberg, Andreas Nievergelt, Albert Wettstein (who holds the office of the town physician of Zurich) and Hildegard Elisabeth Keller participated as speakers.