Martin Bodmer believed in the fascination of original manuscripts and the impact they had on the mind of those who understood their power and meaning. He was convinced of their influence (‘the soul that emerges from them’) and maintained that like relics ‘they could only be perceived by those with the right frame of mind’.
He gave three examples of similar library-museums:
The Morgan Library in New York: perhaps the most magnificent private collection of manuscript and incunabula in the West
The Chester Beatty Collection in Dublin: an outstanding collection of non-European manuscripts from different periods
The National Museum of German Literature in Marbach: limited to German literature. Includes hundreds of legacies and shows in a much more exhaustive and lively way than a normal library how it is possible for an author to live on
Kraus saw the Bodmeriana as closely associated with Geneva, just as the Morgan Collection was with New York and the Huntington Library with Pasadena in California.
A partnership agreement was signed in 2004 with the Musée Condé in Chantilly, which is also owned by a private collector, the Duke of Aumale, and the Société des Amis du Livre contemporain, which publishes books illustrated by contemporary artists.