A Unique Collection
Pierre Versins was born in Avignon in 1923. Following his deportation to an extermination camp during World War II, he emigrates in Switzerland in 1952. Convalescent, he falls in love with a new and successful literary genre: science fiction. In 1957, he founds a Club called “Futopia” and starts to publish the magazine Ailleurs, which can be translated as “Elsewhere”. Patiently, he collects an incredible amount of books and objects on the topic.
In 1967, he participates in Harald Szeemann’s exhibition at the Kunsthalle in Bern by lending 2210 items from his private collection. To him, his collection is above all a great working tool that he uses to write his encyclopaedia on utopias, extraordinary voyages and science fiction (in French: L’Encyclopédie de l’utopie, des voyages extraordinaires et de la science-fiction) that is published in Lausanne in 1972 by L’Âge d’Homme Editions.
In 1976, Pierre Versins celebrates the opening of the Maison d’Ailleurs (House of Elsewhere) that includes the 50’000 books and items he collected for 25 years.