Institut für Museumsforschung (Institute for Museum Research)

The institute is a research and documentation institute active throughout Germany on various museum issues. It represents the concerns of the Foundation and the German federal state governments within a European framework.

View of the exterior of the Institut für Museumsforschung in Berlin-Dahlem (Opens a Larger Version of the Image)The Institut für Museumsforschung is located in Berlin-Dahlem. © IfM / Stefan Rohde-Enslin

The activities of the Institut für Museumsforschung (Institute for Museum Research, IfM) are concentrated on cross-institutional aspects of museum management. Every year it publishes comprehensive studies on the development of German museums. The Institute studies how attendance numbers and the composition of visitors are changing and the effects of employing educational and media offerings in museums. It also addresses issues of the effect of interactive media in museums. Another field of tasks is historical museology.

In cooperation with various associations, the Institut für Museumsforschung compiles and publishes an overview of the methods and tools of documentation work in museums. Documentation of their objects is a core task for all museums.

The Institute develops, often in cooperation with external partners, practical standards for the fields of museum management and museum technology. One focus of museum technology is the preservation of cultural heritage. But issues of digitization and long-term archiving of museum data also play an important role here.

In many thematic areas, the Institute is part of European and international networks of museum specialists. It is active in a series of cross-disciplinary initiatives and projects. It plays a leadership role in several of these international co-operations.

The Arbeitsstelle für Provenienzforschung, which was founded by the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media in 2008, is located at the Institut für Museumsforschung.

The Institute conveys the results of its research to museum employees at colloquia and other events. It also publishes its results in three series of publications of its own.

The Institut für Museumsforschung was founded in 1979 as the Institut für Museumskunde (Institute of Museology). As a research institute of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, it has since been part of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz.

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