Profile of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz

Impressions of the Foundation

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The museums, libraries, and archives of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz form a cosmos of culture. They preserve, study, and convey unique documents of human history.

The Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) is an internationally renowned cultural institution and an important player in the humanities and the social sciences. It includes museums, libraries, archives, and research institutes. Its collections have a universal character. They document the evolution of human culture from its beginnings to the present in Europe and on other continents. They began in Brandenburg and Prussia and have grown encyclopedically. Today the Foundation is contributing crucially to the redesign of Berlin’s historical center.

Five institutions are united under the Foundation’s roof: the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin), the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Berlin State Library), the Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Secret State Archives), the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut (Ibero-American Institute) and the Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung (State Institute for Music Research). All aspects of cultural tradition are represented within the Foundation.

The Foundation preserves, cultivates, and adds to its extensive collections. It conveys them to the public through exhibitions, publications, events, and diverse forms of access to the holdings of its libraries and archives. Moreover, all its institutions conduct independent research. They take part in numerous national and international networks, cooperations, and projects.

With around 2,000 employees, the Foundation is the largest employer in the cultural field in Germany. It is a foundation directly responsible to the German government and is shaped by Germany’s federal structure. The federal government and all sixteen states of Germany support and finance it jointly. The seat of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz and all its institutions is Berlin.

The Foundation’s name reflects the cultural heritage entrusted to it. It was founded in 1957 to preserve the collections of the Prussian state, which was dissolved after the war, as heritage for all of Germany. Since that time, the Prussian cultural heritage has evolved a far-reaching appeal that is felt well beyond Germany’s borders.

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